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Genentech: Best of the Best

Fortune's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For 2006 is out and the number one spot goes to San Francisco-based biotechnology firm Genentech. You might expect that perks such as employee stock options, onsite daycare, or complimentary beer on Friday nights earned Genentech the top rating. But in reality, what draws employees is the work. As it turns out, the freedom to obsess over finding a cure for cancer means more to the average bio-scientist than free cappuccino. And observing ongoing proof that their company's leaders share their obsession--in other words, their --is what makes employees stay.

Genentech reinvests half of its revenues back into research, focusing development efforts on "significant unmet needs" in the fields of oncology, immunology, and tissue growth and repair. Of course, the company wants to make money, but CEO Art Levinson won't let profit motivation determine the direction of research. "At the end of the day, we want to make drugs that really matter," he says, confident that by doing so, sales and profits will follow naturally.

Living by the values they profess: it's what gives Genentech's leaders credibility, and what makes the company a great place to work.
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