Cree Reviews

Updated June 18, 2015
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Cree Chairman, President, and CEO Chuck Swoboda
Chuck Swoboda
19 Ratings

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

  • good benefits and clean enviroment (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is nonexistent (in 17 reviews)

  • compensation is not as good as i thought; no work life balance; push employee to work long hour with large amount of work (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

36 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (9)

    Night Shift Engineer

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

    I worked at Cree full-time

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

    Pros

    - Comp and benefits were great for an entry level position - Casual work environment (no dress code, refer to managers by their first name) - A lot to learn on the job

    Cons

    The schedule I was on was a complete nightmare. Had to work 2PM - 12AM on Tuesday - Saturday, which means I had no social life whatsoever. That's also a minimum of 50 hours per week, but I rarely got out on time, so it was closer to 60 hours. There is no room to move up the ladder unless you brown nose your superiors and ignore everything but your job. Don't get suckered in by the benefits package unless you're willing to trade your work/life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Acknowledge that night shift sucks and that stress kills productivity. Maybe try working nights for a week.


  2. Helpful (15)

    If all you are after is a paycheck, it is OK for a while

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

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

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

    Pros

    Decent health coverage 401K match ESPP Stock options for salaried employees Provides a paycheck

    Cons

    End-of-quarter syndrome: The company tends to do a lot of stupid things around the end of the quarter (pull in orders from the following quarter, ship ship ship, mandatory weekends, modify thousands of units of X to make Y so we can ship ship ship). This frustrates employees who are bothered by doing stupid things. The end of quarter rush is a huge part of the quality problem the company now has. This is typical of many public companies. One big problem with succumbing to the end of quarter syndrome is that people end up wasting a lot of time. At Cree, nobody has time to waste. There is always too much going on and we are always busy. Employees with brains get frustrated when they are instructed to waste their time. No focus on quality or the customer: The Cree Way is the Cree equivalent of the ten commandments. There is no mention of our customers or quality in the Cree Way. It is focused on moving forward, making progress, and getting it done at all costs (if a procedure gets in your way, go around), and getting it done fast. New products are advertised for sale before the design and production process has been proven to work. That means promises are made to customers, and engineering teams are backed up against hard deadlines. Product must ship, and stopgap measures are used to make the design "work" until the final solution is discovered. Infectious low morale: The company may care about its employees, but the employees do not thinks it does. There has long been an attitude of "if you don't like it, go somewhere else". It seems like management is beginning to realize the shortsightedness of that mentality. With the job market continuing to improve and word getting around, we are having a hard time finding people to come to Cree. Misuse/overuse of the PIP: PIP stands for Performance Improvement Process. Lately there have been several PIPs being issued to engineering team members (for the record, I am not one of them). When placed on a PIP, an employee has a certain amount of time to meet certain goals or he or she is termed. Coworkers are aware when someone is on a PIP, though I do not think we are supposed to. When we see hard working employees termed after a PIP, it does not make sense that it was due to a performance problem. Lack of training (Racine specific): Cree offers a long list of classes intended to improve their work force, but none of these classes are available to Racine employees. They are only offered in Durham. Lack of Quality Engineers: The Racine factory has hundreds of assemblers putting together lights, but there isn't even one person employed as a quality engineer. There is a quality department, but they are auditors/inspectors, and they are very understaffed. Lack of job satisfaction: This is probably the biggest complaint I hear from coworkers. Projects start, but are interrupted by the latest fire or end-of-quarter buffoonery, priorities change, and projects move from engineer to engineer. After a while, you start to wonder what exactly you are accomplishing by working at Cree. If all you are after is a paycheck, Cree is fine. If you want to feel like you have accomplished something that you are proud of, I recommend you look elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    1.) Focus on the customer. 2.) Focus on quality (this is part of #1, but I feel like I need to specify it) I shouldn't have to even mention the first two. 3.) Focus on your assembler's morale. If your assemblers don't care, you will never fix your quality problems on some of your most popular products which require hand assembly.


