Known for: Genentech (acquired in 2009 for around $46 billion)
Quote: ”What we tried to do in the early days was to create a culture where anything was possible.”
About: Co-founded Genentech in 1976 with biochemist Dr. Herbert Boyer. Swanson was a venture capitalist at the time. Served as director and chief executive officer of Genentech until February 1990; then became chairman of the board until he retired in December 1996. Genentech is said to have started the biotechnology industry. As of early 2011, Genentech employed over 11,000 individuals. Swanson also was a founding board member of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center.
University education: SB (chemistry), MIT; SM, MIT Sloan