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Leadership Lessons From an Uncommon Company: Genentech — Bill Anderson

LGO Web Seminar Series

Bill Anderson, LGO '95, Senior Vice President, BioOncology Business Unit, Genentech — View Bill's Alumni Profile on the LGO website

Leadership Lessons From an Uncommon Company: Genentech

Presentation date: Friday, March 25, 2011

Abstract: In March 2009 Genentech entered a new phase in its life, beginning its integration into the Roche Group. At the time, the company was in the midst of a remarkable run of growth in innovation, life-changing medicines, and financial results. Genentech had emerged as the clear leader in biotechnology: with more gene patents annually than the NIH or the entire University of California System, with more approved engineered proteins than the number 2, 3, and 4 companies combined, and with a market value surpassing that of General Electric to become #10 on the Fortune 500. These external metrics were matched on the inside by the dedication and loyalty of the firm's employees who year-in and year-out placed Genentech at the top of the best-company-to-work-for lists compiled by Fortune and Science.

I was fortunate to join the company three years earlier, and through my role as an officer was able to observe the approach of Genentech's CEO, Art Levinson, and his senior team to leading this remarkable organization. Like all human institutions, Genentech certainly had room for improvement; what I've tried to capture here is Genentech at its best.

Often people describe a company as innovative, strong in execution, or a fun place to work. While these adjectives do describe Genentech, they do very little to explain why or how the company came to be those things. I've tried to dig a layer deeper to explain. During my tenure here I've attempted to list the attributes that distinguish Genentech and its leadership team. These fall into two categories: the values — core beliefs and standards that influence everything else, and the operating system — the unique combination of organizing structures, processes and approaches to people that come together in a powerful way. On the webinar I'll try to provide some insights into both. I hope these will be useful to LGO leaders in many other companies and industries!

Biography: Bill Anderson is the Senior Vice President for the BioOncology Business Unit at Genentech. In this role he oversees the promotional plans and tactics for Avastin® (Bevacizumab) for first line treatment of colon and non-squamos, non-small lung cancer; Herceptin® (Trastuzumab) for treatment of HER2 positive metastic breast cancer; Rituxan® (Rituximab) for treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; Tarceva® (Erlotnib) for advanced non-small cell lung and advanced pancreatic cancers; and Xeloda® (Capecitabine) for metastatic colon and breast cancers. In addition, his team is also responsible for developing business cases and pre-market plans for Genentech's oncology pipeline. Prior to his current position in BioOncology, Anderson was Senior Vice President of the Immunology and Ophthalmology Business Unit and was responsible for the company's promotion of Xolair® (Omalizumab) in asthma, Rituxan® Immunology and Actemra® (Tocilizumab) for rheumatoid arthritis and Lucentis® (Ranibizumab injection) for macular degeneration.

Anderson joined Genentech in 2006. Prior to Genentech, Anderson was employed by Biogen Idec and held several leadership positions, including, most recently, Vice President of the Neurology Business Unit. Prior to that, Anderson was Biogen's Vice President of Finance, Business Planning with oversight of global planning, budgeting and deal evaluations. In this role he led the financial integration of Biogen and Idec Pharmaceuticals. He earlier held the role of Country Head for Biogen's United Kingdom & Ireland operations and had oversight of the sales, marketing, finance, legal, government affairs and medical affairs functions. Anderson started his career in manufacturing as a process engineer and operations team leader with Ethyl Corporation in the Netherlands and Belgium. He also held business and market development positions at Raychem Corporation.

Anderson holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Texas, Austin, and Master of Science degrees in management and chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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