Illumina

  www.illumina.com
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Illumina Reviews

Updated May 12, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 127 reviews

68% Approve of the CEO

Illumina CEO Jay Flatley

Jay Flatley

(93 ratings)

54% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You get to work with a lot of smart people, and the amenities of the new campus are great(in 11 reviews)

  • cutting-edge research organisation, very nice work culture with decent socialising events for employees(in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • The worst middle management I've ever had in my professional career, the work life balance(in 18 reviews)

  • No work life balance, getting more bureaucratic(in 5 reviews)

21 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Work/Life Balance
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Horrible management

    Field Applications Scientist (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsCutting edge technology. Name brand recognition. Geographically small territories. Pay is competitive.

    ConsExtremely political. Lots of blame game, while not supporting field employees. No trust in employees by management. Promotion only happens for older pre-sequencing employees, regardless of performance. Customers also feel alienated by rapid product changes.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFire the support management. Theyve created a toxic environment.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
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    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Needs to improve environment

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsThe company has some very interesting technology that is leading edge and some employees are very good to work with in a team atmosphere

    ConsThe downside is that some employees are just looking out for themselves and is not part of a team with citing and talking behind your back when they get a chance; in addition, management needs to improve with treating employees with good ethics and understand that certain employees have families and life after work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSenior management would need to create a workplace that has a balanced work/life and become agents that create a work environment that promotes good ethics and healthy work atmosphere for growth.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Very distasteful experence.

    Manufacturing Department Worker At Illumina HQ (Former Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsBenefits package and PTO seem fair.

    ConsOpportunities for professional growth at Illumina.Does not happen unless someone likes you personally.
    Recognition and praise you receive when you do a good job. Is not happening they only group you together for a brow beating.
    Fairness in how promotions are given and people are treated. This is very bad, they only give out promotions based on favoritism and politics.

    Work/ life take a beating .Very political place. Toxic bosses.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAt some point insider politics and the good old boy environment will be bad for your bottom line take action now it may coast you later.

    Good place for an undercover look from the inside.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Experience that is comparable to that of a nightmare

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsTop performer financially in the industry. Genomics is a great field to get into as the technology develops and there will be an ever increasing demand worldwide.

    ConsTrying my best not to sound like another “disgruntled” employee, there are very serious and legitimate work issues and experiences I had with this company. As far as a workplace goes, a one star review is appropriate for Illumina. My time at there can be best described as torture and unbearable, with treatment being terrible and outright unfair and unethical. As a place to work, it is the absolute worst I have seen, and I am no stranger to tough, high expectation environments. Little reward with unreasonable expectations where your ability to make political alliances matters 100%, and work and quality are not even considered. 72 hours a week or so and no work life balance is requested of you as standard operating procedure. Be prepared to be abused for the privilege of working 72 hours a week, as working that much (or more) for this company gains you nothing unless you are a part of the popularity management clique. Most of the mid level managers do not know the industry and are encouraged to push their employees to the breaking limit, rather than foster and reinforce teamwork and quality work. Executive staff at this company are amongst some of the most despicable human beings I have ever met (meaning zero ethics, no consideration of their employees, only concerned with making numbers, no care for quality of work, end products, customer satisfaction, or employee treatment).

    As a side note at the mid level, be prepared to deal with no one ever willing to take responsibility for their own work, or no one ever willing to make a decision and stand by it for fear of repercussions from above.

    Don’t be fooled by the recent influx of five star reviews. Illumina HR is coming in here and posting fake positive reviews. They are using buzzwords from the Illumina Core Values and other Illumina HR documentation. One review before this one says to pass this place up…and I couldn’t agree more.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou should have let Roche acquire you if not for the sake of creating some operational stability and foresight. Greed of management is really the only thing that is clearly showing through, and as a result company is not doing as good as it has before.

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

    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Dreadful experience due to management.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsCompensation is good, don't know about benefits

    ConsHeavy Micro Management. To many levels of supervisors, managers, directors. Terrible employee onboarding.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Worst working experience of my life

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Prosexcellent facilities, great location, extensive infrastructure, great Information Technology support, great diversity. the administration and human resources and almost anyone NOT working in scientific or technical areas are phenomenal

    Consabsolutely no career potential. no attention to detail or quality. pathetic research and deveopment. completely ignorant of industry standards. no clear direction, vision or competencies within the management structure. very short sighted.

    Advice to Senior Managementget rid of all the middle managers that have no idea what they are doing. recognize quality, honesty, hard work, experience, dedication and character. place company culture and employee happiness at the forefront.

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Long journey

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsYoung culture, can be fun, lots of potential, on site gym, cafeteria, nice amenities

    ConsNo work life balance, getting more bureaucratic

    Advice to Senior ManagementMost management are nice and have good intentions. Planning dept needs to get their act together

    • Work/Life Balance
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    8 people found this helpful  

    Let my experience at this company serve as a warning to prospective employees

    (Former Employee)

    Pros- The iCafe was nice
    - Many good colleauges (vast majority of them have walked btw)
    - Arguably an industry leader for this field
    - Anywhere else you will go you will be better treated by comparison

    ConsI was an employee who had much exposure to Illumina worldwide and got to know the ins and outs of the organization down to a T. As a result, the more I learned and developed my skills, the more I fell into the trap of what is now known as the horrible company company politics that plague this organization. This company does not praise innovation nor does it appreciate any attempts at process improvements. Blatant politics aside, the reason for this is mostly because process improvements will point out many reduncies that are in the form of a heavy management structure and outdated procedures, and trust me they have a lot to lose by having this pointed out.

