Illumina

  www.illumina.com
  www.illumina.com

Illumina Reviews

Updated August 25, 2014
Updated August 25, 2014
154 Reviews
4.0
154 Reviews
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Illumina CEO Jay Flatley
Jay Flatley
113 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Fast paced, well well-thought our solutions/processes (in 13 reviews)

  • You get to work with a lot of smart people, and the amenities of the new campus are great (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • No work/life balance, challenging to get ahead with all the great people (in 19 reviews)

  • No work life balance, getting more bureaucratic (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

32 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Beware!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Salary...the pay is definitely in line with top organizations

    Cons

    Lack of employee support, Department Managers appear to be more interested in own personal agenda than working with employees to improve overall performance and team dynamics

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure your Management team is looking out for the good of the Stockholders and not themselves when working top performers in the organization. Keep good employees

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

    Along for the ride

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Marketing in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    * Market leader in a hot field in science.
    * Work-life balance really isn't that bad in the grand scheme of things (as another poster pointed out, the parking lot is nearly empty after 6:30pm).
    * Because of the appreciating stock, the equity grant and employee stock purchase plan (15% discount) become very lucrative rather quickly.
    * Campus is beautiful and centrally located. Very nice gym.

    Cons

    * Base pay and bonus are a bit low (which is mostly offset by a generous equity component).
    * Leadership is entrenched, and most senior leaders are more interested in keeping favor with Jay (the CEO) than actually doing a good job. The new President seems to lack any real authority.
    * The organization is a bit top-heavy, with limited opportunities to rise out of middle management.
    * The culture is chaotic, in part because management is too short-term focused. Get used to arbitrary and completely unrealistic timelines, all for the sake of pleasing Jay. Putting out fires becomes a daily activity.
    * The company's push into the clinical/diagnostic markets is unstructured and poorly executed.
    * Reorgs every 12-18 months can make or break your career. In the four+ years that I have been at Illumina, we have reorged three times - mostly for the worse. The company can't figure out how to align itself to push into critical new markets.
    * The company lacks even basic processes to operate like a grown-up company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to delegate (especially at the senior executive level). Create more opportunities for young talent to rise into leadership positions. Listen to your employees (I mean, take off your rose-colored glasses and really dig into the employee surveys).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Unfair treatment to contractors

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Illumina as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Comparatively, Contractor gets good hourly pay.

    Cons

    Contractor is not allowed to use the gym and not the shower room. So they say company gym cannot cover contractor safety. BS! We can just sign the wavier. However, permanent employees need to sign the wavier, too. So if you normally exercise in the morning, or after work, contractor position at illumina will just make you feel miserably unfair.
    The whole company setting limits the networking and feeling equality for contractors. Being a contractor feel sucks! You will hear, "I'm sorry, you are not allowed to (gym/meeting/etc.)..., since you are a contractor" a lot. It just feels horrible. NOT feel like a part of the company at all.

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  5. 13 people found this helpful  

    The grass is not always greener

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Sales Representative in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Sales Representative in San Diego, CA

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

    Pros

    One of the largest and fastest growing companies in San Diego.

    Competitive pay and benefits

    Innovative products

    Cons

    I have worked for several biotech companies as a territory manager and sales rep previously. Coming from smaller and medium sized biotechs in the past. I thought I had hit the jackpot with securing a position with Illumina. One of the largest and fastest growing companies in San Diego. Well, the grass is not always greener on the other side. It was the worst sales position and career move that I had chosen. My biotech lab and sales career has been long and really rewarding. Being in sales, I am a people person. I can relate to a very wide demographic of people. Yet, Illumina's company, culture and vibe was just a disconnect for me. It never really felt like a community or even welcoming to me. All the other companies that I worked for, there was transparency and cross departmental collaboration. At Illumina, it was like pulling teeth to get any assistance from marketing, product managers, technical support, customer service, fulfillment, and logistics. Nobody ever wanted to help each other. Each department seemed to be against each other. Never felt a collaborative effort. It was a very self serving or self preservation type of company culture. I guess it is understandable when I saw some colleagues fired out of the blue. If you see something like that, you probably want to keep very busy and your head down. As many other reviews here, I would have to agree that upper management has a deficiency in leading and growing this company.

    The sales teams were made mostly from people that have no science or biotech experience at all. How can your front line representatives sell an instrument when they have never worked in a lab or have zero understanding of the up or downstream processes that the instrument is going to fit into. There was one week of training but it was more like them turning on a fire hose. Trying to cram everything into one week. Online self training was also idiotic. Those that did not have previous scientific or biotech industry background didn't have a chance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire experienced and educated sales professionals.

    Protect your employees first. Use layoffs as a last resort effort vs. a tool to protect your job because you missed an earnings call.

    There is probably no right way to lay people off but CEO Jay and upper management, please don't joke, smile and shake employees hands as you lead them into a corporate layoff meeting.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Average

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

    I have been working at Illumina

    Pros

    Good benefits. Great products. My direct coworkers were nice. Very consistent 9 to 5 kind of job.

    Cons

    Didn't see much growth. Hayward felt like the step-child of the company, always had to prove that we were worthy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 11 people found this helpful  

    Don't let the great products fool you

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Illumina full-time

    Pros

    Illumina has cutting edge products and is #1 in every market that it competes in.

    Cons

    Illumina suffers from executives who have not grown with the scale of the company and therefore think they are better managers/leaders than they are. It is much different to manage 100 employees vs. thousands. Execs need to lead by example and inspire others for the demanding work they place on their employees desks. The company is a bit of a country club where the execs reward each other and are very demanding of their employees with little rewards other than the stock price continuing to go up. I remember asking an exec one time if we should benchmark against other companies and their response was "We don't need to benchmark, we're Illumina." Overall I would descrite the culture as stuffy, arrogant with a depressing work environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Double-down on process and leadership. Hold your executives accountable include getting feedback from their employees.

    Approves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    No Work Life Balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Diego, CA

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

    Pros

    Location of company
    Campus environment
    Facilities
    On-site gym with multiple cafes
    Equipment provided to employees for their use

    Cons

    All work, all the time, all day, night, weekend long
    No career development from what i can see, just a lot of smoke and mirrors
    Incredibly elitist and arrogant attitudes by most of management
    Management acts as though its a privilege for anyone to work there
    Micro management all the time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We have a life outside of Illumina
    There are other companies just as good
    Stop your self-centered focus on your equity
    Trust employees
    Recognize technically sharp managers are not the greatest of people leaders

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    R&D Development

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

    I have been working at Illumina full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fast paced & hectic at times.

    Cons

    Lot's of politics and favoritism. A company in decline technologically.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember the days when the people that brought you innovation were held in high regard? What happened?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    hell in genomic paradise

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - R&D in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - R&D in San Diego, CA

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

    Pros

    It is a great place if you want to make a contribution in the development of genomic technologies that will have a real impact in society

    Cons

    Unfortunately, the company suffers poor management. There is lack of recognition, you have to work long hours, the culture and values only exist in paper.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start considering employees humany suffer beings

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    A waste of time if you are a mid-level+ employee

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

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

    Pros

    You get to work with a lot of smart people, and the amenities of the new campus are great. This is an ideal company for someone that is fresh out of college that still needs to gain skills and be micro-managed.

    Cons

    The worst middle management I've ever had in my professional career, the work life balance. A lot of politics.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please work on your middle management issues, and realize that seasoned employees that have several years experience don't need to be micor-managed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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