Biogen Idec Reviews

Updated June 26, 2015
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Biogen Idec CEO and Director George A. Scangos
George A. Scangos
14 Ratings

Pros
  • There is a great work/life balance at this company and many activities to take part in that are sponsored by Biogen Idec outside of work (in 25 reviews)

  • Great benefits and work environment (in 25 reviews)

Cons
  • Not the greatest work-life balance (in 15 reviews)

  • Upper management has lost touch with the common employees even though you are now located in Cambridge (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

28 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    Great vision and potential muddied by middle management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate Scientist in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Senior Associate Scientist in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I have been working at Biogen Idec

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The company offers excellent pay and benefits. Biogen is creating something good for the world and really values its patients. The strategic vision for the company is excellent and I believe Biogen will continue to dominate each market segment it ventures into for years to come.

    Cons

    The ideas of junior scientists are not valued and contractors are treated well but strung along for years. In my opinion a contractor should never be renewed for a second year... if they're worth renewing, they're worth hiring FT. We're not talking about 16 year old kids, we're talking about adults who would like to have health insurance and 401k plans provided by their employer. Junior and mid-level scientists are taught to fall in line, don't rock the boat, and never stand against convention or you will be flogged through a concerted effort of "powers that be". I see people come straight out of college with the same excitement and fresh ideas that the CEO and top executives are always talking about, but middle management does not have the same appetite for risk and 7 levels later, it's like working for contrary accountants, not innovative scientists and engineers. All of these things are mostly isolated to the "little brother" RTP site in my experience. There is not any company sponsored social hour in RTP, while Cambridge has weekly social "hour" from 4-7 where beer, wine and appetizers/snacks are served. RTP feels like a forgotten little brother by comparison. When we launched a new drug, all of Cambridge went to Fenway Park to celebrate and cavort for hours, leaving work early and partying into the evening. In RTP, we celebrated in the Biogen courtyard from 12-2 and then wen't back to work. They were nice enough to provide us with a Fenway Park backdrop, in case we wanted to have a picture taken for the "Outta The Park!" theme. There was banana pudding and iced tea. There is also a lot of talk about internal mobility and the value of a diversely trained work force, but in reality most of the people who are hired into mid and upper level positions have been doing the same job for years, only at a different company. There is a strong push for anyone wanting to advance their career to leave the company. People are routinely hired in at hire levels than peers with the same experience and education profile, and the longer you work there, the worse the disparity gets.

    Advice to Management

    Eliminate ineffective middle managers, especially in development. Focus on creating a better culture in RTP (serving beer will go a long way). Make current employees feel like they are better off staying at Biogen than leaving if they want to advance their career. Move people around regularly to break the hard silos, encourage communication, invigorate workers and keep things interesting.


  2. Helpful (10)

    Not the company everyone used to love

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Patient Services Coordinator in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Patient Services Coordinator in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I have been working at Biogen Idec full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Fantastic benefits - Great, hard working peers - Gym

    Cons

    - Priorities and expectations change daily making it difficult to achieve goals that were implemented six months prior. - NO TRANSPARENCY! you go to work every day without knowing why you're doing the things you do (besides helping the patient). - Morale is at an all time low, instead of listening to the employee silly programs are created. - Your success or failure is based on your direct manager.

    Advice to Management

    is upper management aligned to lower management to make sure the direction is being followed properly instead of having their own interpretation?


  3. Helpful (2)

    Highly volatile

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

    I worked at Biogen Idec full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Good salary, good products, very high intensity peer group

    Cons

    Tremendous amount of turnover, especially of middle/senior management. Makes for a very uneasy and toxic work environment.

    Advice to Management

    Do not consider your employees disposable.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Out-of-touch with true business needs

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

    I worked at Biogen Idec full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Salary, beautiful campus, some very well-qualified employees,

    Cons

    Unstable work force (frequent random layoffs rolling through organization); open floor plans are disruptive; cold; they work their employees hard; disjointed operations.

    Advice to Management

    Get to know your employees and their vision for an ideal, improved dept rather than hire an outside consultant (ie.g. Deloitte) to tell you what to do with a department they know nothing about. Your people are a strong resource and are better qualified to advise on how to bring about excellence. Learn from past operational mistakes and implement changes.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Supposedly a great place to work as long as your in the right department.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Senior Network Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Former Contractor - Senior Network Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC

    I worked at Biogen Idec as a contractor (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent pay and perks for workers.Free sodas, company picnics and functions when a drug has been approved.

    Cons

    If you work in IT this is one of the WORST companies to work for. The company has a run thin attitude and burns their employees out big time. The company has grown rapidly during recent years and senior management is full of over paid, unprofessional, low class people. There is zero planning prior to roll outs and IT is always in reactive mode. Management has no idea of how to run a large organization and needs to be changed. The company will lure you in with great compensation but work life balance is not existent and they'll work you like a dog. The excellent pay is enough to attract and retain people but you will not think its a well ran IT shop and will ponder if the politics, stress, and poor management are worth the money. Almost all IT workers admit that if the pay wasn't better than most companies they would not be working there. A new EVP of IT recently joined and I hope she can bring IT at this company into the 20th century. The jury's still out but you've been warned!!!

    Advice to Management

    Bring in people who know how a large organizations IT department is supposed to be ran.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Politically charged group

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

    I worked at Biogen Idec full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Stock options and stock bonus

    Cons

    very political, and management cares about perception than reality

    Advice to Management

    respect quality employees


  8. Helpful (6)

    Breach of Agreed Upon Paid Terms for Contractor

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - IT Senior Business Analyst in Weston, MA
    Former Contractor - IT Senior Business Analyst in Weston, MA

    I worked at Biogen Idec as a contractor (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Free soda, free water, lots of modern work space, compensation

    Cons

    Lack of Leader communication, work-life balance non existent, un-realistic expectations

    Advice to Management

    Have more accurate work effort sizing - have offshore dev team to be accountable


  9. Helpful (9)

    In IT? Work at BIIB for money and benefits, not sanity.

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

    I worked at Biogen Idec full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits are pretty good, and the company's future looks bright. If you're lucky, your direct report will shield you from most of the mess from above.

    Cons

    If you're looking for quarterly re-orgs, leadership by fear, incessant politicking, a refusal to acknowledge or address incompetence, the Peter Principle in action, and an ostrich-like approach to looming disasters even when presented with proactive solutions -- then run, don't walk, to the Biogen head office (if you can find it, they have trouble deciding where to keep it) and request an application, stat.


  10. Helpful (4)

    Marketing

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

    I worked at Biogen Idec full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    - pay - pipeline - some of the best products in the market

    Cons

    - management - work-life-balance - job security (constant fear of losing job if you do not do what management says) - retaliation

    Advice to Management

    Take a long look at your 'middle' management. Many of them are great at managing up but not at actually managing people. Most do not have any past management experience before taking the job.


  11. Helpful (5)

    Area Business Manager

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

    I have been working at Biogen Idec

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

    Pros

    great pipeline, nice stock options including RSUs and purchase plan, CEO has grasp on future of the company and is a genuinely nice person

    Cons

    negative culture, inexperienced managers, VP of sales is from primary care and has convinced upper management that a1990s primary care like pod environment is a great idea for a biotech company

    Advice to Management

    Biotech should be high tech with highly competent sales people and managers, hire managers with experience



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