GrafTech International
1.7 of 5 19 reviews
www.graftech.com Parma, OH 1000 to 5000 Employees

GrafTech International Reviews

Updated Mar 5, 2014

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1.7 19 reviews

                             

17% Approve of the CEO

GrafTech International Chairman, President, and CEO Craig S. Shular

Craig S. Shular

(12 ratings)

13% of employees recommend this company to a friend
11 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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2 people found this helpful  

Vote for a Change.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at GrafTech International full-time for more than 5 years

ProsThe senior management makes it very easy to leave. They actually encourage people to leave because it makes it easier for them to sell the newer employees on their "plan". This is part of their ongoing restructuring strategy.

Fortunately there is an alternative being presented to shareholders and I highly reccomend that it be taken. The vote in May is an opportunity to give someone else a chance to do something with the assets of Graftech.

I mean....borrowing $100,000,000 to buy the stock back at $11.00 a share and not give raises or bonuses to employees or dividends to shareholders? The senior management pay package is grounded in a higher stock price so who do you think benefited from that transaction? The prospectus is a public document!

ConsLowest Moral and Highest level of confusion of any company I have ever worked for.

There is an arrogance at the top including the Board that gives the impression that "you" are lucky to have their guidance. When you look at the record of this company you wonder how the "cover up" can be kept in place so long until you realize that the very few take care of only themselves and everyone else is just plain lucky to be able to be in their presence.

There is one certainty about this company and that is that the senior management will restructure. There is very little interest in or influence over the customer and therefore it seems imperative to make it look like you know something and the only way for them to do that is to restructure. Operating results are of no interest to them. If something is going bad, restructure and give the new structure a new spin.

The amount of money given to senior management by themselves and the Board for the results that have been achieved is way out of line. But then the Board pays themselves more than any manager at Graftech makes. The Board executive compensation committee is listening to some outside consultant who is beeing paid to support their position. Wouldn't you do the same if you were being paid$1,000,000 as a consultant to determine how much senior management should be paid?

The company results are the worst in their industry and for sure make this the black sheep of the Cleveland industrial community. Proud to be a Graftech Employee?

Advice to Senior ManagementThe approach you are taking will not cause a single employee to vote their stock in favor of continuing along the path you have structured when there is such a formidable opponent prepared to take over. There are so many options available to the employees when you are replaced that there can be only one acceptable course of action. Vote in favor of the new Board. Or maybe you just abstain which makes it easier for the new Board to win and doesn't expose you to the rath of senior management.

I suggest that everyone take the time to look at the credentials of the new Board being proposed. Business leaders in the field of Steel and Electrodes. Competence in the Mergers and Acquisitions. Experience in the financial markets. None of this expertise resides on the existing Board.

Stock that is issued in the 401k and other stock that has been issued to many employees both current and past is available to be voted. I have kept my stock because of the $40 per share promise made by senior management two years ago and I just think they may have set in motion an opportunity for that share price to be realized when the new Board puts in new management. So thanks Craig for the hubris in placing Nathan in the position you did.

Vote for a change and keep your head up.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Dictatorship has created unrealistic expectations

Sales and Markeing (Former Employee)
Cleveland, OH

I worked at GrafTech International full-time for more than 8 years

ProsGreat people at the ground level, strong commitment to safety and ethics

ConsI have read other reviews, and they nail it. The CEO has almost a cult like following with his minions. He is infallible in his eyes, therefore their eyes. Yes men are required, individuals need not apply. Politics are rewarded more than technology. If you are in the commercial end, horrid rules on T&E, which is not surprising since the customer is the last concern.

Advice to Senior ManagementTime for a change. You have created a bloated management force consisting of accountants and lawyer types who have to hire consultant after consultant to figure it out.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Leadership devolving into dictatorship

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at GrafTech International full-time for more than 10 years

ProsStrong commitment to safety and ethics, mostly great people at ground level and management that have been around longer than 15 years. History of market leadership, strong brand name.

ConsTotally focused on the current quarter, forget about the future or even the next quarter. No corporate strategy. No dissent allowed (which a key board member and the last CFO learned the hard way). Culture of fear, only sycophants get invited to meetings and bad news never gets communicated upward. Senior management is afraid of customers, only wants to talk to bankers. HR thinks their only job is to facilitate headcount cuts.

