Cree

  www.cree.com
  www.cree.com

Cree Reviews

Updated December 8, 2014
Updated December 8, 2014
119 Reviews
2.5
119 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Cree Chairman, President, and CEO Chuck Swoboda
Chuck Swoboda
77 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Excellent and competitive benefits, including ESPP and stock options (in 7 reviews)

  • Good benefits ,3 weeks vacation to start, 401K, really good health insurance plans (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • There's really bad work/life balance and then there's Cree (in 17 reviews)

  • No Work/Life Balance, No Career Development, Poor Managers & Senior Leaders, No Team Work or Collaboration (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

30 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 8 people found this helpful  

    May God have mercy on your soul if you have to work at Cree.

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

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

    Pros

    Decent benefits (but don't plan on getting more than 3-4 days of PTO approved per year if you're salaried) and good job security. There are some departments that are "hidden gems" within Cree that are good to work for, but they are far and few between. You have to be hired into a good department though, so don't plan on starting off in a less desirable position and making a lateral transfer later. Requests to transfer are always denied without comment by management.

    Cons

    Whether you're a recent or upcoming graduate looking for your first engineering job, or if you're a more experienced engineer who just got laid off, let me give you some advice I wish I would have listened to: Do not work at Cree.

    Your experience will be worthless outside Cree and you will be miserable. Cree will affect your life in a very negative way. Your relationships with friends, family, and your SO will suffer, or maybe even be completely lost. Your mental and physical health will suffer. You will have to work 70-80 hours a week while being on call 24/7/365, you will be screamed at (literally) by managers who can't control their anger, you will be micromanaged to the extreme (my group had 3 2-hour long staff meeting every week, plus you were required to send out a ~8 slide update to management 7 days a week, including your days off), and you will only be paid an average salary for it.

    Unless you're at the point where you're going to starve to death, keep looking elsewhere. If you got laid off from your last job, keep milking unemployment, or if that's run out, try prostitution before you work here. As a prostitute, your clients will probably respect you more than Cree managers respect their employees. If you're an experienced engineer looking for a change, I can guarantee you Cree isn't the type of change you're looking for. If you're a new graduate desperate to get your foot in the door, look into field engineering positions at oil service companies first. You will work similar hours but for better pay and a better career path, and possibly even better working conditions.

    Most engineers with only a B.S. who start at Cree end up having to go to graduate school to get out. Cree doesn't use any statistical tools, six sigma, or lean manufacturing that are common at other companies. Most young engineers at Cree end up with 3-4 years of their life wasted doing nothing but work along with a several year block on their resume that's completely worthless.

    I'll repeat the advice I was given many times but ignored: Do. Not. Work. At. Cree.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Out of Touch

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Loser in Morrisville, NC
    Former Employee - Loser in Morrisville, NC

    I worked at Cree

    Pros

    It seems to be good in the beginning. You get an occasional T-shirt and maybe just maybe a light bulb. And if you are a good boy or girl you get to travel to Racine, go to the company cookout or Christmas party.

    Cons

    Now you have to be apart of the homeboy network in order to move up or even keep a job. Forget working hard. They don't care, or reward you. Some managers stay in there office with the door close, then when they do come out they walk by you like your trash. In meetings forget giving ideas or your opinions they will just beat you down and then put an X on you. Forget spending time with family. Everything is a priority only for it to be put on hold. Explain to me how a person can have 10 people in there team in less than a year by quitting and still keep there job?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get new managers or promote people who actually give a care. Chuck needs to get in tune with what is going on with the other sites. (Davis Drive) Never seen him the whole 3 years I worked for Cree. Get out and thank the employees instead of doing it through CreeTV. Also, some of the contractors work harder than full-timers. Listen to the employees who actually care.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 8 people found this helpful  

    What a joke...

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

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

    Pros

    The benefits are good and great learning experience. The operators and techs are fantastic people. They make great LEDs at the expense of employee happiness.

    Cons

    Managers are disconnected with the teams and the company is an organizational chaos. They do not seek to improve on anything that is "working". Don't get paid well for the ridiculously long hours worked. Working 55-65 hours/week are considered normal. If you want to stay physically and mentally healthy, don't work here. There will be no life outside of work either. It seems that company holidays are also not really holidays as you might be required to work during those days. Cree doesn't care about employee happiness whatsoever.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want to grow as a company, keep employees happy. If employees are happy, the company is happy. The company might grow now, but the organizational mess will catch up eventually.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 8 people found this helpful  

    Last Resort

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Finance in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Finance in Raleigh, NC

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

    Pros

    Performed well during the economic downturn, so instead of un/under-employeed I did have a job. On-site gym, cafe, xmas party, spring picnic.

