Amyris Biotechnologies
3.1 of 5 16 reviews
www.amyrisbiotech.com Emeryville, CA 150 to 499 Employees

Amyris Biotechnologies Reviews

Updated Feb 17, 2014
Amyris Biotechnologies – Emeryville – “Office Wall - Sharks with Friggin Lasers!”

All Employees Current Employees Only

3.1 16 reviews

                             

20% Approve of the CEO

(no image)

John Melo

(5 ratings)

40% of employees recommend this company to a friend
16 Employee Reviews
in
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A confused place to work. Too many products, too many goals. No set direction/path.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Emeryville, CA

I have been working at Amyris Biotechnologies full-time for less than a year

ProsSome people are nice to work with. Great perks for employees.

ConsI have never seen any Company except Amyris that has so many Managers and Directors, and most of these people are not even appropriate for the roles. Management lacks communication, projects lack execution. Unnecessary tight deadlines, and inefficiency created by the management, requires people to work long hours, holidays and weekend. Poor and sad place to work.

Advice to Senior ManagementHigher managers is not the solution to every problem. The key is to retain staff, and people hard working people happy.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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was better

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Amyris Biotechnologies full-time

Prospeople, the science, opportunities to work in different department if you have the time

Consmanagement was poor and not honest about the status of the company

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Difficult Industry Creates Difficult Environment

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Emeryville, CA

I worked at Amyris Biotechnologies full-time for more than a year

ProsThey take care of their employees with good benefits, perks, and very nice facilities. For certain roles in R&D, there are plenty of exciting challenges to work on.

ConsThe culture has suffered from lots of turnover and and slow and painful "growing up" phase of the company since its arguably premature IPO. The culture that was a major selling point has disappeared with the departure of the founders. Sales, marketing, and G&A roles face challenges with constantly changing priorities and lots of politics as talented people try to protect their turf.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great science, very poor management, too top heavy

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Amyris Biotechnologies

ProsCoworkers are top notch. The Associate Scientists/RAs are all hard-working and fun to be around. The lab scientists and project leaders are some of the most intelligent, creative, and hard-working people I've met. Just brilliant. Benefits are decent, trying to stay on par with many other tech startups in the area.

ConsThe company retains way too many managers. Many high-level employees are bad at their jobs, many are quite unproductive, and some positions are even redundant. They command large salaries for being good at snaking up the ladder and not advocate for their workers. When layoffs happen, it is almost all salary-cheap, diligent RAs/lab scientists that are forced to leave. The ratio at one point was practically 2 managers to every 1 lab employee. The company shows no loyalty to those who have saved the business through innovation before. Prepare for the pharma treatment.
Upper management is completely disconnected from the science. There is large amounts of politics and dishonesty involved in major decisions.

Advice to Senior ManagementIf you are going to trim the fat, start higher up the chain. Most importantly, stop selecting for dishonest, selfish, overly-aggressive yes-men/yes-women to be promoted to directors and such. Look for those who have strong technical understanding of the science, advocates his/her employees, gains the trust of those they work with, and develops the talent of the company.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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It's like high school.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Emeryville, CA

I have been working at Amyris Biotechnologies

ProsOverall, the employees are warm and friendly. There are so many personality types that you're bound to find people you identify with.

ConsAmyris is overstaffed, particularly in the higher levels of the organization. The company spends frivolously while we are not profitable and have a very negative cash flow. Lastly, the managerial staff have little to no experience is supervising another person which allows for office politics to become easily involved.

Advice to Senior ManagementReduce the weight of the organization but not at the expense of the folks who are truly running the science. Re-evaluate managerial positions and re-train those who need assistance.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Good at first, but depends on the department you work with. Chaotic in Global Ops

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Amyris Biotechnologies

ProsMost everyone was nice to work with

ConsToo much office politics, especially in Global Ops and Legal

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to staff more

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great people but VC-led with no market experience

Business (Former Employee)
Emeryville, CA

I worked at Amyris Biotechnologies full-time

ProsCulture and people are awesome. Great perks and supportive colleagues that you can talk turkey with and have a few beers

ConsClassic example of VC-led company. Low in operations experience/execution and understanding of product verticals. Some people are VERY political

Advice to Senior ManagementManagement has already been shaken up a bunch. VCs (John Doerr) are trying to maintain their reputation so I presume they'll just keep financing their way to a John Doerr exit that's not too much of a blemish

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great science, poor management.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Emeryville, CA

I have been working at Amyris Biotechnologies full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThe scientists are truly first rate. These are some of the best strain engineers in the world. Everyone in Research is encouraged to experiment outside of standard project plans and to follow their own intuitions.

ConsThe company is very, very management heavy, especially at the top layer. The majority of the personnel at the top layer are not very good at their jobs, nor do they spend any effort in nurturing the careers of the people below them. The overall culture seems accepting and fun on the outside, but on the inside, there's an incredible amount of dishonesty and politics involved with nearly every major decision. Boundaries are poorly delineated and people fight over them constantly.

Advice to Senior ManagementGet rid of the executives who don't contribute high value and who are not helping grow the talents of the company. Invest in the futures of the lower-level staff or they're going to leave. Replace the senior HR official(s) with true employee advocates that mid-level managers and lower can trust to help them. Remove the last remaining founder, as he is manic, unfocused, and does nothing but disrupt important work and cause problems while pulling down an oversized salary.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Awesome culture

Associate Scientist II (Current Employee)
Emeryville, CA

I have been working at Amyris Biotechnologies full-time for more than a year

ProsGreat health benefits, young and vibrant tight knit culture of learning

ConsAs with any company moving from R&D to a self-sustaining manufacturing company there are some bumps and growing pains leading to the constant feeling of instability

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Passionate people

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Emeryville, CA

I have been working at Amyris Biotechnologies full-time for more than 3 years

ProsPeople here really care about making a difference in the world. There are a lot of smart people that are genuinely fun to work with.

ConsManagement does not provide enough leadership or have enough technical expertise in the relevant areas.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Amyris Biotechnologies reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Amyris Biotechnologies CEO John Melo . All 16 reviews posted anonymously by Amyris Biotechnologies employees.