John Martin was born in Hillsborough, California, United States. John Martin is #1901 in List Billionaires People In The World. John Martin, who has a PhD in organic chemistry, led pharma giant Gilead Sciences for two decades. He was its CEO from 1996 until March 2016, and now serves as executive chairman. He owns less than 1% of Gilead's shares, having sold off much of his stake. Originally the head of research when he joined in 1990, he oversaw Gilead's growth into a powerhouse with the development of several drugs to treat HIV that patients could take just once a day, and with fewer side effects than previous HIV drugs. Gilead spent $11 billion in 2011 to acquire Pharmasset, and completed development of that company's Hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi. The drug has drawn scrutiny due to its high cost but at the same time has become a blockbuster because of its ability to cure the disease quickly and effectively. In April 2016 Gilead acquired Nimbus Apollo, paying $400 million up front for Nimbus' new liver cancer treatment; if certain milestones are met, Gilead may pay as much as $800 million more.