Novartis Reviews

Updated July 29, 2014
Updated July 29, 2014
243 Reviews

3.4
243 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Novartis CEO Joseph (Joe) Jimenez Jr.
Joseph (Joe) Jimenez Jr.
115 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance can be achieved if you prioritize it (in 14 reviews)

  • Great products, challenging environment, good pay and benefits (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • There are different cultural norms for work/life balance depending on site & business unit (in 11 reviews)

  • People loosing focus on business due to senior management style (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

15 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Novartis = bean counters in charge

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

    I worked at Novartis as a contractor for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Did not see any pro's

    Cons

    Company morale was simply destroyed, decent leadership was just not present, new managers seem inept, the whole approach was one of cost cutting above all. Talent, seniority, respect on any level was tossed out the window. Layoffs and worker approach was cost based only, your skill or value was ignored, this company has zero respect for engineering or technical anything, makes sense why big pharma is hurting. I would avoid this nameplate totally, they are in the process of destroying Alcon in Irvine, pre-Novartis, that company was a great place to be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire yourselves and get out of the surgical world, sell out and take your cash, you don't belong.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    If something is too good to be true, it is.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tissue Culture Scientist  in  Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Tissue Culture Scientist in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Novartis as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Satisfying work if you get the position you want, good pay, flexible hours.

    Cons

    Toxic work environment. Nepotism runs rampant. The person who trained me got me replaced without warning for her husband who now works in the same lab as her. They will tell you anything to keep you around long enough to suck the last bit of happiness from you before they discard you for an over-qualified family member. Too many meetings where nothing ever gets accomplished. Everyone with anything higher than a Bachelor's degree walks around thinking they are the next Einstein, all while getting paid to sit at their computer and watch That 70s Show on Netflix all day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You work at Pfizer's ugly cousin...put your feet on the ground, you aren't god. Keep people who do a good job around, don't promise people's family members a job and replace competent workers for it. Have a meeting that actually produces something for once. Stop letting everyone "work from home" and then complain when things in the lab don't get done. In short, do your job the right way.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Career Development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Director  in  East Hanover, NJ
    Current Employee - Senior Director in East Hanover, NJ

    I have been working at Novartis full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Lots of HR encouragement for career development.

    Cons

    It is unclear how decisions are made about hiring. It is an opaque process. It is impossible to move from one department to another.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    V&D Division

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

    I worked at Novartis full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great benefits, awesome team and direct management.

    Cons

    2012 Global V&D CFO was a cheap and always watched the budget. Rejected additional headcount when critically needed, only approved higher management promotions, and reduced headcount to capture "savings".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They've forgotten the key value of the company which is talent. You know something is wrong when the division has a high turnover.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    work life balance doesn't exist

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Position Being Relocated  in  Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Position Being Relocated in Emeryville, CA

    I worked at Novartis full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    they actually have great benefits compared to other lfie sciences companies. of course they can't compete with Genentech.

    Cons

    wow.. to many to list.
    their moto is to keep talent and promote within. i think it's the complete the opposite considering they've mastered in laying off great FTE employees, sending work off shore, and hiring mainly contractors and temps to save money. If you've been with the company for many years, more than likely, your colleagues who have less years with Novartis are making 30-40% more than you. Now, if you have a close relationship with management, then surely they can get you a 30% pay increase on a promotion without hesitation.

    The indians have very long hours while the Chiefs have a 6 hour work day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    if you truly value talent, then do a better job in keeping them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    CFO

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Novartis

    Pros

    good pay and benefits, good environment

    Cons

    lots of temporary contractors filling for open permanent positions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    hire more fulltime employees instead of army of temporary contractors

  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Novartis is a good place to be from

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director  in  Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Director in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Novartis

    Pros

    Good science. Good resources. Good management training opportunities.

    Cons

    Most toxic work environment I have ever experienced. Managers only focus on managing "up" to move ahead, often at the cost of their reports. No internal promotions and little recognition for quality work. Speak up and be cut off at the knees culture, even private discussions with manager. Employee review process generally used to punish those who do not fit the "Stepford" employee model. HR's primary role is to protect the abusive middle management corps.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is such a dramatic disconnect between the stated Novartis values and behaviors norms and those demonstrated by management up to the SVP level that it must be condoned by top management. This must change or Novartis will loose it's innovation culture and become another lock-step big Pharma with a failed internal R&D pipeling.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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