Amgen's founding CEO passes away


THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — George Rathmann, Amgen's founding CEO, has passed away, the drug maker announced Monday.

Rathmann, who served as CEO of the company from 1980 to 1988 and board chairman until 1990, is credited for being one of the "founding fathers of biotechnology" and finding the funds Amgen needed during its startup years. Through the years, Amgen has continued to recognize the significant impact Rathmann made on the company. In 2004, a full-size sculpture of Rathmann was dedicated on Amgen's campus in recognition of his leadership. In 2005, Amgen created the annual George B. Rathmann Award, the company's highest honor, to recognize staff members who exemplify Amgen's standards of excellence to advance Amgen's mission to serve patients.

"George Rathmann was a biotechnology giant and we were privileged to have him as our first CEO. George's vision and values are as alive today at Amgen as they were when he led the Company," Amge chairman and CEO Kevin Sharer said. "Bob Bradway, our next CEO, and I both share George's commitment to patients and conviction that being science-based is the best foundation for innovation in biotechnology."

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