Illumina

  www.illumina.com
  www.illumina.com

Illumina Reviews

Updated August 25, 2014
Updated August 25, 2014
155 Reviews
4.0
155 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 15 reviews)

  • You get to work with a lot of smart people, and the amenities of the new campus are great (in 14 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. 4 people found this helpful  

    Sweatshop

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

    I have been working at Illumina

    Pros

    Great products.
    Decent Benefits.
    Very stable company

    Cons

    NO work-life balance unless you are a Director or above.
    Awful bonus program. Compensation is below market
    Extremely cheap Sr. staff. They spend hundreds of thousands on holiday parties but pay people pennies when they are expected to be available 24/7
    Sr staff has a very old school mentality.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being so cheap with your employees. They work their tails off yet their salaries are well below market. The bonus program is a joke. Stop pretending you are the only company in town who is hiring and therefore you don't need to make your employees happy. Your employees are starting to leave because they are tired of working 24/7

    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Field Work for Illumina

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

    I worked at Illumina

    Pros

    Pays well. Prestigious employer. Good cafe.

    Cons

    No support of field employees by corporate staff. They are too concerned with their own advancement in San Diego. Very distrusting of field employees, which is odd since they are the face of the company to the customer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer 360 reviews for field employees, including customer feedback.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  3. 6 people found this helpful  

    Needs to Improve the Work Environment!

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

    I worked at Illumina

    Pros

    Contribute to a biotechnology organization that contributes to Life Science by developing innovative leading edge technologies.

    Cons

    Lack of work/life balance, lack of teamwork, lack of individual recognition at the department level, and needs to promote respect and integrity within the organization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop a work/life balance program, promote teamwork, respect, and integrity with the organization. In addition, at the department level, promote recognition for stellar performance.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    The company gives out a strong "holier than thou" vibe but could use a reality check.

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

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

    Pros

    Hot technology, hands down leader in the market right now. Plenty of opportunity to learn new things. Revenue and cash flow have been good, and the company now has some weight to throw around. This means good facilities, infrastructure, growth. Good upward mobility and perks, but only for certain departments (Sales and Marketing are definitely living it up here). Company offers a preferred stock plan, good benefits overall.

    Cons

    1. You really need to be ready to drink the proverbial Cool Aid here and show maximum enthusiasm for whatever that gets put forward as a product, policy, or initiative. If you don't - you're not a team player and your career outlook will suffer greatly. And the middle management is the worst in this respect. Not all, but way too many are caught up in this cheer-leading as a way to hide their own deficiencies.
    2. The company is extremely disorganized! It drives you crazy, because this is what's causing the overwhelming work load that others here have mentioned. Sure, the fast evolving technology/market will throw curve balls at you all the time, but the management treats this as something to be proud of (ala 'we like it this way because it makes us innovative and flexible') rather than trying to organize things a little bit better. But who cares about inefficiencies when you've got no competition, right?
     3. Poor access to information about company's products, both released and in-development. Combined with really fast product turnarounds, this means you're always frantically looking for the most up to date info. Unlike points 1 and 2, this is something the management has tried to address, but so far with limited success.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come down from the clouds

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    An exciting product range, fast pace company, incompetant managers, toxic enviroment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Field Service Engineer
    Current Employee - Field Service Engineer

    I have been working at Illumina

    Pros

    Illumina has a very nice, exciting, leading edge product range. Most of the 'workers' in Illumina are really nice people who are committed to their job and to customers. Generally there is good support from colleagues who will always be eager to help you out if in need – there is a great comradery and a good team spirit. Customers pretty much love the support team that provide an exceptional service.

    Cons

    Customers deeply despise the Corporate, Management and Sales style and attitude. Arrogant is the word most used by customers.
    What let’s Illumina down the most is terrible management and a toxic environment. Senior, middle and lower management is very rigid and strict but of very poor quality. Stupid decisions are pushed down the chain and there is no one with enough sense to evaluate the true effect. The company promotes and rewards only those willing to fall in line and there is a ‘put up or get out’ message delivered behind the ‘philosophically open’ corporate values (which include ‘Innovation is in our DNA’ and you being ‘physically open’ - both of which always made me chuckle). The chance of career progression therefore is pretty slim for anyone with any true enthusiasm to get the company moving forward. If you can put up with idiot managers, accept constant rubbish and kiss a few butts, you may go far!
    The recent redundancies have proven the above points. Although some dead wood was cut, mostly the people doing the actual work have been affected and the company has gone from ‘being lean’ to being drastically short staffed. Whilst 10% of the work force was cut (without any sense or reason) a rift of new highly paid VP were bought in at the ever increasingly heavy top. The cuts seem to have been made to please the share holders after ridiculously high sales growth targets were missed and the share price dropped dramatically.
    You will be financially well rewarded at Illumina but you won’t get much else from the company, respect and promotion are bought with blood, sweat and your soul. Hard work and long hours are expected, home life deemed unimportant and burn out wide spread throughout the company. Moral and motivation are at an all time low and many people are looking to leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to step back and look at what you have done. You have taken a motivated work force and worked them too hard for too long - they are now starting to turn, enthusiasm and productivity is falling. Great people are leaving and moral will not return. It is noticable how rich the senior management are getting and that they are looking after themselves rather than the company or employees. Illumina would do better without you and many beleive a change at the top is required. Roche would probably serve Illumina and their customers better.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Fast-paced environment with many great co-workers but terrible upper management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Associate
    Current Employee - Research Associate