    Cons

    Don't let any of the pros above fool you into going here. Managment (not just manufacturing management, ALL areas I was in FINANCE) is very much lacking. No people skills, no room for growth (salary, personally, professionally) with of course the exception of your job tasks. I stayed for about 3 years (through the recession, see PROS above) with no real increase in pay but my responsbilities grew monthly. Review process is a joke, you don't really get a job description just a "Do whatever it takes" instruction which in turn makes it easy for managment to nit-pick come review time in order to save $ on merit raises/bonuses. Also, why on earth would a C-level executive provide ANY MEANINGFUL feedback to an entry level employee during the annual review process? answer: MICROMANGEMENT; which is the name of the game here. Since leaving i've had family and friends comment that i'm an entirely new person. Understanding the longer hours if you're a revenue generating/production capacity but even in more admin related positions your manager will FIND things for you to do (NO VALUE ADDED) to make sure that you stay longer. Very little internal upward mobility in finance, and if you actually want to leave and go to another area you may get blocked from doing so (BY A C-Level employee mind you) on the basis that you need to improve in your current posiition (ABSOLUTELY no consideration as to what the employee seeks as far as job/professional growth). Now that the stock is in a downward spiral (people's vesting options are worthless, no reason to stay) you'll see plenty of jobs open here shortly. take my word for it (if possible) AND AVOID THIS PLACE LIKE EBOLA.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They're not worried about any advice. I've been in meetings with HR where the glassdoor reviews are mentioned as having an affect on potential hires and the whole issue was blown off, "did you tell them about our strong equity comp?" was the exact reply (C-Suite again). Management is a joke and the current direction of the stock price proves it. TIME TO SWITCH IT UP, BOD.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    Sucks the joy out of life

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

    I have been working at Cree full-time

    Pros

    Some good people. Pay is par.

    Cons

    Non-engineer's are fodder for the machine. They grind through anyone not a PhD or higher as grist for the mill. Require an enormous amount of your time and if you aren't willing to put in the 50+ hours week in and week out, then you obviously aren't committed to success. Middle management are mostly Engineers who have been favored and have no people skills at all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Determine a long term vision and stick to it. Agility is important, but commitment to a goal for more than a quarter builds trust in your employees and your stockholders.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    Cree can be so much better..........

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits, pay, and on site gym was nice. They say there are bonuses but I never saw one.

    Cons

    Horrible mid level leaders. They put engineers with no leadership/communication skills into positions where they potentially have 500 employees working for them. Training of the operators is terrible at best and the retention is not great either. This leads to at least 10 new operators a week, with all the time spent training those who quit being wasted. There is no clear path to advance within the company. When asked with the hard questions, the tactic of deflect and defer only lasts so long. It's bad when they don't even answer the supervisors questions. The schedule isn't bad, but when you continually have to work mandatory and double mandatory every quarter and do nothing about changing the issue, is when they look very immature as a company. There is no flow at all within the manufacturing process and "we have always done it this way" mentality is highly prevalent. They do not want to make changed unless something screws up or breaks. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. You can only beat your head against the wall so much.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wake up. Get involved. Cree can be so much better. Make the changes needed or the competition will pass you by. You are not a mom and pop company. Start acting like you play in the pros. Your people are your key. Start listening and making changes or you will lose everyone of worth. When I left it was a ticking time bomb.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Was a good company, wrong management now

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Optical Applications Engineer in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Optical Applications Engineer in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Cree full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The people that work on the floor make it a great place, they are the backbone of the company

    Cons

    Trying to get ahead, there is no clear path to move up and when asked about it they give you the run around, I guess that comes from all product is made in China and the do not pay or treat those people well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a real life, clean up the brown nosing HR people, Start making your product here instead of China and quit reengineering other peoples product and putting your name on it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Horrible place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Semiconductor Production Worker IV in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Semiconductor Production Worker IV in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Cree full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    No work life balance. Always work, work, work. New goals always going up.... numbers....numbers

    Cons

    Management WILL mislead you and you will end up getting fired. They will tell you they don't know what's happen when they know first hand what going on!!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't look forward to any raise unless you are telling on others, working a lot of OT, you have to make your money yourself

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 7 people found this helpful  

    Awful.

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

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

    Pros

    Huge disparity between departments. Some departments work a strict 9-5 schedule and are empty by 5:01. Others work 7am-10pm 6 days a week. That is not an exaggeration.

    Cons

    If you're working in any department related to LED R&D or LED Operations, expect average pay for absurdly long hours. Cree isn't the only company in the semiconductor industry to expect those kinds of hours, but most other companies try to at least make their work environment tolerable if not pleasant. At Cree, you can expect a high stress, "management by screaming" environment. Don't plan on getting any of your PTO approved either. My manager denied every single one of my requests without comment for my first 2 years at Cree.

    A lot of people are so beaten down that they're just trying to get through the day without getting screamed at or insulted by management. Don't think you can start off in a less desirable department and make a lateral move later in your career. In my 5 years at Cree, I've seen dozens of employees try this. All but one was blocked by upper management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    A waste of my time away from my family!!

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

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

    Pros

    I cant say anything good about this place!!

    Cons

    Inexperienced management, no flexibility, bonuses suck, mandatory overtime, horrible point system, and the pay sucks for as much responsibility and knowledge of things you need to make it there. If you are single with no kids and love to work yourself to death this is the place for you to go. If you have a family, stay away because these people dont care about you or your life outside of their doors! Sexual harassment is off the charts at Cree and surely dont report it because you will find yourself fired in a heart beat. This company was the biggest waste of my time!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Manangement? What a joke!! Just keep doing what you do!!, at ths pace you wont have a job for long!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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