Amyris Reviews

Updated August 10, 2015
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3.1
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John Melo
9 Ratings

26 Employee Reviews

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  1. Advisor

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Advisor
    Current Employee - Advisor
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great technology Amazing customers & partners Potential for significant disruption of several fast growing markets. Very focused technology and manufacturing teams. Just starting to invest in sales & marketing

    Cons

    Intense Very challenging goals with tight resources. A great place if you like really big challenges and are not afraid to fail and learn quickly.


  2. Great Science, good people,crappy exec. team

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate
    Current Employee - Research Associate
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The science that we're exploring is incredibly unique. We've come a long way with our technology and our ability to scale up has been impressive. Amyris has a great R&D department and the culture is incredible. It's a privilege to work along side some of the best science minds i've ever encountered.

    Cons

    There is a lot of confusion created by the executive team in terms of the direction of our company. It seems like we change our business goals every quarter. There is not much visibility created by the executive team and it always seems like we might be on the verge of running out of money, which is very unsettling.

    Advice to Management

    Allow more visibility into the goals of the company. Allow the culture of the company to persist by not eliminating certain aspects of our happy hour.


  3. Ok place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Amyris (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The main pro is that there is interesting technology being developed. They also try to have the startup feel, free food, beer, games, etc.

    Cons

    Lacking in management. There is not much opportunity to grow, management looks more to keep people where they are.


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  5. finance

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Happy hour, but rarely attended due to busy schedule.

    Cons

    Low employee morale, too much workload, bad management.


  6. High quality science, long painful route to profitability

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Amyris full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    High integrity around the quality of science. Open environment - nice people, good communication.

    Cons

    Financial plans don't always live up to the quality expected of the technical work. Good to be a little optimistic, but a bit more realism would make the long term planning much more credible.

    Advice to Management

    Look at parts of the company that are running smoothly and take some lessons from those areas and apply to more rocky parts.


  7. Meaningful work with down-to-earth and competent coworkers makes work very satisfying.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Ambitious company with visionary goals that have impact makes work satisfying if you are within the research branch (my perspective). - Company is extremely transparent about goals. Information flows freely and is not silo-ed. - Company is full of coworkers who are nice, down to earth and competent. Many become your friends. - Management can be very supportive with your own career development.

    Cons

    - Company is not profitable yet at the time of writing so company has to do a lot of things in a scrappy way. - Company and management continuously need to learn to better plan interdepartmental projects. It's a learning organization still.


  8. Amazing science hamstrung by politics

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

    Pros

    The science at Amyris is absolutely top-notch, and the people are largely fantastic. R+D is certainly a shining star in terms of performance. The salary was near the top of the spectrum for my role (however, I know others to have complained about their situation, so that may vary). The happy hours are a lot of fun, and they provide lunch 3 days a week and snacks all the time.

    Cons

    The number one problem at Amyris is the political landscape - there was too much focus on strategy and not enough on just getting work done. Soft skills get touted over technical skills at the expense of project. And there is a significant amount of territorial behavior that overshadowed functional work completion.


  9. Company with great potential

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, amyrous culture (open, fun, friendly), good recognition and promotion potential if you are under the right manager.

    Cons

    Top heavy. There are more directors than employees.

    Advice to Management

    Talk less and deliver


  10. Helpful (5)

    High Turnovers = Low Employee Morale

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

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

    Pros

    Some fun employee events, like Top Dog day, Happy Hours, softball teams, kegs, subsidized lunches, etc. Might be a good starter job or a short-term position for those fresh out of college since there is a lot to learn from your peers and mentors, across other departments.

    Cons

    As mentioned in previous reviews, the company had become increasingly top-heavy, especially after layoffs of people who do the wet work in labs, and hiring of upper level management...BUT productivity expected to be the same, with unrealistic deadlines. Management had lost the trust of their employees (and never regained it back after all these years), which have led to mass exoduses and low morale for those who remain. Managers, company-wide, have systematically undervalued their people. They're all replaceable cogs in their machinery. The paranoia/lack of trust was so bad that most people don't even trust surveys to be anonymous because their HR has an untrustworthy reputation, which is uncharacteristic of such a department. Those are signs of a toxic work environment. It was a mental challenge to work there day in and day out. I was lucky to get out when I did. Looks like nothing has improved since, according to my old colleagues, who are actively seeking employment elsewhere. Good luck to them. There was a lot of competition between and within departments. It fosters unhealthy working relationships -- cutthroat at times. People tell me that opportunities to move to different departments no longer happen as frequently as their glory years, which was one of its selling points. My years there were very mentally-exhaustive and detrimental to your emotional well-being. Other people have observed how working there have changed them for the worse. Once trusting and naive college graduates transformed into downtrodden cynics.

    Advice to Management

    For the biotech industry, the company has unusually high turnover for the past several years. In order for the company to keep some of the greatest, creative, scientific minds, management and HR MUST value the employees as assets and treat them with respect and appreciation. Happy employees make for happy hard-working, loyal workers. It's not that hard...


  11. Helpful (1)

    Top heavy, redundant positions

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Scientist II in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Associate Scientist II in Emeryville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great people - in a short time period you will find yourself referring to them as your friends and not your coworkers Great benefits - amazing health coverage, really hard to beat Relaxed atmosphere - HR probably has a hard time handling that one, but it definitely makes for a fun work day

    Cons

    Depending on your department and line management you can be in for a very promising or very frustrating portion of your career. Some directors and managers value each new hire and each current employee as an opportunity to better the company, while others just keep going with whatever flow is going on - even if it's a flow of employees leaving for better work. There are quite a few managers that have a strong background in technical knowledge, but are not well equipped to manage a team nor find the value in increasing their management skills to do so. There are a lot of overpaid, overpromoted individuals that are not capable of performing the duties required for their role. This devalues the promotion and pay increase of individuals that are highly deserving. These individuals often will speak about a lack of motivation to perform above and beyond since other colleagues will gain the same promotion for minimal work. There are also quite a few redundant positions. This group of paid personnel that questionably provides value to the company could be used to benefit the company by providing their services to high impact departmental support roles if pushed in that direction, but the lack of insight from management prevents that.

    Advice to Management

    Look for ways to restructure personnel organization. Just because it worked when the company was <100 people doesn't mean it will work forever. The company changes rapidly, so should the methods of management. Support lower level employees from within the company, there are a lot of bright minds capable of a lot more than Amyris is offering them.



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