Cree Reviews

Updated October 13, 2014
Updated October 13, 2014
113 Reviews
2.6
113 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

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

  • Good opportunity to make decent cash on stock options sometimes (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • There's really bad work/life balance and then there's Cree (in 16 reviews)

  • No Work/Life Balance, No Career Development, Poor Managers & Senior Leaders, No Team Work or Collaboration (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

28 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 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
  2. 2 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
  3. 3 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
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review
  5. 4 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 4 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
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    No.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cree

    Pros

    Plenty of opportunity for over-time. Benefits are pretty good. There is a very diversified work force. You are almost certain to work with people from a variety of other companies.

    Cons

    Where to start. The policies that Cree has were set in place to "protect" the employee. It's more like there are loads of policies set in place to give you absolutely no freedom. Cree seems to be about keeping their employees on a short leash. They give you an occurrence for any time you are late, call-out without 24 hour notice, etc. I called out one day because of inclement weather. I couldn't get out of my driveway due to snow and ice. A state of emergency was declared yet Cree not only stayed open, they stated that you should be at work within 6 hours of your scheduled start time or get an occurrence. I live an hour away! A engineer there who lives 10 minutes away took 2 hours to get in. In short, they are micro-managing as hell. If you have no life, no family, no hobbies, and have no desire to do anything other than work, Cree is the place for you. One of the Pros I listed was a opportunity for over-time. While this is true they often make it mandatory and upper management is completely oblivious as to what is going on on the floor. They usually start mandatory over-time too late and never end it when they should. There are people in all the time for over-time and there is literally NOTHING to do! It was like that for the last two weeks I have worked and I haven't heard any rumors of it stopping any time soon. Maybe I'm being a bit dramatic but Cree really seems like they try to control their employees. Unless you are really in need of a job, look else where.

    Doesn't Recommend
  11. 7 people found this helpful  

    Used to be a great place to work

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

    I worked at Cree full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Back in 1999, when it was still considered a startup, it was a great place to work. It used to have great benefits, it used to have a good bonus program, it used to have a lot of things until Chuck took over.

    Cons

    Read what about 90% of comments here have said. There's really bad work/life balance and then there's Cree. Even in 1999, there was no balance but at least an attempt at compensation was made. Cree has maintained the work expectations of a startup company while evolving their pay/benefits schedule to that of a big company. If you want no life outside of work, come on board!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to share and learn how to say those two simple magic words - thank you. Share your successes. Hard as it is for Chuck and the rest to admit, you're not the entire reason for business successes and everybody else isn't the reason for failure. The only time Chuck would give me the time of day was the few times my business segment had some struggles. When things were going well, a simple "thanks" or "nice job" or "way to go" apparently took too much effort.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

Cree Photos

Cree Clean Room
Cree Building 10 Entrance
Cree Type C Goniophotometer in Bld 10

+ Add Photo

Work at Cree? Share Your Experiences

Cree

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.