The Gore Story

The story of Gore crosses decades, continents and industries. Get a glimpse of Gore’s 55-year history with these fast facts about the enterprise and the recognition it’s earned.

Overview

  • W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., was founded January 1, 1958, in Newark, Delaware, by Wilbert L. (Bill) and Genevieve (Vieve) Gore.
  • Today, with approximately $3 billion in annual sales, the enterprise is privately owned.  Our more than 10,000 employees (called associates) worldwide are also part owners of the enterprise through the associate stock plan. 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.
  • Gore is one of the 200 largest privately held U.S. companies.
  • By using proprietary technologies with the versatile polymer polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), Gore has created numerous products for medical implants; fabric laminates; and cable, filtration, sealant, membrane, venting and fiber technologies for diverse industries.
  • Gore has been granted more than 2,000 patents worldwide in a wide range of fields, including electronics, medical devices and polymer processing.
  • More than 40 million innovative Gore medical devices have been implanted, saving and improving the quality of lives worldwide.
  • Gore has offices in more than 25 countries, with manufacturing operations in the U.S., Germany, the UK, China and Japan.

Our History

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. Gore has achieved long term success at translating dreams into tangible, valuable realities for customers and communities around the world.

The 1969 discovery by Bill and Vieve's son, Bob Gore, of a remarkably versatile new polymer led the enterprise into myriad new applications in medical, fabric, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, oil and gas, aerospace, automotive, mobile electronics, music and semiconductor industries. 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.

Click through 50 Years of Gore History.

Responsible Enterprise

Gore is a uniquely creative, technology-driven Enterprise focused on discovery and product innovation. Gore has served a variety of global markets for more than 50 years and has thrived by providing its customers with high-value products that enhance the quality of life. Associates take great pride in being part of a strong global Enterprise and in the broad contributions we make to society.

We believe Gore's success is a direct result of the values that are the foundation of our company's culture. This culture is built on a deeply held belief in Associates and in the innate drive of each person to reach his or her full potential. We are collectively committed to fostering a safe and healthy work environment where all Associates can develop their talents, enjoy their work, and responsibly direct their activities.

Gore's culture exerts a strong and steady influence on each of us to act with the highest integrity and responsibility. We are committed to meeting the needs of customers through our innovative, reliable products and to improving the communities in which we work and live. We have a continuing commitment to our legacy of taking a long-term view, and seek to make decisions that are consistent with this principle.

Awards & Distinctions

  • Earned the number three spot on the World’s Best Multinational Workplaces list by the Great Place to Work® Institute in 2015. The ranking is the world’s largest annual study of workplace excellence and identifies the top 25 best multinational companies in terms of workplace culture.
Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For 2016 logo
From FORTUNE Magazine, March 15, 2016 ©2016 Time Inc. Used under license. FORTUNE and Time Inc. are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or services of, W. L. Gore.
  • Named to the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, earning the number 12 spot in 2016. Gore is one of only a few companies to appear on all of the U.S. lists since the ranking was initiated in 1984, including 19 FORTUNE® magazine lists (1998-2016) and three 100 Best Companies to Work For in America books (1984, 1985 and 1993).
  • Cited as a best workplace in Greater China, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
  • Included on the "Fast 50" list of the "Most Innovative Companies in the World" by Fast Company magazine in 2009.
  • 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), GORE™ OMNIBEND™ fiber (2006), FLEXIBOND® product (2006) and GORE® Turbine Filters (2013).
  • 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.

Read About Gore

W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. is as well known for its unique organizational style as it is for its unique products. If you're interested in reading what others have to say about our company, the books and articles listed on this page are good places to start.

Are you a student doing research on Gore? Be sure to check with your school librarian to find more resources. Due to the large number of inquiries we receive, we are no longer able to answer questions about our company from individuals.

Books

  • Jim Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... And Others Don't, HarperCollins, 2001.
  • Alan Deutschman, Change or Die: The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life, Regan Books, 2007.
  • Gary Hamel, The Future of Management, Harvard Business Press, 2007.
  • Gary Hamel, What Matters Now, Jossey-Bass, 2012.
  • Edward Lawler II and Christopher Worley, Management Reset, Jossey-Bass, 2011.
  • Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz, The 100 Best Companies to Work For in America, Doubleday, New York, 1993.
  • R. Keith Sawyer, Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration, Basic Books, 2007.
  • Peter Skarzynski and Rowan Gibson, Innovation to the Core, Harvard Business Press, 2008.

Articles

  • Rick Carter, "Quality's Different Drummer," Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, January 2002.
  • Reid Champagne, "Gore at 50," Delaware Today, July 2008.
  • Alan Deutschman, "The Fabric of Creativity," Fast Company, December 2004.
  • Gary Haber, "W. L. Gore: Weathering 50 Years of Change," News Journal, January 6, 2008.
  • Ann Harrington, "Who's Afraid of a New Product?," FORTUNE, November 10, 2003.
  • Laird Harrison, "We're All the Boss," Time, Inside Business edition, April 8, 2002.
  • Betty Hintch, "Strength in Product, Performance and Workforce Management," Human Capital, September 2004.
  • Paul Judge, "How Will Your Company Adapt?," Fast Company, December 2001.
  • Laura Laing, "Profile: W. L. Gore & Associates,” Exceptional (an Ernst & Young publication), July-December 2012.
  • Paul J. Lim, "No Ideas? You're Not Alone--If You're in a Group, You'll Have a Better Shot at Being Creative," U.S. News & World Report, June 10, 2007.
  • Alastair McCall, editor, "Inspired All the Way to the Top" and "W. L. Gore: Making the Biggest Splash," The Sunday Times (London), March 7, 2004, 100 Best Companies to Work For special supplement.
  • Eric Ng, "Engineering Corporate Creativity," South China Morning Post, July 2012.
  • Tina Nielsen, "Company profile: W. L. Gore & Associates," Director magazine, February 2010.
  • Robert Safian, "How to Lead in a Time of Chaos," Fast Company, October 2012.
  • Rachel Emma Silverman, "Who's the Boss? There isn't One," The Wall Street Journal, June 2012.
  • "The 100 Best Companies to Work For" 1998-2013, FORTUNE magazine.
  • "The Fast Company 50," Fast Company, February 17, 2009.
  • Ross Tucker, "Gore's Kelly: No Titles, All Team," Women's Wear Daily, November 16, 2005.
  • "The Un-CEO," Fast Company, September 2005.
  • Michael Weinreb, "Power to the People," Sales & Marketing Management, April 2003.