SunPower (San Jose, CA)

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

Updated September 10, 2014
Updated September 10, 2014
74 Reviews
3.4
74 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Approve of CEO
SunPower (San Jose, CA) CEO and Director Tom Werner
Tom Werner
42 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

17 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    A hard-driving company, but with a tremendous sense of mission and collegiality.

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

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

    Pros

    SunPower has strong, positive company values. It seeks to attract top talent, and runs more like a high-tech, Silicon Valley company than a traditional manufacturer. It's great to work for the technology leader - SunPower has the highest efficiency panels by far - but this also makes things challenging, since the product is never going to be the cheapest. The employees are great, and salary and benefits are moderately competitive. The Key Performance Indicator system, while a little laborious, is applied consistently throughout the company and results in a clear common language about performance across all groups.

    Cons

    Because it is a manufacturing company, there are many pressures from outside, such as supply chain issues, regulatory compliance, and dealer/distribution channels, in addition to the usual marketing and technology development. Sometimes these issues arise quickly and cause major changes in work (including a lot of overtime) and nearly impossible deadlines. The growth of the company and its various operations has meant continuing siloization, in spite of many attempts to address this. People have the right intentions, but there can be structural barriers to working together effectively. Unfortunately, a focus on keeping profitability as high as possible during a time when solar prices have been dropping has meant under-investing in some key supporting functions, such as training.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to focus on aligning and optimizing resources across organizational barriers. Set consistent messages about talent development, career development, and personal work-life balance, and back them up with consistent, adequate resources. Continue ongoing communication efforts, and increase where necessary. Increase the use of professional project managers for major initiatives. Keep KPIs, but continue to streamline them by promoting best practices.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great people - it's all about the people anyways, isn't it ?

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

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

    Pros

    Great company. Office culture is welcoming and friendly.

    Cons

    Big company feel with a lot of processes.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work but I question their motives in the policies they push internally

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

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

    Pros

    It is a great place to work, good pay and benefits. Mostly nice people to work with. There is room to experiment on new ideas.

    Cons

    The upper tier are pushing all values to customer centric items that seem to place us all at a disadvantage. Increasingly it is a do more with less and anything the customer wants vice what they truly need. A customer focus is great but it is making the internal operations very short sighted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Balance your values. Stop being afraid to add personnel when they are needed. The org is so lean that it cannot sustain the demands of the company. This is where the future breaking point will be. Organizational Exhaustion will lead to higher turnover and lack of confidence in the leadership. Knowing what I know as an investor (not insider) I would sell if it continues.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Very Intense, with lots of great experience, but the experience tends to be the reward

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

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

    Pros

    People are generally very nice and fun to work with.
    The growth of the industry and the company provide a lot of opportunity to gain great experience that would normally require more seniority.

    Cons

    Work life balance is only balanced if you don't like your life.
    They tend to bring in outside talent rather than promote from within.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend more time and effort to decide what NOT to do. You tend to give directions that mean do everything. It leads to the work/life balance challenges.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Lots to do in the their NetOps group

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

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA) as a contractor

    Pros

    The NetOps team is cohesive and effective. Previous Ops leadership was lacking but in the last 6 months both IT/Apps VP's have left.

    Cons

    Previous IT management was ineffective and set against each other. When not jockeying for position they could make progress.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up! I enjoyed my time there.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    SunPower is a great place to expand on experience and effect change positively in our world.

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

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

    Pros

    Many brilliant minds at work in one place. Exposure to a global team environment. Feel good about environmental improvement work.

    Cons

    Process can bog down progress. Politics can interfere with advancement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The bottoms up approach is a wonderful way to instill responsibility in others and promote growth. However there is a need for a real connection to be made interdepartmentally. I'm sure things have changed since I left.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Exciting industry, immature company

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

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

    Pros

    Great to be in the renewable energy industry
    Great to be working for one of the leading quality products in the market
    Energetic people who do what it takes to get it done
    SunPower has a lot of credibility in the big solar arena and has great potential to burst out and really become big

    Cons

    Immaturity in many respects - company is still growing and learning.
    Don't get the impression that staff are that important and you always feel replaceable.
    The company is up against stiff competition in an unpredictable and growing market. Could go well, could go badly.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great workplace. Great people.

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

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

    Pros

    Great people, great industry, and very strategic.

    Cons

    Expectations are high and many deliverables are required in a short period of time.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great support from staff

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Accounts Payable Clerk  in  Richmond, CA
    Former Employee - Accounts Payable Clerk in Richmond, CA

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA)

    Pros

    Good people environment and good work atmosphere (at least in the Richmond office).

    Cons

    The Company lacked leadership and development programs to employees to develop new skills or to learn more about the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop employee skills through development programs. Such programs will help foster current employees and allow them to fill positions without having to hire from the outside. Promote from within.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Great technology and smart people in a mix of chaos and big business

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

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

    Pros

    It is a green company with many who believe in the cause. Pay is good. There is lots of work (lots), but it comes with lots of flexibility. Many talented people around. They are smart and it is an easygoing atmosphere.

    Cons

    To be completely sustainable, a company has to be socially sustainable too, which may be missing sometimes. Organized chaos in an organization with many hierarchy levels. Internal communication and common sense can suffer due to sweeping business decisions. Profit margins rule.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some seem to pretend to be hip and green, but they are not and it shows.

    Approves of CEO

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