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the companies he’s had a direct influence on,” said Hale, who introduced Greene at the luncheon ceremony Thursday. “Over 100 companies have been founded or funded by the executive management team at Hybritech, the team that has helped develop the life sciences industry in San Diego.”
Some other memorable moments from the ceremony:
—In an on-stage interview with San Diego broadcast personality Jane Mitchell, Greene said he grew up in a middle-class family in the Cleveland area. His father was a physicist who invented the hard rubber de-icers mounted on the forward edge of airplane wings. “The B.F. Goodrich Co. paid him a dollar for it,” Greene recalled.
—Greene was recruited at age 24 to work at Illinois-based Baxter International, where he stayed for seven years before leaving to start Cytex Laboratories. “Probably the most important thing I learned at Baxter was that I did not fit in a big company,” Greene said. “I was terribly frustrated by having to work through the system when it was terribly obvious to me what the solution should be.”
—Yet Greene also said, “If I had to pick one individual or person who had the greatest influence on me, it would have to be Bill Graham,” the longtime Baxter chairman and CEO who died in 2006. “He would give young people ridiculous responsibility. He would take some 28-year-old guy and say, ‘You’re in charge of Germany.'”
—In running biotech startups, Greene said, “You have to believe in what you’re doing. You have to have a need, a passion, a belief. You have to persevere. You have to be a religious fanatic.” Greene also said it’s important to “hire people who are smarter than you are. No one person has in their head all the horsepower that you need to get these things done, especially in the medical field,” which he described as, “a nightmare of complexity.”
—Several speakers remembered how Greene compared his management style to Charlton Heston in Ben-Hur, saying, “Just hang on and let the horses run.”
—In a video tribute to Greene, Jim Blair of the life sciences venture firm Domain Associates says, “Ted went to Harvard Business School. But he doesn’t think like a Harvard Business School guy. He thinks completely out of the box.”
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