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Apple names new chairman

angry tapir (1463043) writes | more than 2 years ago

Apple 1

angry tapir writes "Arthur Levinson, former CEO of biotech company Genentech, is taking on the chairmanship of Apple's board, filling the role that Apple founder Steve Jobs vacated when he died last month."
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Levinson is one of a kind (1)

tloh (451585) | more than 2 years ago | (#38070998)

I was a manufacturing technician at Genentech until late last year. Even though we in the manufacturing end of the business rather than R&D have little reason to regard him either way, he is universally regarded within the whole company with not only respect and admiration, but inspired loyalty for how he steered the company during the worst of our growing pains. When I actually met him, it was easy to see why. Although he is the boss of the place, he regularly eats with everyone else at one of the South San Francisco campus' cafeteria. If you've worked up the courage to talk to him while waiting in line as I finally did once, he won't hesitate to return a friendly "How are you?"

There is a story I overheard about how he once attended a high society function for big pharma big shots and later told confidants in the company how horrified and disgusted he was that all everyone else talked about was the size of their private jets and most recent compensation packages. It doesn't matter if he wears a suit or not, the guy is a scientist - a dedicated professional through and through. He is featured significantly in the 2009 documentary "I Want So Much to Live" that tells the story of the breast cancer drug Herceptin for his role in the early research phase. Genentech had grown to a company of 10,000+ employees by the time Roche took the company private recently. It would have been easy for corporate culture to seep in with that size. But throughout Art's leadership, the drive to remain focused on all those patients who depend on our drugs dampened (although didn't eliminate) that seepage.

If it isn't obvious by now, yeah - I'm a fan of the man. Apple? meh. I received an iPad2 recently. I think it is okay, but still waiting for it to really grow on me.

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