KLA-Tencor Reviews

Updated August 25, 2014
Updated August 25, 2014
346 Reviews
3.1
346 Reviews
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KLA-Tencor President, CEO & Director Rick Wallace
Rick Wallace
217 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The culture allows a good work life balance for those not demanding to climb the ladder (in 18 reviews)

  • Great opportunities for scientists to work on cutting edge technology (in 17 reviews)


Cons
  • bad work-life balance for some team (in 19 reviews)

  • Political and ineffective senior management led by a CIO who is a legend in his own mind (in 17 reviews)

More Highlights

96 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Think twice before you join

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Milpitas, CA
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Milpitas, CA

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

    Pros

    Better compensation than peer companies
    Willing to try new technologies

    Cons

    Lots of pressures
    Too many very active politicians pretending they are technical gurus as well

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Typical semiconductor company

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

    I have been working at KLA-Tencor full-time

    Pros

    A lot to learn if one can transfer to different groups. Lots of product with different technology. Relatively good market position and gross margin.

    Cons

    There is not much room for personal growth. work force is stretched. Manager and employee relationship is not smooth. sometimes higher manager cannot find out what lower manager was doing.

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

    FINLE Farm

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

    I have been working at KLA-Tencor

    Pros

    Bonuses
    Company has a well-established name/brand recognition
    Austin is a great place to live

    Cons

    A small satellite office a long way from headquarters.
    Products that aren't core to the company, but the company won't spin them off.
    Austin management that has little talent other than brown nosing and posturing. Lot of execu-talk and litle else, other than regular ass-kicking.
    No leadership. No sense of appropriateness of applying management principals.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leave and make room for actual talent. Stop thinking you're good just because you have been given everything.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Either Or

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

    I have been working at KLA-Tencor full-time

    Pros

    Good size company, decent benefits, amenities at Milpitas location, good talent, large product margin

    Cons

    Some compensation is lower than competitors, advancement could be difficult depending on the group, house-cleaning exercises - good and bad.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    HFC

    No opinion of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Mixed bag

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

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

    Pros

    This is my third time working for this company. Pros are the same as before: all the typical pros of working for a large company. In addition: great people, people are smart and work hard, great technology and engineering, good facilities. Overall, the company is well managed - which is hard to do in this kind of industry (small market size, high tech, low growth, lots of competition).

    Cons

    All the typical cons of working for a large company. Some points to make: company values talent, not people, and treats individuals as disposable. Benefits are sub-par for the Bay Area. Compensation tends to be on the low side. No effective standards of conduct for management - about 20% of middle management staff are unprofessional psychopaths and it's impossible to hold them accountable. Rank order performance evaluations (archaic way to manage a work force) incentivizes people to work hard but not take risks or make tough decisions. People are discouraged from moving around within the company, so careers can stagnate. And a company culture that I can only describe as "unnecessarily mean".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider: offering more competitive salaries, adopting more modern work force management policies, adopting a corporate culture that is more supportive of high performance teams.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Former Employer

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

    I worked at KLA-Tencor full-time

    Pros

    Very intelligent co-workers, good benefits.

    Cons

    Politics, hypocrisy, cronyism, back stabbing

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Practice what you preach.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Good company but need improvement

    Current Employee - Systems Design Engineer in Milpitas, CA
    Current Employee - Systems Design Engineer in Milpitas, CA

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

    Pros

    cool technology, high performance people. 30+ years experience in industry.
    Good education for employee's development.

    Cons

    aggressive schedule, same as most of bay area company.
    bad work-life balance for some team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Limit the power of management, encourage employee's development and promote/reward innovation. Bring the company's culture to real reward system, reduce the middle level management, reduce the wasting resource meetings (too many managers, too many meetings).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Good Benefits. Established company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - QA Lead in Milpitas, CA
    Former Employee - QA Lead in Milpitas, CA

    I worked at KLA-Tencor full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Stable company considering it's in semiconductor

    Cons

    Politics as normal in large corporations

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Technology and Great Company but can be a lot better

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

    I have been working at KLA-Tencor full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    I have worked for KLA-TENCOR for almost a decade. They recruited me fresh from school. Initially I loved how they threw new projects at me with tough deadlines, I strive for that; however, soon I found that my life was turning into 7a.m-7p.m. 12 hour shifts just to get work done

    Learning: Company encourages you to expand your horizon, learn, and even get a higher degree while supporting you. You can theoretical attend trainings, and learn new things.
    I was lucky initially in my career that my original manager fully supported that attitude; however, it has been many years that my manager has changed and my new manager is fully against it! (Not sure why!) He feels it is a matter of waste. It is so sad. However, most reasonable managers I have met, they encourage their employees to learn (keep up to date) and company certainly provides many means of support for that.

