W. L. Gore & Associates: Developing Global Teams to Meet Twenty-First-Century Challenges - CLEO Skip to main content


In 2008, W. L. Gore & Associates celebrated its fiftieth year in business. During the first four decades of its existence, Gore became famous for its products and for its use of business teams located in a single facility. To facilitate the development of teams, corporate facilities were kept to 200 associates or fewer. Due to the challenges of a global marketplace, business teams are no longer in a single facility. They are now often spread over four continents. Products are sold on six continents and used on all seven, as well as under the ocean and in space. The challenge of having a successful global presence requires virtual teams to enable a high degree of coordination in the development, production, and marketing of products to customers across the world. As previously, teams are defined primarily by product, but no longer by facility. Team members are now separated by thousands of miles, multiple time zones, and a variety of languages and cultures. Growth and globalization present significant challenges for Gore as it strives to maintain a family-like, entrepreneurial culture.