A123 Systems

www.a123systems.com

A123 Systems Reviews

Updated January 5, 2015
Updated January 5, 2015
59 Reviews
2.1
59 Reviews
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Jason Forcier
8 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Get paid while you are not doing that mich work, good benefits (in 5 reviews)

  • a lot of nice and smart people, at least used to be (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • The top management team is interested in Wall street and their golden parachute only (in 4 reviews)

  • lots of bad decisions by management that led to lots of wasted time/money; lack of communication; no sense of direction or plansfor improve (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    broken parachute

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    This is a business but not a gambling.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    right place -wrong time

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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

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

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Materials Technician in Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Materials Technician in Waltham, MA

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Develop some people skills. Stop taking bonuses.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Chaos

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Mechanical Engineer in Westborough, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Mechanical Engineer in Westborough, MA

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    A123 can fail at any time, employees already gave up hope and no hope for Wanxiang take-over.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Battery Scientist in Livonia, MI
    Current Employee - Battery Scientist in Livonia, MI

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

    Pros

    1). Get paid while you are not doing that mich work, good benefits.
    2). Learning new things from other smart people!

    Cons

    1). Company is like a victim whose heart was just ripped out fresh by Lazard capital, it is still beating in the hand of the ripper and the brain can fuction for another 30 sec, but death is imminent.
    2).Company solicited buy-out from every car company, every energy company and every major conglomerates, but they all turn it down due to ZERO hope of a commercial success.
    3). Totally worthless stock options.
    4). Technology is wonderful technically, but the cost is way too high.
    5). Incompetent managers, and still audacious enough to demand 12 month pay upon termination by the new owner.
    6). Quality control is too difficult, leads to very high cost per kwh. (>$1500/Kwh)
    7). Folks from Ann Arbor and R&D headquarter also felt as bad as us.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We all know any new owner will terminate you the second this transaction is over, but that day will never come, because there is no realistic hope A123 will be on NASDAQ NEXT YEAR (requirement for take-over)), CFIUS will kill it and Wanxiang will be drowned by the spit from politicians in an election year.

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

    crazy place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Production Operator in Romulus, MI
    Current Employee - Production Operator in Romulus, MI

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

    Pros

    you can pretty much come to work and still get paid.

    Cons

    we should be in the manure bussiness because that,s what we make.IF you dont kiss management butt cant move up in the ranks.Worst supervision in the world,females beware male supervisors are pretadors and if you dont play you wil be out the door

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    lose your buddy systems and stop lying

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    The technology is flawed and basically worthless

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

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

    Pros

    Good pay, good benefits, working with very smart people

    Cons

    I mean the technology is totally flawed because the process of making high performance LiFePO4 is very expensive and prone to quality issues. Bad communication and ultra stupid expectation of automotive market, and very poor quality control, which resulted in recalls and recalls. Worthless stock options (I chose not to take this because I know the problem of this company so well).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You people are crooks because you had no confidence in this company and sold your shares from the beginning and gave yourself golden parachutte before selling to the Chinese company. CEO, CFO, COO all deserve to be in jail now!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    A123 Train Wreck

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technician in Livonia, MI
    Former Employee - Technician in Livonia, MI

    I worked at A123 Systems full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits and nice pay if you are not a production worker.

    Cons

    Complete lack of common sense, organization and accountability by any department.. The quality of their product and the manufacturing equipment is terrible at best.. I was so happy to have found another company to work for that is the complete opposite of A123.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have proven time and time again that you do not have the right people in the positions that you needed to become a success. Mismanagement has run this company into the ground. Nice golden parachute the executives have given themselves just before announcing a complete recall of their garbage product. You people keep smiling all the way to the bank..

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    An OK place to work...communication is lacking

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Production Operator in Romulus, MI
    Current Employee - Production Operator in Romulus, MI

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

    Pros

    Clean environment, easy work load, temperature controlled, management is nice. Great benefit package.

    Cons

    Communication amongst shifts and the "higher ups" is pretty poor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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