Oral Histories

Ray Jordan

Interview Segments on Topic: Corporate Character

Ray Jordan Biography

Ray Jordan is senior vice president of corporate affairs at Amgen, the world’s largest independent biotech firm. A pharma veteran, he previously was vice president of communications and information at Johnson & Johnson, and brought 27 years of experience in global health care to his position at Amgen, having spent 17 years at Pfizer before joining J&J.


INTERVIEWER: Is it important for—not just J&J, but other corporations to have an ethical mission statement or credo?

JORDAN: We could call it different things. I think being clear on your identity and your character is absolutely essential. And in the discussions that we’re having today with the Arthur Page Society, we’re talking about corporate character as the foundation for really driving the communication practice today, and the definition of that character, and being really conscious about what it is, and how you’re describing it is essential. We’ve been very fortunate to have the credo as a cornerstone for our character, but any company would benefit from time spent around finding its character. And even with the credo, we still spend time thinking about, what are the commitments in terms of who we are and what we stand for, given the markets that we’re in, given the environment that we’re in. So the short answer is yes. Critical.

INTERVIEWER: What do you feel are the keys to building trust and credibility in an organization?

JORDAN: If you’ve defined that character up front, I would say that the core step to building trust and credibility is to act consistent with that character. So if you’ve said who you are and what you stand for, be absolutely certain, make certain that the actions you take, across your business, are consistent with that character. I do say that those of us in our profession have an additional responsibility which is to help those actions become visibly apparent to people. But the actions to start with must be consistent.

INTERVIEWER: It sounds like something Arthur W. Page would have said a number of years ago.

JORDAN: Probably more eloquently than that.