Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Notes From JP Morgan: Rochentech

Even as Erich Hunziker, CFO of Roche, talked up emerging markets, positive cash flow, and the wisdom of the pure pharma business model, he was distilling an unwritten message: Roche has not destroyed the culture of Genentech despite taking the iconic biotech private nearly one year ago.

Was he convincing? Not entirely--although far be it from IN VIVO Blog to gainsay magazines such as Working Mother and Science. Hunziker went out of his way in both his prepared remarks and the Q&A session to tell the audience that Roche is still a number one place to work despite the disappearance of the DNA ticker symbol. The goal, he said, is not just to keep people on board, but create a culture. (There's that "c" word again.) We're sure the new building going up on the South San Francisco campus is beautiful. And has a big impact on retention.

Speaking of which...There's been a lot of speculation about the ability of retention bonuses to retain DNAers. Half the money's been paid out already, with employees due their remaining share at the end of March. Hunziker insisted in the breakout session that retention bonuses weren't a central component in retaining valuable employees, however. "We do not expect a big exodus," he said.

Guess we'll know April 1.

flickr image by kiet callies used under a creative commons license

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