As president and CEO of Advaxis, a biotech firm based in Princeton, N.J., Dan O’Connor has turned around a struggling company into a leading developer of cancer immunotherapies. In his three years at the helm, he’s grown Advaxis from five to 75 employees. A former U.S. Marine, O’Connor worked as a criminal prosecutor in New Jersey before becoming a corporate attorney. In 2015, Ernst & Young named him Entrepreneur of the Year in New Jersey.
Executive: What did your experience in the Marines teach you about leadership?
O’Connor: From the first day in the Marines, you learn you have to earn the privilege to lead. You must be selfless. You put the needs of those you lead ahead of your needs.
Can you give an example?
Officers always eat last in the mess hall. You put yourself at the end of the line. But it’s more than that. If your unit is facing a dangerous situation, you go first into the danger. You don’t lead from ...(register to read more)