The Research Triangle Park

Leading North Carolina: Bob Ingram

By Aug 11, 2015

Leading North Carolina is a series of profiles that focuses on the Board of Directors for the Research Triangle Foundation of NC. This board of unique and storied individuals helps to guide the future of the Research Triangle Park. Without their wisdom and insight, RTP would not be on the path to redevelopment that it is today. 

Bob Ingram is a longtime Durham resident and a general partner of Hatteras Venture Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in early stage life science companies in the southeast United States. He’s been described as a “doer extraordinaire.”

Earlier this year, Bob, the former CEO and chairman of GlaxoWellcome, was named to the Bull City Hall of Fame for his leadership role in the life science industry on an international scale.

In 1990, Bob joined Glaxo, Inc., as executive vice president of administrative and regulatory affairs and assumed a series of increasingly responsible positions. He rose through a series of roles with increasing responsibility to ultimately become CEO/chairman of GlaxoWellcome.  He co-led the merger and integration that formed GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s second largest pharmaceutical company.  He retired from GSK in 2003.

Upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 60, he was asked by the board to serve as vice chairman pharmaceuticals, GSK, which he did until January 1, 2010, at which time he became strategic advisor to the chief executive officer, GlaxoSmithKline.

Bob received his bachelor’s in business administration from Eastern Illinois University. He started his career as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Marion Laboratories, which became Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He left and went to Merck, where he worked his way to top management positions.

In 2014, Bob received the North Carolina Award, the highest civilian honor the state can bestow on an individual. He received the award for public service. Bob was asked by President George H.W. Bush to form the CEO Roundtable on Cancer and appointed by President George W. Bush to the National Institutes of Health Cancer Advisory Board. He serves on the James B. Hunt Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy.

He is recognized for his compassion. As the CEO and Chairman at GlaxoWellcome, he was summoned to Washington, D.C., where the Surgeon General asked him to bypass protocol and provide a drug waiting for FDA approval to a young girl with terminal cancer. Bob provide the drug and the girl is now a healthy woman.

Bob has been on the cover of Business Leader and Forbes magazines.

He serves as lead director of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and Cree, Inc.  He is also a member of the board of directors of Edwards Lifesciences Corporation and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and is chairman of Viamet, a private company focused on anti-infective research.

Bob is a member of the boards for the James B. Hunt Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, CEO Roundtable on Cancer, Research Triangle Institute and GlaxoSmithKline Foundation.  He serves as chairman of Research Triangle Foundation. 

He’s been leading the way with RTF CEO Bob Geolas to urbanize the Park. RTF plans to raise the $2 billion needed to transition the Park into a place, where people can live, work and play.

“We are changing the model from one of big companies putting large campuses in the Park,” says Bob Ingram. “We obviously want to them to stay and grow. We also want to supplement those large companies with a place that attracts startups and smaller companies… and allow people the convenience of having the choice to live in the Park.”

Instead of isolated campuses, the Park’s new master plan will allow for sidewalks and trails connecting one location to another. The Park would be a place, where residents and workers can walk to work or ride a bicycle to the job or to a restaurant.

“That’s all a part of our new plan,” Bob says. He’s also hoping the Park will also attract new investment firms for the state. North Carolina has more than 600 life science companies, more than 60,000 people working in those labs and factories and offices.

There are three life science centers of excellence, the San Francisco-Bay area in California, the Boston- area in Massachusetts and Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. “We stack up very well in research investments by government. But we only have Hatteras and a handful of other venture capital investment firms operating within the state.”

Bob believes, “If the Park continues to grow and fulfills the plan, that will be more of a magnet for venture capital firms to locate here.”