Advice to Senior ManagementShow some true leadership, don't be afraid of dissenting opinions, look to the future (more than lip service to wishful product development). Show some respect for the customers. Be honest with the rank and file.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Former employee

Technician (Former Employee)
Lakewood, OH

I worked at GrafTech International full-time for more than 10 years

ProsCan't think of one now.

ConsVery poor benefits to most employees.

Advice to Senior ManagementGet more involved on the floor.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Worked at GrafTech for 2 years

Research Technician (Current Employee)
Parma, OH

I have been working at GrafTech International full-time for more than a year

Proswork environment looks ok and people are friendly

ConsUnresponsive even to internal job applicants

Advice to Senior Managementnone

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This has to be the worst company I have ever worked for.

Research Engineer (Current Employee)
Parma, OH

I have been working at GrafTech International

ProsThe work can be challenging.
Many of my peers are enjoyable to work with.

ConsBenefits are terrible except for perks offered to upper management.
The company appears to lack a true visionary at the helm.
Many of the managers seem to have gotten their positions through connections to senior management and not due to ability.
Many managers will take credit for their employees work to greatly advance their own careers while throwing the employee a bone to keep up performance.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop trying to find a magic business plan in the book of the month and use your own innovation and ideas to create a successful company.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Graftech is a place where good researchers go to die.

Researcher (Current Employee)
Parma, OH

I have been working at GrafTech International

ProsIt is close to my home and my daughters can stay in the same schools. The pay rate is reasonable even though the benefits are poor.

ConsPeople trying to build little empires - Some managers that think they know everything about everything - Lack of respect for employees - Too many people that are going through the motions

Advice to Senior ManagementTry to do something for a reason other than it will line your pockets. The board siphons off so much cash with their constant stock options it borders on blatant greed.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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GTI Review

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at GrafTech International for more than 5 years

ProsIf you have a corporate role you will have a fair amount of international networking, my advice is to take advantage of that, add it to your resume and move forward in another direction.

ConsPoor middle management, mostly conformed by unqualified people, there are very few managers who really stand up for their subordinates or have the minimum leadership skills and experience to be in front of a team, the rest of they just play along and play dead.

Most of the top management positions belong to senior employees which have been in the company for over 20 years and don't seem to have the intention of retiring in the short term, at the same time, only a few departments in the company are experiencing an organic growth, things rarely move at the worldwide branches and when they move they do so very slow in a highly politicized environment.

Individual departments / divisions work in silos, generally, corporate initiatives lack the proper executive support and you end up swimming against the tide in the clogged bureaucratic system that's fostered by those at the helm, for instance: facilities in Mexico and Russia are below expectations ( considering all the other locations), and doesn't seem to be any interest from local management to improve them.

A missinformation atmosphere reigns worldwide, corporate and strategic goals are not communicated throughout the whole company and they reach only middle management whom very often keep them only to themselves, departmental and individual goals are not aligned to achieve these, and when not met, employees in operational functions are held liable with little to nothing of management's accountability, these are common practices in the organization.

Very often, the job is not matched to people skills and , you got very capable people working on filling up an Excel Spreadsheet for the rest of their careers, and have unqualified people doing a poor job that would be fit for the qualified ones. If you ask to be moved, get ready to get frustrated, your career can stall in here, you run the risk to remain for years strapped to the same spot, having most varied excuses for not getting moved / promoted / raised salary.

Advice to Senior ManagementRenew your top management, allow talented people with fresh ideas and enthusiasm to develop and propel the company.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Small time Company disinterested board

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at GrafTech International full-time for more than 8 years

ProsI have a job that pays about 80% of the industry average.

ConsEvery one reports within a silo of function and information. IT systems for reporting are non existant. Senior management is extremely self serving with absolutely no long term plan except to figure out ways to pay themselves at the expense of shareholders and employees.R&D is not connected to the business plans and is way too small to support growth.

Advice to Senior ManagementGet a board that is experienced enough to create a succession plan and get rid of the existing CEO

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Frightening

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at GrafTech International

ProsThey pay in USD and speak english...sometime.

ConsEverything else. Unfortunately, there are no signs of intelligent life in this organization. They are no business or financial systems to manage with, no strategic plan, no sustainable operations network or selling process. Its an organization run by R&D and accountants with no business experience.

Advice to Senior ManagementBusiness classes....

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at GrafTech International reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for GrafTech International CEO Craig S. Shular. All 11 reviews posted anonymously by GrafTech International employees.