San Diego Business Journal

Executive Profile: Douglas Bryant

By Steve Adamek Monday, February 20, 2012

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Douglas Bryant

RESUME

Name: Douglas Bryant.

Company: Quidel Corp.

Titles: President and chief executive officer.

Revenue: Estimated 2011 revenue is $157.4 million (Thomson Reuters consensus estimate).

No. of employees: 513.

Year founded: Established in 1979, and went public in 1991.

Education: BA, economics, UC Davis, 1979.

Birthplace: Oklahoma City, Okla.

Age: 54.

Current residence: San Diego (Santaluz).

Family: Wife, Kathy; son, Jeff; daughters, Amanda and Alyssa.

Douglas Bryant is president and chief executive officer of Quidel Corp.(QDEL), a leading provider of rapid diagnostic tests and cellular-based virology assays. Quidel’s products are used in physicians’ offices and hospital and reference laboratories as an aid in the detection and diagnosis of many critical diseases and conditions such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, strep A, herpes, pregnancy, thyroid disease and fecal occult blood.

BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY

Essential business philosophy: Focus on the two to three things that matter, and give your people permission to de-emphasize the things that don’t.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Find success and iterate faster than your competitors. Execute and win as a team. Do things well, at speed.

Guiding principles: Read the documents. Sweat the details. Do the work.

Yardsticks of success: Achievement of key R&D milestones that lead to revenue acceleration.

Goals yet to be achieved: Lower dependence on a robust respiratory disease season.

JUDGMENT CALLS

Best business decision: Spending $130 million to acquire Diagnostic Hybrids in 2010. The acquisition broadened our portfolio and gave us critical R&D resources that have accelerated product development.

Worst business decision: I acted too quickly and put a very talented executive in the wrong job, and ultimately ended up losing him.

Toughest business decision: In 2009, we needed to reduce the size of the organization and took out about 30 positions (about 10 percent of the organization at that time).

Biggest missed opportunity: I underbid on an asset that could have been strategically important for our company. Lesson learned: You cannot overpay for a good asset.

Mentor: I’ve been fortunate to have several mentors in my life. In recent years, Jack Schuler and Tom Brown, both board members of our company, have been especially supportive and helpful.

Word that describes you: Dedicated.

TRUE CONFESSIONS

What you like best about your job: Leading a team of very smart, talented people in pursuit of a common purpose. Keeping up with them is challenging and fun.

What you like least about your job: The commute on state Route 56.

Pet peeves: Overt displays of ego: They really hurt a team’s effectiveness.

Most important lesson learned: Achievement of goals (and things) is great, but it does not create happiness. You have to love the process and the work.

Three greatest passions: Reading, running, and playing the piano.

PREDILECTIONS

Favorite quote: “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” — Winston Churchill.

Most influential book: “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” by Patrick Lencioni.

Favorite status symbol: None. (I drive an 8-year-old car.)

Favorite restaurant: Ozumo, in San Francisco.

Favorite place for business meetings: Grand Del Mar. It’s close to the office.

Favorite vacation spot: Maui, Hawaii.

Favorite way to spend time: Playing board games with the family.