Amyris Reviews

Updated January 12, 2015
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3.0
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John Melo
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6 Employee Reviews

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  1. Amazing science hamstrung by politics

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

    I worked at Amyris

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The science at Amyris is absolutely top-notch, and the people are largely fantastic. R+D is certainly a shining star in terms of performance. The salary was near the top of the spectrum for my role (however, I know others to have complained about their situation, so that may vary). The happy hours are a lot of fun, and they provide lunch 3 days a week and snacks all the time.

    Cons

    The number one problem at Amyris is the political landscape - there was too much focus on strategy and not enough on just getting work done. Soft skills get touted over technical skills at the expense of project. And there is a significant amount of territorial behavior that overshadowed functional work completion.

  2. Company with great potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Amyris full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits, amyrous culture (open, fun, friendly), good recognition and promotion potential if you are under the right manager.

    Cons

    Top heavy. There are more directors than employees.

    Advice to Management

    Talk less and deliver

  3. Great science and lots of work to do and to learn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Scientist I in Emeryville, CA
    Former Contractor - Scientist I in Emeryville, CA

    I worked at Amyris as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I had to know great people who are doing great science. Amyris is something between industry and academia. Since most people over there, have their first job after the postdoc or grad school, the learning culture is in the air.
    People work long sometimes but it is not crazy.

    They have 3 days free lunch, Friday happy hour and Monday breakfast.

    Cons

    As a contractor, I had issues with how the company decided to renew my contract and the end to end my contract. Till the last minute, nothing was really clear.
    At the time I was there, we had to write monthly report every month as well as weekly update which I found it too much!
    There are many meeting sometimes that can affect how things can be done.

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  5. Great people but VC-led with no market experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business in Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Business in Emeryville, CA

    I worked at Amyris full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Culture and people are awesome. Great perks and supportive colleagues that you can talk turkey with and have a few beers

    Cons

    Classic example of VC-led company. Low in operations experience/execution and understanding of product verticals. Some people are VERY political

    Advice to Management

    Management has already been shaken up a bunch. VCs (John Doerr) are trying to maintain their reputation so I presume they'll just keep financing their way to a John Doerr exit that's not too much of a blemish

  6. Helpful (3)

    Great science, poor management.

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

    I have been working at Amyris full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The scientists are truly first rate. These are some of the best strain engineers in the world. Everyone in Research is encouraged to experiment outside of standard project plans and to follow their own intuitions.

    Cons

    The company is very, very management heavy, especially at the top layer. The majority of the personnel at the top layer are not very good at their jobs, nor do they spend any effort in nurturing the careers of the people below them. The overall culture seems accepting and fun on the outside, but on the inside, there's an incredible amount of dishonesty and politics involved with nearly every major decision. Boundaries are poorly delineated and people fight over them constantly.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the executives who don't contribute high value and who are not helping grow the talents of the company. Invest in the futures of the lower-level staff or they're going to leave. Replace the senior HR official(s) with true employee advocates that mid-level managers and lower can trust to help them. Remove the last remaining founder, as he is manic, unfocused, and does nothing but disrupt important work and cause problems while pulling down an oversized salary.

  7. Helpful (1)

    chaotic

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

    I worked at Amyris full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    passionate people, good science, lots of potential, co-workers are great, great culture - lots of intersting ideas floating around

    Cons

    bad execution, some senior managers tend to micro-manage, wrong people in top positions, lots of energy wasted over office politics, company struggling to define itself as a manufacturing entity, process development headed by incompetent people who have to scale up experience

    Advice to Management

    hire right people in the right places - people without proper experience in top position leads to botched up execution

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