A123 Systems

  www.a123systems.com
  www.a123systems.com

A123 Systems Reviews

Updated July 28, 2014
Updated July 28, 2014
58 Reviews
2.1
58 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Jason Forcier
7 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Get paid while you are not doing that mich work, good benefits (in 5 reviews)

  • a lot of nice and smart people, at least used to be (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • The top management team is interested in Wall street and their golden parachute only (in 4 reviews)

  • lots of bad decisions by management that led to lots of wasted time/money; lack of communication; no sense of direction or plansfor improve (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

11 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Interesting technology, poor management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA

    I worked at A123 Systems full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The company paid well and provided nice employee perks. For example, there were regularly catered breakfasts and lunches.

    Cons

    The company had seemingly good technology but inexperienced/ non qualified management pushing the product forward. They were more concerned about getting a production line up and running than fixing the fundamental problems of the technology. The management in my department was extremely unprofessional. The technicians were constantly at odds with the senior manager and said manager was known for getting in frequent arguments and bad talking his peers and employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Great Products, cool technology, lots of growing pains

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Quality Engineer in Chesterfield, MO
    Former Employee - Senior Software Quality Engineer in Chesterfield, MO

    I worked at A123 Systems full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great freedom to implement and explore new technologies. Very much a "get the job done" environment. Good compensation, and opportunity to affect change.

    Cons

    Appearance of instability, lack of profitability, very reactive (not proactive) management. Benefits went from top tier to bottom of the barrel because of lack of profits, very disappointing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take advantage of the NEC acquisition and bring the company back to the desirable status it once had as a an employer.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    A123 Systems

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at A123 Systems

    Pros

    Extremely intelligent people with cutting edge technology that had the potential to change the electric car industry in the United States.

    Cons

    The company failed to execute at the operational level. The company became too fragmented between the operations in Michigan and the R&D in Massaschusetts.

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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Stay away

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Database Administrator in Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Database Administrator in Waltham, MA

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    None. There are some great employees there but most have either left or being laid off.

    Cons

    Top heavy. Too many incompetent managers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Too much focus/gamble on automotive.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer in Westborough, MA
    Former Employee - Engineer in Westborough, MA

    I worked at A123 Systems full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very nice and smart people to work with on a day-day basis.
    Above average salary and benefits.

    Cons

    The "Good Old Boys Network" was very strong at the senior management level.
    Too many Directors and Managers; not enough people to do the work.
    Low -performing managers were not identified properly.
    Designing high-power battery packs can be stressful.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Chaos

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livonia, MI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livonia, MI

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great benefits (medical, dental, vision, 3 weeks paid vacation, 1 week paid sick time, 13 paid holidays) & Great people

    Cons

    Financially irresponsible, favoritism throughout the company, inefficient communication

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Utilize the resources you have before throwing money at the problem. Lead by example.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    A123 Systems might succeed with better leadership and more knowledgeable customers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Mechanical Engineer in Westborough, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Mechanical Engineer in Westborough, MA

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good salary, good benefits, reasonable flexibility and occasional WFH permitted. Reasonably strong engineering core with many years of battery system experience and best practice habits. Good technology exposure and full willingness of upper management to commit resources to support program development.

    Cons

    Too many levels of management trump engineering efforts with poorly founded decisions and political maneuvering. Management is not entirely unreasonable - however, critical decisions too often appear to be based on gut instinct and not data, calculations, or consensus. This extinguishes true investigative efforts.
    Engineering core often turns over, which leads to an interruption of collective knowledge continuity, which means every single project is effectively a start-from-scratch design, with ever shortening deadlines.
    Senior management does not provide true buy-in support for mandated program goals, causing conflict between departments and middle management.
    Stop chasing the shiny ball and constantly hitting the reset button on projects because another new opportunity just popped up. Every opportunity can't be THE opportunity we've been waiting for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop promising impossibly low budget product to customers with breakneck program paces - Product quality and reliability deserve more respect than you give them.
    Stop meddling in engineering efforts. Stop ignoring the obvious problem areas of culture driven by middle management and focus on freeing up the constraints that will allow project teams to deliver superior product on time at budget.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    An OK place to work...communication is lacking

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Production Operator in Romulus, MI
    Current Employee - Production Operator in Romulus, MI

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Clean environment, easy work load, temperature controlled, management is nice. Great benefit package.

    Cons

    Communication amongst shifts and the "higher ups" is pretty poor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Good co-workers, poor management execution

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at A123 Systems

    Pros

    Co-workers were friendly and supportive. Was a good learning experience in a new technology area. Immediate managers were professional. Compensation and benefits seemed generally above average.

    Cons

    They have gone into bankruptcy now which seemed where they were headed while I was there. Everything seemed to be a rush to make product while little effort was put into establishing the necessary fundamentals first. Quality seemed to suffer as a results and the enviroment was frequently chaotic with much "putting out fires" behavior. A lot of spending without careful consideration of need or advisability.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Should have taken more time to have built a solid base.

    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Good place

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at A123 Systems

    Pros

    great opportunity to learn an emerging technology

    Cons

    still has growing pains to over come

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