FORTUNE -- For the first time since the FDA came down hard on 23andMe for marketing its DNA tests without proper approvals, founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki spoke about "the big challenge," as she called the firestorm, in an exclusive interview with Fortune.
"We failed to communicate proactively," Anne Wojcicki told the Fortune audience of 100 women leaders. Now scrambling to comply with the FDA's demands, Wojcicki has stopped advertising 23andMe's $99 DNA test kits. Meanwhile, she's facing a class-action lawsuit that claims that her company's ads are misleading and the results of its genetic tests aren't supported by scientific evidence.
23andMe has plenty of financial backing to weather this storm: $126 million in funding from Google, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, among others. Nonetheless, this is a seriously tough period for one of Silicon Valley's rising star entrepreneurs. Earlier this year, Wojcicki separated from her husband, Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The couple has two children.
Elder sister Susan and their mother, Esther, who was in the audience Tuesday evening, are offering helpful advice. To solve any problems, Esther told her daughters, you need to break them down: "Big challenges are an accumulation of small challenges," Anne said she learned from her mother.
Susan Wojcicki sympathetically noted that the genetics industry is a lot like the Internet was 15 years ago—a Wild West where the rules are newly forming and pioneers are constantly scrutinized. "In some ways, both companies [Google and 23andMe] are doing things that have never been done before," Susan said.
For more on 23andMe's FDA challenge and my exclusive interview with the Wojcicki sisters, read my colleague Michal Lev-ram's post here.
The boardroom is the last glass ceiling--where women are not making decent gains. Fortune 500 directors weigh in on what to do about it.
At a time when colleges are graduating significantly more women than men, barely 17% of Fortune 500 company directors are female, and progress has stalled for the past seven years. This doesn't make much sense.
One well-known corporate director stirred the pot last week, playing provocateur as I MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 26, 2013 11:20 AM ET
The audacious entrepreneur rang in his 75th year and talked to Fortune about his extraordinary life and what's ahead.
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Maye Musk, mother of Elon, shares stories about raising the visionary entrepreneur, all while building businesses of her own.
FORTUNE -- You may recognize Maye Musk from her 2011 New York Magazine cover, a provocative photograph of the 63-year-old model, nude and photoshopped to make her appear nine months pregnant a la Demi Moore's Vanity Fair cover. (The cover line, "Is She Just Too Old For This?" teased a story about MOREColleen Leahey, Reporter - Nov 22, 2013 8:00 AM ET
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and six other star powerful women make Fortune's Businessperson of the Year list.
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A Coke exec went homeless for a night to learn how struggling young people live--and left with new perspective on talent and opportunity.
As SVP of the Global Sparkling Brand Center at Coca-Cola (KO), Wendy Clark spends plenty of time studying young people. Understanding how young people live and what they aspire to is key to the success of this rising-star executive who oversees brand strategy and integrated marketing communications, including global MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 18, 2013 11:16 AM ET
Executive and politician Laura Cha explains how the financial center can keep growing.
FORTUNE -- Hong Kong needs to develop additional financial-services capabilities and areas of expertise if it wants to remain a top global player, Laura Cha, chairman of Hong Kong's Financial Services Development Council, told a group of leading businesswomen here.
"We cannot afford to stand still," Cha said at Fortune Most Powerful Women Asia, an inaugural gathering of mostly MOREStephanie N. Mehta, Deputy Managing Editor - Nov 12, 2013 5:54 PM ET
Even Warren Buffett wasn't the smartest guy when he started investing. Who taught him to hunt for quality?
When Warren Buffett began investing more than 60 years ago, he tended to buy mediocre businesses at mediocre prices.
Then someone gave the Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) CEO the best advice he says he ever got. That is: Pay up for really good businesses like American Express (AXP) and See's Candies.
Buffett's adviser: Charlie Munger, who MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 8, 2013 1:19 PM ET
The Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Starbucks (SBUX) board member shares the leadership lessons she learned at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit.
By Clara Shih, founder and CEO of Hearsay Social
This October, I attended the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, D.C., and spoke on a panel with three other women under age 40: Warren Buffett's financial assistant Tracy Britt Cool, Cinnabon President Kat Cole, and SunRun founder and CEO MOREColleen Leahey, Reporter - Nov 7, 2013 12:42 PM ET
Mellody Hobson has a slate of corporate board seats that many a star executive would envy: She is a director at Starbucks (SBUX), Estee Lauder (EL), Groupon (GRPN) and DreamWorks Animation (DWA). And while her day job is serving as president of Chicago-based Ariel Investments, Hobson is also non-executive chairman of DreamWorks—as well as one of CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg's most trusted advisors.
How did Hobson get such plum corporate gigs? For MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 6, 2013 10:50 AM ET
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