23andMe’s CEO and Co-founder Anne Wojcicki rang the opening bell on Nasdaq Thursday morning, celebrating our first day as a publicly-traded company.
Anne took a moment during the virtual bell-ringing ceremony to thank customers, employees, and investors for their support. From the company’s founding in 2006, 23andMe (Nasdaq: ME) hasn’t wavered from its mission to help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome. Now more than ever, the time is ripe for 23andMe to change how people engage in their health, and to improve how new genetic research and drug discovery are done.
Below is a version of the remarks Anne shared during the ceremony:
In 2005 I was working on Wall Street investing in health care when I had a call with a genetic researcher. I asked him about the state of genetics research and he said, “The excitement is palpable. Everything is going to change. We are going to understand the human genetic code.”
The sense of excitement that I felt in that conversation in 2005 remains with me today. We are unlocking one of the most exciting human mysteries. This simple code – A C G and T – has built this incredible world, all this diversity. It is truly amazing.
I want to thank our customers – all 11M of you. It has been a journey! Together we have shown the world that you are capable of getting YOUR genetic information and learning about your health and ancestry – all without the supervision of a medical professional. You are far more capable of understanding science or taking charge of your health than the world believes. I want to thank you for believing in 23andMe and trusting us to unlock your DNA. We are committed to being your advocate and to always providing you transparency and choice with how your DNA is used. We will always make decisions based on what is best for you.
23andMe was founded in 2006 with a passion and love for genetics and a desire to empower individuals to be in control of their health. I was surrounded by incredible co-workers then and I am lucky to have been surrounded by incredible people ever since. As I think about how we have gotten to this day, I want to thank everyone who has ever worked at 23andMe. We have an incredible Gene Pool. It is a true honor to have so many talented people working on this dream and making today happen. I have my moments where I sometimes just sit back and marvel – you are all SO good. So thanks to all of you.
I also want to thank my investors and my board. You have stuck with me through hard times and good times. You have provided incredible insights and support. This has not been easy but the work we are doing genuinely changes the world. Thank you for helping us get to this moment – this is just the beginning of our story.
Lastly, I want to conclude with where we are going. 23andMe is more than just a genetics company. We are an activist brand that is approaching health care and drug discovery with the individual at the center, as our partner. We are going to continue pioneering a consumer-centered personalized health care world. We are going to show that drug discovery can be more efficient when you start with a human genetic insight. Over the past 15 years our mission has never wavered: to help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome. In the next phase of the company, I want to show all of you that you are benefiting from the human genome by actually living a longer, healthier life.
I want to end with a quote from one of my colleagues when I asked him why he has stayed at the company for over a decade. He responded with a quizzical look: “If we don’t do this work, no one will.”
Thank you to everyone. What we do is important. You are changing the world.