A123 Systems Reviews

Updated August 15, 2015
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64 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Too much focus/gamble on automotive.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Westborough, MA
    Former Employee - Engineer in Westborough, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at A123 Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very nice and smart people to work with on a day-day basis. Above average salary and benefits.

    Cons

    The "Good Old Boys Network" was very strong at the senior management level. Too many Directors and Managers; not enough people to do the work. Low -performing managers were not identified properly. Designing high-power battery packs can be stressful.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Going downhill fast...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Westborough, MA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Westborough, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I find it difficult to be positive at this point in time, A123 has some incredible technology and a (dwindling) number of highly talented engineers, but lack of leadership and uncertanty is causing people to leave at an alarming rate.

    Cons

    The post-bankrupcy reorganization under Wanxiang seems to consist of reductions in benefits (which up 'till now, were excellent), reductions in staffing (as in layoffs), and the same management team that drove the company into bankrupcy. The other significant differences that are immediately visible are the significant declines in the number of both projects and customers. Lack of clear direction in key development areas continues to cause major delays and repeated redesign cycles, causing customers to lose interest.

    Advice to Management

    Action needs to be taken immediately to retain (and not continue to drive away) the rank-and-file employees. Benefit cuts accross the board just don't jive with recent management bonuses. Clear direction is needed to enable development teams to deliver saleable products


  3. Helpful (1)

    too bad it used to be a company full of hope

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at A123 Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    a lot of nice and smart people, at least used to be

    Cons

    poor management. I wish to give negative three stars if possible.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    A ship without a course...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Materials in Livonia, MI
    Current Employee - Materials in Livonia, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Although working through some quality issues, I believe the technology is sound and there is allot of interest in the product.

    Cons

    No leadership - No Plan - No Direction - No Accountability - No Objectives - No Performance Metrics, just come in and start from scratch every single day.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the experts you've paid so well to employ! Many people know what it takes to turn that company around but no one listens and you get the impression that no one really cares.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Good pay, poor management.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livonia, MI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livonia, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    They pay well. Benefits are good. They are involved in the community and charitiies. There are people there that are trying to change the mindset and mood. They will be owned by someone else soon and hopefully this means new management.

    Cons

    Poor upper management. Poor planning. Rushed to production without dotting all the "i's" and crossing all the "t's". Departments don't work together to solve problems. Management is resistant to change or new ideas.


  7. Helpful (1)

    broken parachute

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Livonia, MI
    Current Employee - Engineer in Livonia, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Surrounded by a lot of smart and open minded people, you can learn everything you want. The technology is excellent. Good pay and health insurance.

    Cons

    Poorly managed. The top management team is interested in Wall street and their golden parachute only. Production lines are not well managed and quality is overlooked.

    Advice to Management

    This is a business but not a gambling.


  8. Helpful (1)

    right place -wrong time

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livonia, MI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livonia, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    the work schedule - only work 15 days per month; learning new technology with bright hopes for the future after being jobless for 2 years; the med/dental package and other benefits; the people

    Cons

    lots of bad decisions by management that led to lots of wasted time/money; lack of communication; no sense of direction or plansfor improve

    Advice to Management

    should have been more worried about cost and quality before building up huge inventory of cells / batteries that were found to defective causing big costly recall; better people in management making everyday decisions


  9. Helpful (1)

    A123 Systems is a poorly run organization with huge management issues.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Materials Technician in Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Materials Technician in Waltham, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    To be honest with you I am hard pressed to give you any pro to working at A123 Systems. But if I were to give one up side to the company is they have assembled a good group of people to work with. However due to poor organization they are fleeing the company.

    Cons

    The down side to working for A123 Systems is they do not know how to manage their money. They are an extremely top heavy organization that is more interested in how to line the board members pockets with gold instead of spending their money on things that would make the organization run better and actually deliver a product and make a profit.

    Advice to Management

    Develop some people skills. Stop taking bonuses.


  10. Chaos

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livonia, MI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livonia, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits (medical, dental, vision, 3 weeks paid vacation, 1 week paid sick time, 13 paid holidays) & Great people

    Cons

    Financially irresponsible, favoritism throughout the company, inefficient communication

    Advice to Management

    Utilize the resources you have before throwing money at the problem. Lead by example.


  11. A123 Systems might succeed with better leadership and more knowledgeable customers.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Mechanical Engineer in Westborough, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Mechanical Engineer in Westborough, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good salary, good benefits, reasonable flexibility and occasional WFH permitted. Reasonably strong engineering core with many years of battery system experience and best practice habits. Good technology exposure and full willingness of upper management to commit resources to support program development.

    Cons

    Too many levels of management trump engineering efforts with poorly founded decisions and political maneuvering. Management is not entirely unreasonable - however, critical decisions too often appear to be based on gut instinct and not data, calculations, or consensus. This extinguishes true investigative efforts. Engineering core often turns over, which leads to an interruption of collective knowledge continuity, which means every single project is effectively a start-from-scratch design, with ever shortening deadlines. Senior management does not provide true buy-in support for mandated program goals, causing conflict between departments and middle management. Stop chasing the shiny ball and constantly hitting the reset button on projects because another new opportunity just popped up. Every opportunity can't be THE opportunity we've been waiting for.

    Advice to Management

    Stop promising impossibly low budget product to customers with breakneck program paces - Product quality and reliability deserve more respect than you give them. Stop meddling in engineering efforts. Stop ignoring the obvious problem areas of culture driven by middle management and focus on freeing up the constraints that will allow project teams to deliver superior product on time at budget.



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