    I have been working at Illumina

    Pros

    Highly capable co-workers that strive to meet extremely aggressive project goals and deadlines.
    Before Oct 25, 2011 there was a solid cooperative environment with many people doing everything they can to help each other. There was a fair amount of in-fighting between groups over responsibilities, but it was getting better.

    Cons

    Terrible morale, which simply gets worse every week. Since Oct. 25, 2011, much of the development team has no incentive to do more than the bare minimum. Many former employees who have been recently forced to leave due to no desire to re-locate, have since found jobs elsewhere. This is encouraging those still working for the company to seek opportunities elsewhere.
    There is a large rift between the bulk of employees and senior management. Senior management seems oblivious to the problem or is simply too inept to address and improve it.
    Major favoritism with respect to promotions. Some groups see its team members promoted annually; others see team members go 3 years without a promotion.
    People resources are a hot commodity. A workforce that was lean before the RIF in October is now starving for resources on projects that are making the company money or will be doing so within the next year.
    Company seems to never provide enough instruments to its own departments to enable proper development and timelines.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire some VP's and your chief medical officer. It should be obvious that when you fire 10% of your workforce that you should fire some of your most highly paid and under-performing upper management! Try setting aside enough money for next year to meet VCP funding for your employees. It may go a long way to reducing employee turnover.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Used to be a great company when things we - now uncertainty and poor stock performance reveals bigger underlying issues.

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

    I have been working at Illumina

    Pros

    Great products and people. The people here are just a different breed. I know every company says that about their people but I've made some lasting friendships here.

    Cons

    No advancement for 99% of the workforce. Advancement is extremely dependent on organizations and groups. Some groups promote like manager titles are on sale, other groups haven't seen a promotion to senior in years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trim off the top, seriously top heavy. Why VPs report to other VPs is beyond me. Also, I never understood why instead of management telling people to do their job, we instead form groups to facilitate people's inefficiencies. The times are changing fast and we need people that can help us move us into the future not just hold us back.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    They will cut you loose if their stock plummets

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Research Associate
    Current Employee - Senior Research Associate

    I have been working at Illumina

    Pros

    the benefits are descent and good medical insurance

    Cons

    They will cut you loose if their stock plummets despite making as much money as last year just to satisfy greedy stockholders

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    A toxic environment that needs lots of improvement if they want to be considered a top notch company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Field Applications Scientist
    Former Employee - Field Applications Scientist

    I worked at Illumina

    Pros

    Market leader (for now), brand recognition. Stock was an upside but not anymore.
    Illumina has had a good run mostly due to timing and stimulus money--it will catch up.

    Cons

    A very toxic environment with incompetent managers, especially relative to sales and marketing.
    Getting out of Illlumina was the best thing I did for myself. This is not a place you can stay for any period of time and expect to keep your sanity. Many managers don't know or understand the life sciences industry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of your field management team, and hire people who know the industry and will be helpful and informed to take Illumina to the next level. It will be difficult with your current set of managers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    challenging environment, with complete lack of structure and incompetent management

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

    I worked at Illumina

    Pros

    - work itself is challenging. seems to be a consistent feature for all departments and fields for this company. you won't be bored
    - you will be working with very bright people
    - exciting industry with new tech

    Cons

    - virtually non-existent structure. creates serious liabilities on the administrative and auditing sides
    - company is very management-heavy, with people struggling to retain their titles and justify their titles. This often leads to a very unpleasant political environment
    - you will be expected to work way beyond normal working hours, and your personal life and time will definetly be sacrificed for little to no reward
    - Unless you are a director or above, there is not much in the way of recognition for good work or effort put in.
    - company pays below industry standards. unless you are on the executive team, sales, or R&D you will be paid below industry standard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    there needs to be more of a work life balance focus here. Company claims to have something in place for this, but really nothing is done. structure on the administrative side and internal controls need to be desperatly developed. Also, stop treating your employees like your indentured servants. We have lives, and respect goes both ways.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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