A conversation with Genentech senior director Karen Brockwell
East Bay Business Times - by Mike Consol
September 5, 2008
tephanie Secrest | East Bay Business Times
Genentech senior director Karen Brockwell
First job: A paper route in England at 12 years old delivering The Northern Echo.
Business philosophy: Really getting things done. A lot of people talk about how you should get things done and business processes.
How do you stay motivated: In my professional life it’s focusing on the end result, which is providing drugs to patients.
Guiding principle: Be authentic and direct. I believe in being candid.
Definition of success: Being happy and having good relationships both inside and outside of your professional life.
Goal yet to be achieved: The big project I’ve been working on for the last five years, and that’s the licensing of our second cell culture production plant.
Best decision: Joining Genentech.
Worst decision: Buying the house I live in today. It’s just way too big.
Definition of leadership: One who inspires and motivates others.
Word that best describes you: Energetic.
Like best about job: I like to see an end result, something tangible. That’s why I like working on projects.
Like least about job: The volume of meetings.
Interests: Swimming, biking, skiing, disco dancing, listening to books on tape and shopping.
Favorite place to shop: Westfield San Francisco Centre.
Favorite store: Bloomingdales.
Pet peeve: BlackBerrys in meetings.
Most important lesson learned: Prioritizing time with family.
Person most interested in meeting: Elvis Presley. All film and rock stars are fascinating to me, but he was a great singer and he was the king.
Most respected competitor: Amgen.
Greatest fear: Snakes.
Idea of perfect happiness: A rewarding job and great relationships with family and friends.
Greatest strength: Pulling people together and getting them excited about something.
Characteristic most admired: Authenticity and passion.
Characteristic most deplored: Rudeness.
First choice for a new career: Some kind of specialized physician.
Current state of mind: Professionally there’s a lot happening here at Genentech with Roche’s bid to purchase the company. Not knowing what will happen can create some anxiety.
How do you deal with disappointment: Oftentimes the best way to deal with disappointment is to think about people who are much worse off. That puts things in perspective.
How do you deal with stress: Exercise.
Exercise of choice: Skiing.
Question you want answered: What happens after you die?
Favorite book: P.D. James’ mysteries.
Most cherished possession: My photo albums.
Life’s most beautiful sound: The ocean waves crashing on the shore.
Favorite movie: “Sophie’s Choice.”
Favorite vacation spot: Vail, Colo.