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Original post made
on Jul 24, 2008
Does this mean we need to build less housing since there will be fewer jobs in Palo Alto? If the answer is yes then its no big deal that they are leaving. I'm sure it would be better if they didn't move but I always try and look for the positive in things.
Does this mean no solar array?
"a campus that has won accolades for its environmental practices -- such as a 95-percent recycling program including everything from laboratory materials to coffee grounds"
Translation: Roche was extorted by Palo Alto to conform to hyper green standards. No wonder they are getting out of town! They are moving to places that are business friendly.
Ken, you are making things up.
Roche has bigger fish to fry, it has $$$$$ in mind.
Ah, yes, unlike the rest of us noble souls, Roche actually works for money.
Then why doesn't Roche decide to make its $$$ in Palo Alto, instead of SSF or Nutley?
In the old Syntex days, the corporate development people were extremely upset by the anit-industry attitude of Palo Alto. Nothing has changed, except that it has gotten worse.
Palo Alto is anti-business.
The HP way is dead, too. It's embalmer just might be the VP.
Syntex and the old HP. Dang! Those free donuts were nice.
The problem was that the free donuts were given to research staff who were required to attend regulatory meetings, endlessly so. These folk got fat on the donuts, but progressively had less time and focus on their projects (to find new drugs). It is one thing when a motivated researcher decides to spend many extra hours at night, trying to work the problem, and quite another when he/she is forced to go back in a night to finish what should have been finished during the regualr work day (but cannot, because the day is fractured by reg meetings). It was a huge hidden tax.
better yet convert the Roche site to housing for people working in the research park; that will further reduce the traffic in Palo Alto
the Chinese are onto something when they provide on-site housing for workers
Facebook used to offer bonuses for living close to work / maybe this could be a live/work site for Facebook
The Japanese are even more progressive - they provide housing and a high salary for their workers on work visas (singles only), and make sure that they LEAVE after the job is finished.
"Saint Peter don'tcha call me cause I can't go, I owe my soul to the company store." I lived in a company town with a company store a while ago. When the boss owns your house, he owns you.
I have worked at Syntex and Roche for 30 years. I find most of your comments a joke. Over 1000 hard working people who have been working to create better drugs for society are losing their jobs. I could care less about solar panels or a green campus. Many great individuals who have devoted their lives to Roche and the Palo Alto campus are now out of work. That should be the story here, not the shrubs etc.
I have worked at Syntex and Roche for over 30 years. I find most of your comments a joke. Over 1000 hard working people who have been working to create better drugs for society are losing their jobs. I could care less about solar panels or a green campus. Many great individuals who have devoted their lives to Roche and the Palo Alto campus are now out of work. That should be the story here, not the shrubs etc.
The big fish (Roche) ate the small fish (Syntex), although Syntex offered itself up. It was not a hostile takeover. Small independent pharaceutical companies, like Syntex, had become a thing of the past, partly due to market conditions and, more importantly, regulatory conditions, both national and local.
The Palo Alto campus lost its focus (searching for new, disease-modifying drugs). Over time, it became more about egoistic outdoor art, witch hunts looking for sexual harassment, homosexual rights, zero-waste, eliminating radioactivity and organic solvents, sponsoring indoor art shows, endless meetings to conform to non-productive regulations, solar/environmental awards, etc. In brief, the PA campus was marinated in PA attitudes.
Roche, in one step, can get rid of the biz-light attitude that dominated the PA campus. Is it any wonder that Roche prefers SSF (the Industrial City) over Palo Alto?
The old Syntex days are over, yet PA officials are still off chasing global warming, world peace, justice-for-all, etc. It won't end, until realists are voted into power in this city. It will take at least a decade of dedicated effort to get over the negative image of Palo Alto as anti-business.
Do law firms pay our city tax for the fees they charge their clients?
> The Palo Alto campus lost its focus (searching for new,
> disease-modifying drugs). Over time, it became more about
> egoistic outdoor art, witch hunts looking for sexual harassment,
> homosexual rights, zero-waste, eliminating radioactivity and
> organic solvents, sponsoring indoor art shows, endless meetings
> to conform to non-productive regulations, solar/environmental
> awards, etc. In brief, the PA campus was marinated in PA attitudes.
Interesting. It's easy to speculate about such trends from the outside, but it's so much nicer to know what's really going on in a place from an insider's point-of-view.
Would be an interesting exercise to try to figure out how many of these trends were driven by the Palo Alto City Government. One such trend, "zero waste" would seem to have a lot of impact on a company like Roche, with so many people.
Any thoughts on why the PA Roche Campus became de-focused on its primary mission?
Internal Syntex/Roche regulators, reacting to PA/state/national pressure, became compliant and seduced to become part of the Palo Alto way. There were a few internal people who resisted, and complained that the company should fight back, but they soon disappeared. It was a gradual thing, but seemingly inexhorable. Top level managers wanted to go along to get along.
In many ways, the Syntex/Roche demise parallels the demise of Palo Alto. This should not be surprising, becasue they were both part of the same mindset.
If I could reduce it to two sentences, I would say:
The regulaotry burden became too much for the mid-level managers to cope with. They needed to focus on the basic mission, but the distractions were too much to overcome.
I don't know if insider is mike, but the person who really knows what is going on is councilman John Barton. Ask him.
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