A biotech CEO who sold his last company for $14 billion shares his best career advice

David Hung AxovantCourtesy AxovantAxovant CEO David Hung

David Hung spent more than a decade in Silicon Valley while at the helm of a biotech company.

Hung’s the CEO of Axovant, a company that has a shot to launch the first new Alzheimer’s drug in 15 years. Before joining the company in April, Hung founded Medivation, a cancer drugmaker based San Francisco that Pfizer bought for $US14 billion in August 2016.

Business Insider asked Hung for his best career advice, and his answer was simple: Prioritise the value of what you’re making over wealth.

“One piece of advice I’d probably give to everyone is that there’s a very big difference between creating wealth and creating value. I’m not sure that a lot of the things that are worked on in Silicon Valley necessarily address some of the world’s biggest needs or constitute the greatest value creation.”

Some of the areas that still need addressing include healthcare, the environment, energy, and issues relating to poverty, Hung said. If you prioritise something of value, ideally you’ll still be able to make money along the way.

“I think that if you do something important, it should be plenty lucrative, but you can’t make that the goal,” Hung said. “The goal should be to create value, and if you create real value, you’ll create wealth. Sometimes I feel that people are doing it a little bit backwards.”

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