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Dr. Michael Riordan's "on board" discussion with each new Gilead


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A copy of the "On Board" discussion Mike Riordan had with each new Gilead employee during the 1990's, when Gilead was developing antiviral therapeutics, including medicines against AIDS, hepatitis and influenza. Michael L. Riordan founded Gilead Sciences in 1987, and was its CEO from 1987 to 1996; Chairman from 1993 to 1997.

Published in: Business, Education
  • Ties in with Mike Riordan's discussion of Gilead's goal to battle viruses as well as Gilead's principles in this shareholder letter by Riordan:
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Dr. Michael Riordan's "on board" discussion with each new Gilead

  1. 1. Dr. Michael Riordan’s “On Board” Discussion With Each New Gilead Employee 1. Mission. Gilead’s central mission is to develop treatments for severe diseases through scientific innovation. Each Gilead person should be proud of their efforts toward this worthy objective. 2. Teamwork. Teamwork is essential, given the complexity of therapeutic development. We are a team, and individuals are evaluated in large part by their contributions to teamwork. 3. Fairness. At Gilead, people are evaluated based purely upon merit and performance. We will not tolerate prejudice, discrimination or inappropriate behavior with regard to race, religion, ethnicity or gender. 4. Individual responsibility. Each Gilead person must take responsibility for their professional progress and be accountable for their actions. Each one of us can make a difference for Gilead’s future. 5. Information. We are in the information business, and thus place a premium on communication, acquiring new information from outside, generating new information internally, and using information effectively. 6. Intellectual Property. We must innovate in order to solve major problems in human disease. Our innovations must be captured in commercial value; this means strong patents and procedures for public disclosures. 7. Confidentiality. Confidentiality is essential for four main reasons: to maintain competitive advantage, to optimize patent strategies, to abide by SEC regulations, and to moderate patient expectations. 8. Standards. We must hold ourselves to the highest standards of scientific rigor and product quality. 9. Working smart. We are in a race that requires rigor. We must work hard, fast, smart. 10. Thrift. We must be a frugal and lean company in order to survive and succeed in the long term. Even when we achieve profitability, this leanness must be preserved in order to weather the inevitable business hardships. 11. Safety. Safety in the workplace is a critical part of each person’s job. It requires vigilance and training.
  2. 2. 12. Change. Change is essential to the success of any organization in the long run. Gilead will change and adapt as it grows. Expect change, because it is necessary for us to flourish. 13. Data, Innovation, Teamwork, Agility, Perseverance, Integrity. 14. Fun. Life is short. Let’s have fun in our work.