JDSU Reviews

Updated August 18, 2015
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JDSU President and CEO Thomas Waechter
Thomas Waechter
27 Ratings

Pros
  • JDSU provides a very reasonable work/life balance with discretionary time off plan (in 10 reviews)

  • Great people within the business unit and excellent solutions (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • Upper management seems disconnected to what is really happening (in 11 reviews)

  • The main focus of the JDSU senior management team is to make "the street" happy (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

52 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Stock at 12 year low and trending down. Ugly in Optical Comms and Lasers divisions, bright spots in Comm Test and AOT.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milpitas, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milpitas, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You're already there and liking it.

    Cons

    First, I need to qualify that I worked in the Laser Division, and people from other divisions may have different experiences. One major downside is high churn, especially at the management level. During my >5 year tenure, I averaged a new division general manager once every year, while the department heads (R&D, operations, marketing, and sales) turned over almost as fast. Having said this, I had some very good managers during my tenure. But the situation today is rather bleak, as the GM for the last year (Alan Lowe, who previously managed ReadRite until it went bankrupt) has replaced all the department heads with people having no laser experience, presumably in the hopes of making lasers more like hard drives. (The Ops and R&D are now run by ex-ReadRite personnel, while Sales & Marketing are combined under someone with no prior commercial laser experience). In addition to the department heads, they've expelled more than half the US sales force, almost all the middle level operations managers, and the most senior product line managers. The general atmosphere is one of fear and wondering who'll be booted next, exacerbated by workload demands that far exceed a 40 hour week for most exempt employees. In addition, there's a growing lack of confidence in the ability of the senior management team to successfully drive a laser company given the unrealistic expectations being set coupled with a lack of understanding of how lasers work, the laser markets, and the laser business in general. Overall, my impression is that the division has become highly charged with managers looking out first-and-foremost for their careers with little real care for the long-term health of the division or the employees. I think this is driven from the very top given my experiences with other division managers I've met that were brought in by Kevin Kennedy. (Division managers that were "acquired", such as the long-runnig GM for the AOT group, often are of a different make-up than those brought in by Kevin.)

    Advice to Management

    The various divisions should be disaggregated. Synergies are minimal, and the telecom component business is bringing valuations down on everything else and will continue to do so. Also, since you haven't already seen this, I think you should resign.


  2. Not on a good trendline..

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director of Marketing in Germantown, MD
    Current Employee - Director of Marketing in Germantown, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Still has a lot of the Acterna ambition - Great market share in T&M -

    Cons

    - Company is on the way down - A lot of good top management has left recently - Contraction inside the company is hurting morale

    Advice to Management

    - Should have made sure Peeler stayed - Try to ensure you have leaders that can really affect change - Don't just manage the business by the numbers, understand the strategy and be able to drive businesses for accountability on these strategic items


  3. Bureaucratic...however good if you don't care much about the work and need a laid back company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great work life balance. People don't care much about your work as long as you are good at schmoozing

    Cons

    promotion is not based on meritocracy. Too old a firm considering that they are in the technology industry

    Advice to Management

    Make it more transparent. Bureaucracy is what's eating JDSU


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  5. Lack of vision and failed acquisitions.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Development Manager in Milpitas, CA
    Current Employee - Development Manager in Milpitas, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Technology and super smart technology team. Have very broad technology portfolio and the scale and reputation necessary for broad leadership in optical communications. Has large cash balance which should allow continued investment in development during the current economic climate.

    Cons

    Too near-term focussed and total lack of a vision, which results in a demotivated workforce. More willing to invest $10Ms on acquisitions, which have frequently failed, that invest a fraction of the same $$ on internal development. Has the potential to be a leader in optical communications but continually lacks the vision. Operations is hugely disfunctional and bloated.

    Advice to Management

    Invest internally and for the long term.


  6. Depends what you are doing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Test Engineer
    Current Employee - Test Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Work balance is much better than other places I have been. Not a lot of community stress or long working hours - most don't work above 40 hours or on weekends. Casual dress - jeans or shorts, t shirt. Management is good at organizing social activity. Not a lot of politics in the management or engineer levels.

    Cons

    Testing can be very repetitious and sometimes brain numbing. As with most telecom equipment providers there is a lot of older (legacy technology) to me tested and maintained. Pay is a bit below the average.

    Advice to Management

    More job rotation, and an an internal job posting for all openings in the US or abroad.


  7. Clueless management, Chinese culture

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineering Manager in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Engineering Manager in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Leading-edge III-V laser, photodetector manufacturer Have some of the best components designers in the biz

    Cons

    JDSU is a manufacturing company (telecom components) but is run by executives from the software industry. Software people tend to have no clue as to what it takes to 'make stuff'. Thus, they have invested the last 8 years trying to figure out how to export all mfg to China. There is an incredible amount of talent at JDSU, although the mgmt does not deserve the talent they've got

    Advice to Management

    Put some qualified, effective Ops people in charge of the company--not ex-software industry (i.e., Cisco) types. This is not an outsourced business game, but high-tech mfg.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Stay away from HR at JDSU

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milpitas, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milpitas, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    For the most part the people at JDSU are very nice. People are willing to help you if you need it. There is also good work life balance and in some groups you can work remotely for a few days a week. The work isn't too high paced or stressful.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, HR management doesn't know what they are doing and isn't very competent. HR for HR also hasn't supported individuals as they should. Additionally, recognition and rewards are not distributed evenly and there is no room for growth. Learning and gaining new skills are not encouraged and the performance management program is not developed to encourage true growth. Additionally, if you walk around the halls of the company it is very blah with no excitement, energy, or enthusiasm. Not a fun place to work.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Average (on average). Fun products to develop; poor opportunities to learn.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Colorado Springs, CO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The pay is descent, the work/life balance is good. Coworkers are fun.

    Cons

    Opportunities to learn from one another aren't very good nor is there any sponsored training to stay with the cutting edge. Instead there is training for the mundane which really an engineer should be able to figure out on their own (e.g. how to use the email program). The feel from upper management is that they do not care about the employee. They want to know what they can get from us rather than what they can do for us (or at least provide incentive to work hard). Morale is low.

    Advice to Management

    Upper management needs to trust their lower management more. They seem to seek scapegoats rather than accept responsibility on their part. They have driven away good people and are continuing to do so.


  10. Helpful (1)

    unmotivated

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Germantown, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Germantown, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are some smart developers that you can learn new technologies from, if given the chance. The dress code is very casual.

    Cons

    There is no direction or innovation for tomorrow's products. Just maintaining the current products which leads to poor work morale. Very little room for technical advancement since it is really not encouraged or

    Advice to Management

    Management seems to worry too much about the now and not the future. Employees and products need to grow for a company to grow. There is not enough information sharing with employees about the planned roadmap for the company especially more than a quarter out.


  11. Helpful (2)

    Incompetent Senior Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Germantown, MD
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Germantown, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decenet compensation and benefits, 1st level management is OK

    Cons

    Senior management is clueless, brought from outside and doesn't understand business at all; they fire people with industry nowledge and keep yes-man. They're gambling on 100-200% growth (BHAG) since they're uncapable of managing existing products. If they lose this gamble, the still get their golden parachutes, so they don't care about anything. Also, amount of top management is ridiculous - 75% of them could be fired without any effect, andinstead engineers can be retained to develop new products. NSD acquisition is almost complete bust - we bought 15-year old product and offshore R&D centers who took 3-4-5 years to execute even a simple task.

    Advice to Management

    Resign. Let people who grew in a company (respective divisions) run them - you're a failure and a joke.



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