Company Profile W.L. Gore & Associates
W. L. Gore & Associates has made its name by creating innovative, technology-driven solutions, from medical devices that treat aneurysms to high-performance GORE-TEX fabrics. A privately held company whose annual sales exceed $2,5 billion, Gore is committed to perpetuating its more than 50-year tradition of product innovation.
Gore focuses its efforts in four main areas: electronics, fabrics, industrial and medical products. The company’s electronic products division develops and manufactures high-performance copper and optical signal transmission products. Gore’s fabrics provide protection from the elements and enable wearers to remain comfortable across a broad range of activities and conditions. The products made by Gore’s industrial division meet diverse contamination control and processing challenges throughout industry. Implants from the medical division provide creative healing solutions to complex medical problems.
The company today claims a manufacturing or sales presence in more than 80 countries, employs more than 9,000 associates and sells thousands of high-performance products in diverse markets around the world.
Gore is as well known for its unique corporate culture as it is for its innovative products. The company uses the “lattice” structure, a team-based environment that encourages personal initiative and person-to-person communication among all “associates,” as employees are known.
Gore’s emphasis on minimal barriers to creativity and sound decision making has proved to be good business. The company has earned a reputation for integrity and ethical practices, a reputation reinforced by its unwavering commitment to product performance and reliability. By encouraging individual initiative and innovation, the corporate culture fosters both product success and associate satisfaction. Today Gore is one of only four companies to appear in every listing of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in America,” now published annually in Fortune magazine. The company also ranks consistently among the “Best Companies to Work For” in the U.K., Germany, Italy and France.
In 1958, Bill Gore left DuPont after 17 years as a research chemist to pursue market opportunities for fluorocarbon polymers, especially polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE. Along with his wife, Vieve, Bill began the new business venture in the basement of the family’s home in Newark, Delaware.
In 1969, the couple’s son, Bob Gore, discovered that PTFE could be modified to form a strong, porous material – a discovery that changed the future of the company. This discovery, expanded PTFE or ePTFE, enabled Gore to broaden its electronic products offerings and develop myriad new applications in medical, fabrics and industrial markets.
As the company that invented ePTFE and introduced it in the marketplace, Gore is committed to remaining a leader in fluoropolymers, particularly in PTFE processing and fluoropolymer development. The depth of the company’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 customers around the world.