SunPower (San Jose, CA)

  www.sunpowercorp.com
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SunPower (San Jose, CA) Reviews

Updated June 29, 2014
Updated June 29, 2014
70 Reviews

3.4
70 Reviews
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SunPower (San Jose, CA) CEO and Director Tom Werner
Tom Werner
40 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good people environment and good work atmosphere (at least in the Richmond office) (in 6 reviews)

  • Leading edge technology in the solar industry - makes you proud of changing the way the world is powered (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • Few in upper management have contracting experience (in 5 reviews)

  • Work life balance is only balanced if you don't like your life (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

13 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Get In & Get Out

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

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA)

    Pros

    You will be involved in some great projects w/ a leader in the industry (scary). There are some solid people still working in the trenches 8)))

    Cons

    It's not a place to hang your hat as technical knowledge is not valued. Few in upper management have contracting experience. Supply Chain is in disarray. It personifies Silicon Valley arrogance and "Catch 22" administrative shenanigans.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Who really wants work thier? And why would you want to be thier customer? Without Totals $$$ you would be unemployed and forced to work as clowns 8P

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    A number

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

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    It's a large company and there's opportunity to move within the company.

    Cons

    It's a large company and you're just a number.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote from within before and working with internal talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Crumbling From The Inside

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

    I have been working at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great technology
    Diversified business
    Solid growth potential
    Competitive compensation and industry leader in the equity plan department
    Will be one of the long term winners in the battle for solar

    Cons

    I left SunPower half way through 2013 after I concluded I had no growth potential. It was a disappointing conclusion for me, but life after SunPower has been great and further points out the internal dysfunction at this company. I have received >10 inquiries from current employees over the last 6 months who too are dissatisfied with SunPower and looking to move elsewhere. SunPower's success in retaining employees is solely based on the fact that their existing employees believe there are only a few 'safe' options within the solar industry as it goes through consolidation.

    Limited internal growth prospects due to the segmented nature of their business
    Negative spirit of competition within its employee base (people rooting for others to fail)
    Inconsistency in compensation on the sales side, rewards luck versus hard work and innovation

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Address the employee issues or retention will be a problem in the long run.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    system engineer

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

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    exciting renewal energy technology and applications

    Cons

    confusing management and too many meetings

  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    HR needs a clue

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

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA) for more than a year

    Pros

    LOVED my fellow co-workers. They were the best. We motivated each other; not management.

    Cons

    The senior management in HR have no clue. They do not think there is a retention problem. As of right now SIX people from HR had been there over three years the rest are new (mostly replacements) In one year 15+ plus people left HR voluntarily.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When you are doing layoffs it is not the best thing for the SVP of HR to go around saying he just bought a multimillion dollar house.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Projects Department

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

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Decent severance package and great view in Richmond office

    Cons

    Lacking structure. Company grew faster than process and proceedures were emplimented. Management making decision without knowing what the processes are and expect undeliverable results.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a clue....find out what actually is being done before changes are made.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Very difficult place to work

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

    I have been working at SunPower (San Jose, CA)

    Pros

    Great young team of people that are passionate about solar energy good facilities in Richmond, overall attention to health of employees

    Cons

    Very difficult environment with a lot of disfunctional teams that operate in silos, executives (VPs, Presidents) do not have management experience and do not know how to make difficult decisions nor how to inspire and motivate people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go get training, pay attention to the competition, stop talking about cost reduction and start actually reducing costs. Be willing to take decisions and stop making decision by committees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Excellent pay, but a lot of window-dressing, poor company culture, plenty of incompetent people and lack of vision.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager  in  Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
    Current Employee - Manager in Frankfurt am Main (Germany)

    I have been working at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Compensation (although this can vary from country to country)

    Cons

    - Poor culture - based on several keywords picked from other companies but, at the end, nothing is reflected in daily operations, total lack of accountability, which leads to a significant 'I don't care' attitude and very little customer centricity.
    - Plenty of incompetent people that shouldn't be where they are, both at the top and at the bottom. This is only possible due to the culture of lack of accountability that rules the company.
    - The company is particularly good in designing processes that make things tremendously overcomplicated, leading to a situation that nothing is really done.
    - The company's 'gurus' don't even know the meaning of the word 'Strategy' - they simply cannot put together anything that, by the high standards of the corporate world, can even be considered as a strategy.
    - Poor management, with poor vision and lack of perspective. They insist in driving against the wall by trying things that those with their feet of the ground would see since the beginning that it's not possible to do it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Be more careful in planning and carefully analyze all that can go wrong instead of just moving forward no matter what to later realize it cannot be done.
    - Start benchmarking large, successful companies to understand what is the true meaning of the word 'Strategy'.
    - Develop a strong corporate culture of commitment, performance and accountability.
    - Don't change things all the time. Define one direction and stick to it - too many changes confuse people and are a major source for inneficiencies.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Decreasing company in Europe after Total entry

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager  in  Geneva (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Manager in Geneva (Switzerland)

    I have been working at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Used to have good environment, dedicated personnel and good straightforward management

    Cons

    Bad management and lost of capability

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set your goals and be clear with those that do the job

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great learning environment, poor global management

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

    I have been working at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Fast-paced, dynamic environment, which is great for learning new things and developing your career. Every quarter is very dynamic with many different projects to work with at an international level
    - World Industry-leader in solar: there is no better product or more established solar company in the industry
    - Awesome R&D

    Cons

    - Outside the US, the treatment / benefits for employees in the international subsidiaries vary greatly; depending mostly on your personal negotiation skills, than company-wide programs.
    - Global decisions are usually made without considering international input and regardless of the "revenue weight" of each region.
    - Offices outside the US are greatly understaffed for the amount of work there is, and people normally leave for this reason
    - Global leaders appointed and based in the US, usually have very little experience working with other cultures, languages and customs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Appoint global leaders with complete skill sets to work with countries other than the US.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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