Eagles, Dylan and Nobel Prize winner rock biotech bash

Genentech has likely made every "The Best Company to Work For" magazine list ever conceived--it even topped Fortune's 100-best companies this year. But now, it should define yet another category: "The Best Company to Get Your Groove On."

The biotech pioneer celebrated its 30th anniversary in style Monday, hosting an all-day outdoor concert at its South San Francisco headquarters that featured indie rockers the Foo Fighters, pop artists the Black Eyed Peas and music legends Bob Dylan and The Eagles. Employees and guests--roughly 10,000 of them--were kept in the dark about which musical acts were playing until minutes before they set foot on stage, causing a kind of tizzied guessing-game weeks before the event. Clues like word puzzles were ultimately designed to throw employees off.

But perhaps the biggest star at the event was James Watson (of Watson and Crick), the 1962 Nobel Prize winner for co-discovering the structure of the DNA molecule. After all, if it weren't for Watson's work at the University of Cambridge--where, he joked Monday, he "thought more about DNA than anyone else (because there were no girls)"--Genentech may have not been founded and gone on to develop drug therapies used to treat things like cancer, macular degeneration and psoriasis.

Watson, 78, summed up his feeling on stage: "I feel like a pop star."

 

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