  3. Helpful (5)

    semiconductor production technician

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

    I have been working at Cree full-time

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

    Pros

    Company Christmas functions and Spring picnics for every one

    Cons

    Pay...benefits.... not enough employee advancements

    Advice to Management

    Step up pay if you want to keep people


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  5. Helpful (18)

    I rather be in Hell drinking hot coco.

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

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

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

    Pros

    A gym and over priced cafeteria.

    Cons

    The pay is not were it suppose to be. Cree treats its employees like crap! High turn around on employees and mangers. Lack of responsibility and work. Very easy to get fired for nothing. Frequent layoffs, always thinking of ways to cut out employees. No hope for advancement. Dead end job. No life outside of Cree. I know people who been here for 8 years and only had a 1.00 raise. Vacation sucks. Please go else where an find a job. One you in you stuck unless you die. Very stressful job never no real time for family.

    Advice to Management

    Spend more time on the floor with employees and learn about their issues and concerns.


  6. Helpful (1)

    I enjoyed the experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assembly Line Worker in Sturtevant, WI
    Former Employee - Assembly Line Worker in Sturtevant, WI

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    working with a lot of good people

    Cons

    The 12 hour shifts with all the overtime was at times a bit too much.

    Advice to Management

    treat all employees equally


  7. Helpful (11)

    Good luck all ye who enter.

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

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

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

    Pros

    The gym is great and was recently fitted with brighter lights. There's a cafeteria on site. Emerging technology that is getting more exposure.

    Cons

    There is no work life balance. If you're on shift work, it's near impossible to enjoy the gym despite all the health and wellness initiatives they've recently been promoting. The cafeteria is overpriced and under portioned. They managed to figure out a legal way to screw hourly employees out of 4 hours of OT every pay period. The pay period is still Sunday to the next Saturday, but they count your hours based on a Wednesday split. I had a paycheck with 95 hours of my regular rate and 5 hours of OT on it because of this absurdity.

    Advice to Management

    You're not rich enough to do things cheaply. Fix it right and fix it once, don't freak out when something breaks over and over because you're too short sighted to do it correctly.


  8. Helpful (4)

    This job doesn't have many people who are willing to train.

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

    I have been working at Cree

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    This company has great benefits and can be very rewarding when the time is right.

    Cons

    This job doesn't have many people who are willing to train.

    Advice to Management

    This company need to focus on helping the new hire with all the training to all machine in the company .


  9. Helpful (12)

    Unusual environment

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

    I have been working at Cree full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    The benefits package is solid. Health, vacation, stock options, ESOP. Cree has a cafeteria and gym. They also promote donating to worthy civic causes - blood drive, etc.

    Cons

    As many have mentioned, the work/life balance is inadequate. Most exempt employees are expected to be available 24/7. This includes holidays, weekends and vacations. It is not unusual to be on conference calls, or receive emails that you are expected to respond to, at 10:00 at night. As a result, tension is high and there is a high turnover of employees. Interestingly, there is also a high churn rate for supervisors and managers. It appears rare to find a manager holding their position for more than 2 years. They either leave, or are moved to other positions.

    Advice to Management

    1. Take a new look at the "Cree Way". It is not working. Many employees - including several managers I have spoken with - mock it. 2. It amazes me how many long-term Cree employees are unhappy working here. As a company, being flexible is one thing. Working in a chaotic, reactionary environment is something else entirely.


  10. Helpful (11)

    Do not board this sinking ship

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

    I worked at Cree

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

    Pros

    Some coworkers; benefits; job security

    Cons

    You are not valued as an employee. They value the shareholders. Mandatory overtime with absolutely no appreciation.

    Advice to Management

    People have families. They want to spend time with them. They are not robots.


  11. Helpful (10)

    Career started off as a very empowering experience, but quickly turned into a toxic one.

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

    I worked at Cree

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, compensation package, employee stock purchase plan, excellent people with great talent

    Cons

    Employees are not considered a resource. No emphasis on people. Everyone is considered replaceable. Very data driven. No work-life balance. Cut throat environment. Leadership constantly changing. There is not a defined vision shared by the leaders. High turn-over in most areas.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on developing the great employees that work for you. At the end of the day, these are the people that help make your bottom line. Step up your employee relations, and show empathy for people. Ensure that your mission and values are shared by all management and communicated to all employees.



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