AeroVironment Reviews

Updated July 25, 2014
Updated July 25, 2014
44 Reviews

2.4
44 Reviews
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AeroVironment Chairman, President, and CEO Timothy E. Conver
Timothy E. Conver
30 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Senior Engineer

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

    I have been working at AeroVironment

    Pros

    Originally a great place to work. Many inventions and pioneering work and world records happened there. I chalk up Aerovironments success due the fact that they started out as innovators and were able to take risks and move quickly without bureaucracy. The hiring in the beginning was left to the engineers who were actually in the trenches and really knew their stuff, they hired like minded individuals creating a culture of engineers that were all smart self starters and free thinkers like them. It was these initial managers that made AV successful by creating this culture.
    However these pioneering works were all done by employees that one by one left (or retired) long ago and started companies of their own. Many of which are very successful and are well known. As time went on, as in all big companies. The torch was passed on to the mgmt driven not by innovation but keep Status quo and their own preservation, keeping their big client happy. Forgetting the value and lessons learned by their predecessors. Most people don't realize that AV was a pioneer in Electric cars and green energy related technologies which all fell by the wayside. Hydrogen/electric charging. Worlds longest running solar car. Etc.Etc.
    On the whole there's not a bad guy in the lot, a miracle for such a big company.

    Cons

    After the layoff's, the company has become completely top heavy. Because the manager's natural self preservation, no managers were laid off. If you were a friend of the managers but weren't really an asset to the company. They just made you a manager of something so you wouldn't get canned. It has become so ridiculous now, that nothing can be done without many hours long meetings to make the simplest of decisions. If you ever look at the corporate website and browse the "incredible team" you will see it is mostly devoid of any of the guys that made the company happen. Just administrators, buyers, billers, managers that none of us ever heard of.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember your roots. Take a risk. Diversify.

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

    The fun is over

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Engineer  in  Simi Valley, CA
    Current Employee - Product Engineer in Simi Valley, CA

    I have been working at AeroVironment full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Work-life balance is good, 401K, most people are great to work with. There are a lot of smart, talented, and dedicated people at AV.

    Cons

    Too many tasks put on each person and expected to finish it all. People are stressed and burnt out from the constant scramble to get things done. Month-end, year-end, quarter-end is the only thing upper management cares about. Its all about the revenue now and not about what we do for the soldiers.
    There is no growth for employees!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit looking at your bank account and think about the people down stairs that make that money for you! Give your dedicated knowledgeable employees more opportunities and quit hiring more high dollar managers who know nothing about the products we make.

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

    Fun for awhile

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

    I worked at AeroVironment full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    There were opportunities to get involved in just about anything in the company. Curiosity was welcomed and there existed an academic feel. It was fun to work there. At the time, the best job I ever had. Different departments worked in harmony with each other. It was the only place I'd ever worked that had no drama. Everyone got along with each other. Pay wasn't bad either.

    Cons

    After the company went public it began to acquire a typical aerospace company attitude. It was just another job and I got really bored. As they say, nothing lasts forever.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not sure if there is any practical advice I could offer. I understand that companies have to do what's necessary for their focus. Prior to going public the employees were clearly a priority, but with an investor base the priority had to go to the investors. It's just the way things are with a public company. I've seen it before.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company with lots of potential

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

    I have been working at AeroVironment full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Quite a few good people (although many have unfortunately been laid-off). Casual work environment, great work/life balance. Flexible schedule, and decent pay. Yearly raises and bonuses. Close to home.

    Cons

    No chance of advancement or growth potential. I've been there for close to 6 years without a title-change or promotion - despite my contributions and efforts. My enthusiasm is rapidly fading to burnout. When I first started there, there were so many plans to move forward to help the company grow, however, since then, I hear the same rhetoric about growth and improvement without any action. Everything pretty much runs the same way it did when I first started there. It appears to be just talk.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don't know where to begin. And even if I were to offer any kind of advice, they'd continue to do the same things they've been doing all along. It's pointless.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Lots of changes - not the company they could be

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

    I worked at AeroVironment full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Interesting work. Generally, great, honest, kind people. Team members are smart and hard working. The majority of people that I worked with really wanted to make a difference and see the company/products succeed. People worked (very) hard to get the job done.

    Cons

    Management was reactive, lots of inefficiencies. Company culture is not healthy. No work/life balance. Not much in the way of growth opportunities -- no real interest in developing employees. Period(s) of high turnover. When a boat load of smart, dedicated, hardworking employees start jumping ship, there is a problem.

    On the optimistic side, the old management was slowly being replaced so things may be improving.

    Doesn't Recommend
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Fun, exciting and very educational

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

    I have been working at AeroVironment full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    - Great people. Many engineers I've worked with have been in the brilliant category. Many have also been young, energetic and easy to get along with.
     - Great projects. How many aerospace engineers get to work on the launch or major overhaul of 5+ planes / systems in under 8 years?

    Cons

    - Manufacturing systems / processes are archaic and frustrating.
     - Communication between production-related groups is terrible (quality, manufacturing eng, product eng, configuration management, purchasing, planning, etc) and even antagonistic at times.
     - Layoffs have put a major dent in morale, to the point where many of the brilliant and energetic are jumping ship.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This company is in need of a major shakeup. I really wonder if selling the company to one of the big players (NG, Lockheed, Boeing) would help. What we need are competent and energetic managers, as well as access to systems and processes that really work.

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

    not a great career choice

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

    I have been working at AeroVironment full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    AV has very talented engineers, and interesting projects to work on.

    Cons

    The management is incredibly terrible. Despite what they preach, they do NOT listen to the engineers or respect them as professionals. The engineers always pay for the managements poor planning and short sited decisions. No one gets promoted. The best talent is leaving on droves, or has gotten laid off. And management cant figure out why people are leaving, quality if poor, and sales have slowed to almost nothing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No advice would be useful until the executive and management attitude changes, and until they listen to the people that build the company and r AV's most successful products.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Predominantly good experience

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

    I worked at AeroVironment full-time

    Pros

    For the most part, the company has been working at improving their processes and developing new products that are interesting to work on and valuable for their customers. Employees are predominantly passionate, positive, skilled and generally work well together to eventually achieve goals.

    Cons

    There are a lot of methodologies, processes and procedures that could be improved, optimized, streamlined and tailored to more specifically serve the diverse multiple business avenues that AV engages in. For many reasons, a lot of late work-intensive efforts are required to correct late challenges in activities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Really dig into deepest root causes at what decisions make stuff actually go as planned. Keep looking to add training in LEAN or other improvement processes and challenge what exists to what could be changed to improve.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Developed marketing strategies for Electric Vehicle Charging equipment in adjacent markets.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Management Summer Associate  in  Monrovia, CA
    Former Employee - Product Management Summer Associate in Monrovia, CA

    I worked at AeroVironment as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Some of the main positive aspects are Autonomy, good work life balance, challenging line of businesses and an overall friendly atmosphere.

    Cons

    Main cons are the lack of clear vision or mission, Lack of strong leadership, little or no cross-functional co-ordination, inconsistent policies, etc.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Previously worked at AV (SUAV) for 5 years.

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

    I worked at AeroVironment full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great environment, fun place to work, challenging projects, people. Although I was laid off, I'd work there again if the opportunity should arise.

    Cons

    wasted time management on 'experimental' projects, unpredictable layoffs and blaming 'the Gov't sequester'. The corporate restructuring and new Business model and lack of planning is what got AV in trouble with the shareholders.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    realize that production sales is company's bread & butter. Too much money wasted on R&D instead of improving current yields for existing products.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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