    Middle-management in my experience proved to be very hyper-political, extremely incompetent, unreasonably demanding, antagonistic, and blame-oriented. It was worse in the overseas offices, with very notable HR issues with management that any normal publicly traded company would fix right away. Company goes so far as to drive out unwanted “outsiders” in very unethical ways with methods not at all based on evaulating an employee's performance. This was reported to upper management but with no avail. So much for the official “openness” policy, as me being open to management about these kinds of happenings with me and my team led to worse treatment and no guidance or accountability on their part.

    Overall and globally I will never give Illumina a good endorsement as a place to work and wouldn’t even wish that environment to someone I disliked, as this place was intolerable and torture to work in. I personally had commendations on my record and received extra compensation only in the form of the occasional “atta boy,” at the cost of sacrificing my personal life and time at all hours of the day/night/weekend/holidays. More often then not, I was very rudely and unprofessionally treated. Communications in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS and bolded DEMANDING why you did not deliver “x” item yet are the norm here…never mind keeping people in the loop, being short on resources, working 12+ hour days, being stretched too thin, as that does not matter here to the antagonistic management and sales groups. Company saves money in the form of keeping a lean staff, yet throws over the top parties at headquarters, pays tens of millions to a very un-involved and ethically bankrupt upper management team. Let’s not forget the huge margins on the products and services, as that is no secret. Anything other than a "yessa yessa" at all hours of the day and or night (literally I would get calls in the middle of the night) will get you in hot water.

    To put it in perspective for any future prospective bright eyed and bushy tailed workers who are considering Illumina as a place to work: You will see process improvement, resource allocation, reward/incentives for good work and overall respect for employees about as often as you would see a unicorn. Stay away because despite the fact that this place experienced fast growth, the greed and lack of professional leadership of the organization is what is shining through now internally and externally, and it vastly overshadows its previous “pioneering” reputation.

    Turnover rate is the highest I have ever seen in my career. The only department that gets rewarded on a consistent basis is sales. In all other departments people are treated like objects that are to be used to make a quota and nothing more.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTo executive management: Your lack of ability to properly lead an organization has created an unbearable work environment and as a result you are driving away/have ousted most of your competent employees. If you have any semblance of perception and care half as much as I did about this organization, you will seriously revamp mid to upper management and actually allocate resources to the departments that need it, instead of say…throwing gaudy Christmas parties at “trendy” hotels or sending a sales team to the Caribbean for teambuilding while other departments who support such endeavors with 12+ hour workdays are only told by toxic managers that they are lucky to be working (FYI, this misallocation of incentives was the only form of efficient global cohesion I saw with this company).

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Worst...

    Senior FSE (Current Employee)

    ProsExcellent technology
    Leader on the market

    Cons-very toxic environment !!!!!!!!!
    -no salary reviews( if ou don't count 1-2%)
    -lower management needs improvement immediately

    Advice to Senior Management-read employee's reviews

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    9 people found this helpful  

    Overall very bad experience, but with good colleagues

    Operations (Former Employee) Eindhoven (Netherlands)

    Pros- Very dedicated workforce. Have worked with some excellent colleagues from headquarters and have made professional and personal friendships for life here.
    - The technology and services that this company offers truly are state of the art. Regardless of how the company functions, Illumina is providing valuable tools and services to the scientific community.
    - Very nice perks for U.S. employees, offer more than other tech companies I have been at.

    Conswhere to start? Very disorganized with no structure, no respect for overall workforce from management, and extremely unfair and unethical treatment of employees. Company is very top heavy with blatant favoritism being common practice amongst upper to senior management. No regard for one's personal life, as that is seen as nothing more than an obstacle that doesn't allow you to perform as best you could. Global operations are nothing short of a joke, as there is zero global cohesion with managers running amuck and treating those under them as unethical and bad as they want since no one is looking. Suffice it to say, overall treatment of employees is something that needs work here.

    It is possible to get ahead in this company, but at a high cost. If you pander to management, play their ridiculous games, and kiss up to the right people, you may make it. Can be a long road depending on how much your willing to throw people under the bus and backstab, which are examples of very common tactics here that most legitimate good employees grew tired of (and therefore walked). Hard work and effort put in may get you an occasional compliment, but will get you nowhere in terms of your career.

    Company is run like a start up, but has been around for 10+ years. You often hear people boasting about the "lack of process due to crazy growth." May have worked for the first few years, but really it is time that this place grew up. Also, not having structure is nothing to boast about, it's just saying that you are proud of being disorganized (and yes, it behooves some people to have this place stay disorganized, as disorganization can make a good cover for incompetence).

    Advice to Senior ManagementThis company used to be a place that one was proud of to work for. it is not a coincidence that you have been losing your top talent these last few months. You are failing your employees, and your customer base as well (check scientific community boards that talk about Illumina's "arrogant attitude" and really bad sales/negotiation style if you don't believe this). You need to trim much of the fat from up top, actually hire managers that are qualified to run international business rather than just promote from within to save money.

    Many of the mid level managers have created a toxic environment, and are not familiar with the industry or business on a global scale. a revamp here is needed.

    Also, please, please, PLEASE for the sake of the few good souls who remain there work on an appropriate work life balance policy. You cannot possibly demand this much from your workforce for so long and expect them to not burn out and resent you.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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