    Technology: you do Work with the latest technology and technological ideas. I have had the best systems and top of the line equipments at my disposal. You get to play with really neat stuff. there is a always a new challenge waiting for you another the corner

    Compensation: Among the high tech companies of its size, KLA-TENCOR offers reasonable salaries and compensations. Annual raise is almost guaranteed as long as you perform well and have a good relationship with your manager. There used to be BIG Bonuses and very good Stock Options, all of which has been disappearing through years. Company tries to lift the workers spirit by providing occasional outings, and Holiday activities.

    Friendly people: Generally, Most people are nice and friendly. wherever you end up working, you will get to know your peer well. Interactions are mostly friendly and courteous, however, that could turn into disarray when Project deadlines approach, or escalations fall into your lap. Be ready for unreasonable demands, and unwise decisions being made by your superiors!

    Health and Wellness: Company puts emphasize on individual's health and well-being, possibly to get better deal with insurance companies and save money, none the less the reason, it is good for employees. There is a GYM, volleyball court, Basketball court and a Bocce Ball court (yes :) Some people bike to work. The CEO (Rick Wallace at the moment) has been seen watching the Basketball games enthusiastically. He is also an avid Biker and keep in shape which is a good example for the employees.

    Traveling: If you are in the Global Support, field or application Engineer, you get to work with the customer more closely, This means you will be traveling to some exotic locations. My experience has been that If I had to travel, it had always been for a difficult reason and I end up working long hours and under stressful conditions, however, I know many colleagues to come up with various non-sense reasons to just take that next hop to over seas and rack up their mileage. Company has a generous selection of options for travel (hotels and all your expenses will be paid). I am just sad to hear that some colleagues abuse this too much. But as I said, if you like to travel, you can join one of those groups. NO First or Business Class travel allowed (unless you are some high level manager I guess).

    Cons

    Meetings: Meetings, meetings, meetings, and more stupid meetings.... TOO MANY MEETINGS.
    KLA has way too many meetings. Such a Waste of company's time. Sometimes there are meetings about meetings. I sometimes wonder, between Meetings, Lunch hours, GYM and long hours of wasteful conversations in the break rooms how some people get work done! I found the answer, they do not! Which goes to my second Cons below

    Bad Habits: There are two types of people at this company:
    The Doers: these are the people that actually get work done and in my opinion are the bread and butter of the company. These are valuable technicians and engineers with good ideas who proactively and enthusiastically accomplish their tasks.
    Then there are those (mostly engineers with some seniority) who do 1 thing and ONE thing only; perhaps it is a board they designed long ago or some other critical device they pushed from generation to generation which company is stuck with it, because the high level managers are afraid they be taking a risk of selecting new approaches.
    These people are closed minded, lazy, and generally watch they clock all day to leave early, and run away. If you ask them to help you with anything not related to their work, they will blow you off. If an issue occurs that requires their attention, they first try to blame others and run away from the issue. Unfortunately, this mentality exists among many engineers in this company. This puts a burden on the rest of the hard working employees.

    Attitude:
       I guess no matter where you work, you will find people with attitude. It is unfortunate that some divisions within KLA-TENCOR attracts more people with attitude than others.

    Management:
    NOT GOOD! Period. All they think is ($$$)
    With all do respect to many of the people I work with who are managers, many of which I know personally, their management skills is Zilch, Nada, nonexistent. Despite companies management roadmap and training, it boils down to individual human beliefs and attitude. What I see from most managers is the attitude of saving their own A$$ and forcing their employees to follow irrational and reactive decisions all the time. Some managers put a damp on your enthusiasm for learning, critical thinking and out of the box thinking only because they are not like that and of course they do not want you to shine.

    Email:
    there are so many emails that it sometimes gets overwhelming. Your boss could be a cube or two away, yet for simplest questions or information, He/She would rather sit in his fat chair and email. This attitude is prevalent all over the company. It is worst for some than others, but I am sure if the company did some sort of analysis of email usage and correlate that to the time wasted answering all sorts of useless emails, they would be saving millions!$$

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support your employees for learning new things, recognize talents and respect experienced engineers who want to think out of the BOX. Be proactive. And PLEASE CUT DOWN ON WASTEFUL meetings and useless emails. Go talk to your employees from time to time, understand they are humans like you.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great company, hard work

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

    I have been working at KLA-Tencor full-time

    Pros

    Interesting work, company strive to be the best in its market.

    Cons

    Long hours, dynamic work works due to market penetration

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be mindful of the middle level management.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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