A123 Systems

  www.a123systems.com
  www.a123systems.com

A123 Systems Reviews

Updated November 11, 2014
Updated November 11, 2014
57 Reviews
2.1
57 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Jason Forcier
6 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • a lot of nice and smart people, at least used to be (in 6 reviews)

  • Get paid while you are not doing that mich work, good benefits (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.  

    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 an 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
  2.  

    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 an 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
  3.  

    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 an 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
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  5. 1 person 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
  6. 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 an 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
  7. 1 person 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
  8.  

    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 an 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
  9.  

    Poor Execution in All Areas

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

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

    Pros

    Competitive salary and medical
    Lots of opportunities to come up with creative solutions as part of initial manufacturing development.
    Opportunity to gain experience in the lithium ion battery "boom" (or bust).

    Cons

    Lots of product development hype, not enough follow through.
    A large portion of the compensation package (stock option) was worthless.
    Executive Management tried to apply the "Silicon Valley" approach to their staff by creating intense goals, requiring long hours with stock options as the only potential for compensation -- did I mention they were worthless?
    A very high exodus of engineers and managers with vacancy of key positions at critical times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This applies to executive management... I can tell you all the things you should have done. Such as: you should have purchased equipment from qualified machine manufacturers with proven experience that know the processes and environmental control requirements and can give sound process engineering/design advice; you should have made hiring an effective Quality Manager a number one priority (how many months did you go trying to fill this vacant position?) so they could work on getting processes under control and lead the company's supplier QS/ISO certification effort -- need it to attract business and earn customer confidence; you should have given your upper leadership (management) team more credit and listened to their advice.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    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 an 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
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Panicking employees openly talking about leaving the company

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

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Get paid for doing nothing, get paid while polishing your resume using company resources. Good salary and latest technology in lithium battery

    Cons

    People are leaving in droves, even some managers openly told their subordinates they are working on their resumes and networking with outside. No collaboration with GM on chevy spark since the April accident! Soon will not be able to pay salary and keep lights on! There are rumors everywhere and people can't focus on their work on a daily basis.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focusing on EV while the product quality, price can't even remotely viable is a recipe for failure, even you get free money! Get out of the much hyped auto business and focus on other areas where price is not a factor!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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