W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. is a privately-held company headquartered in Newark, Delaware, USA. For more than 50 years, Gore has built a worldwide reputation for ethics and integrity in its dealings with customers, suppliers, and employees, and for taking a long-term view when assessing business situations.Today, Gore has more than 9,500 employees, called associates, located in 30 countries, with manufacturing facilities in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan and China, and sales offices around the world.Annual revenues are $3 billion. Our fluoropolymer products provide innovative solutions throughout industry, in next-generation electronics, for medical products, and with high-performance fabrics. We`ve repeatedly been named among the `100 Best Companies to Work For,` in the U.S. by FORTUNE magazine, and our culture is a model for contemporary organizations seeking growth by unleashing creativity and fostering teamwork.
How we work at Gore sets us apart. Since Bill Gore founded the company in 1958, Gore has been a team-based, flat lattice organization that fosters personal initiative. There are no traditional organizational charts, no chains of command, nor predetermined channels of communication.
Instead, we communicate directly with each other and are accountable to fellow members of our multi-disciplined teams. We encourage hands-on innovation, involving those closest to a project in decision making. Teams organize around opportunities and leaders emerge. This unique kind of corporate structure has proven to be a significant contributor to associate satisfaction and retention.
We work hard at maximizing individual potential, maintaining an emphasis on product integrity, and cultivating an environment where creativity can flourish. A fundamental belief in our people and their abilities continues to be the key to our success.
How does all this happen? Associates (not employees) are hired for general work areas. With the guidance of their sponsors (not bosses) and a growing understanding of opportunities and team objectives, associates commit to projects that match their skills. All of this takes place in an environment that combines freedom with cooperation and autonomy with synergy.
Everyone can earn the credibility to define and drive projects. Sponsors help associates chart a course in the organization that will offer personal fulfillment while maximizing their contribution to the enterprise. Leaders may be appointed, but are defined by 'followership.' More often, leaders emerge naturally by demonstrating special knowledge, skill, or experience that advances a business objective.
Associates adhere to four basic guiding principles articulated by Bill Gore:
- Fairness to each other and everyone with whom we come in contact
- Freedom to encourage, help, and allow other associates to grow in knowledge, skill, and scope of responsibility
- The ability to make one's own commitments and keep them
- Consultation with other associates before undertaking actions that could impact the reputation of the company
Here are some basic facts about our company and the recognition it has earned over the years.
- W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., was founded January 1, 1958, in Newark, Delaware, by Wilbert L. (Bill) and Genevieve (Vieve) Gore.
- Worldwide sales in the past fiscal year were $3 billion.
- Gore is a privately held company.
- By using proprietary technologies with the versatile polymer polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), Gore has created numerous products for electronic signal transmission; fabric laminates; medical implants; as well as membrane, filtration, sealant, and fibers technologies for diverse industries.
- Gore established a venture partnership in Japan in 1969 with Junkosha Co., Ltd. In 1974 we co-founded Japan Gore-Tex, Inc., or JGI. JGI is now a wholly-owned subsidiary known as Nihon Gore.
- For the 14th consecutive year, Gore earned a position on FORTUNE's annual list of the U.S. '100 Best Companies to Work For' in 2011. Gore ranked 31st overall. Gore is now one of only a few companies to appear on all of the U.S. '100 Best Companies to Work For' lists since Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz initiated the ranking in 1984. This includes appearing on all 14 FORTUNE magazine lists (1998-2011) and in all three 100 Best Companies to Work For in America books (1984, 1985 and 1993).
- Gore has also been named one of the best workplaces in the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, and Italy for several years in a row.
- Gore was the recipient of the United Kingdom's 1989 Pollution Abatement Technology Award and the 1985 Prince Philip Award for Polymers in the Service of Mankind.
- DuPont's prestigious Plunkett Awards recognized GORE-TEX Soft Tissue Patch (1988), GORE-TEX Radome Laminate (1989), ONE-UP Pump Diaphragms (1995), GLIDE Floss (1995), STA-PURE Pump Tubing (2000), GORE-TEX Antistatic Workwear (2002), ELIXIR Strings (2004), GORE™ Universal Pipe Gasket (2004) and GORE™ OMNIBEND™ fiber (2006). Venture partner Japan Gore-Tex Inc. received a 2006 Plunkett Award for the FLEXIBOND product (2006).
- Bob Gore, former president and CEO, was inducted as a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1995. In 2003, for his contributions to the chemical industry, he received the Chemists' Club Winthrop-Sears Medal from the Chemical Heritage Foundation. In 2005 the Society of Chemical Industry presented him with the Perkin Medal, the highest honor given in the U.S. for outstanding work in applied chemistry. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006.
- Founder Bill Gore was posthumously inducted into The Plastics Academy's Plastics Hall of Fame in 1990.
- Bill and Vieve Gore were inducted into Junior Achievement's Delaware Business Leaders Hall of Fame in 1991 and into the National Business Hall of Fame in 2003.
Founders Bill and Vieve Gore started W. L. Gore & Associates in the basement of their home in 1958. The company initially served the electronic products market. Fifty years later, in 2008, Gore celebrated its long success at translating dreams into tangible, valuable realities for customers and communities around the world.
The 1969 discovery of a remarkably versatile new polymer (by Bill and Vieve’s son, Bob Gore) led the enterprise into myriad new applications in medical, fabric, and industrial markets. As the company that invented this new polymer, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (or ePTFE), and introduced it in the marketplace, Gore is committed to remaining a leader in fluoropolymers.
The depth of Gore’s technical know-how has contributed to a wide range of processes and creative, reliable technologies that continue to solve problems and change outcomes for people around the world.
Did You Know?
Gore is one of the 200 largest privately held U.S. companies.
In 2011, for the 14th consecutive year, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. earned a position on FORTUNE 's annual list of the U.S. '100 Best Companies to Work For'; for four years, Gore has been named by London’s Sunday Times as the “Best Company to Work For” in the UK; Gore-Germany ranked second in the '50 Best Places to Work in Germany 2007' among mid-sized companies; and Gore-Italy ranked number 12 among the '35 Best Places to Work in Italy.'
More than 25 million Gore medical implants have helped patients around the world live longer, healthier lives.
Gore has been granted more than 2,000 patents worldwide in a wide range of fields, including electronics, medical devices, and polymer processing.
Virtually all of Gore's thousands of products are based on just one material, a versatile polymer called ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene), which the company engineers to perform a wide variety of functions.
Today, with more than $3 billion in annual sales and more than 9,500 employees (called associates) worldwide, the company is owned by members of the Gore family and associates. Gore prefers this private ownership and believes this reinforces a key element of its culture to “take a long term view” when assessing business situations.