AstraZeneca Reviews

Updated January 30, 2015
7 reviews filtered by
  • Alderley Park, England (UK)
  • Any Job Title
3.8
7 Reviews
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Approve of CEO
AstraZeneca Executive Director, CEO Pascal Soriot
Pascal Soriot
3 Ratings

7 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great prospects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alderley Park, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alderley Park, England (UK)

    I have been working at AstraZeneca

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Strong leadership team
    Support for further development

    Cons

    Undergoing a period of major changes. With the right leadership, there should be bright future ahead.

  2. Brilliant but flawed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Alderley Park, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Alderley Park, England (UK)

    I worked at AstraZeneca

    Pros

    I started at AstraZeneca in 1996. I had a fantastic time and met a lot of wonderful people. I was trained and invested in for the first 10 years. There are some very clever people at AstraZeneca, people who are excellent at their job and quite inspirational. When you concentrate on the science and medicine, you have a wonderful environment. Recent developments to increase and expand the pipeline have been very interesting. Alderley Park was a beautiful environment.

    Cons

    When I started, my compensation was standard for the time, and good. However, that eroded so badly over time that when I was promoted, I had to have substantial salary increases to reach the BOTTOM of the next salary band. When I recently moved company to do exactly the same job, my pay almost doubled. In addition, the management structure is antiquated and dysfunctional. If you don't get on with your manager, you will not get on. And there is a nasty habit of putting people in managerial positions who cannot do and have never done the job of the people they manage. My last department will now have 2 senior managers, neither of whom can work at the level expected of their staff. Due to recent events, staff are now under a lot of pressure to perform miraculous amounts of work while under a lot of pressure, both professional and personal. This leads to a lot of bad behaviour which was awful. Physicians, in particular, can be a dreadful bunch, rude, unprofessional and unable to accept instruction, whilst contributing little and being rewarded the most. If you are a contractor, you will make a lot of money while doing a job that is not performance managed, from home. Difficult to accept for the permanent staff.

    Advice to Management

    AZ needs to change its management style and give their best people, not just the elite few, a proper career structure that reflects the new company they're trying to be. Pay needs to be increased, particularly with the move to Cambridge, and stop paying contractors an absolute fortune to do jobs they're not qualified for, in a way that will jeopardise the licence to operate. I had to leave the company in order to progress in terms of salary, job title and development after 19 years faithful service. What is that all about? Never mind, if I ever return, it will be to sort out your mess and you will pay me handsomely to do it.

  3. Mediocraty Rules

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Scientist in Alderley Park, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Research Scientist in Alderley Park, England (UK)

    I worked at AstraZeneca full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Generaly very nice people to work with and managers etc on a personal level were always warm and accomodating where possible

    Cons

    wage is average to poor for the sector. Little room for progression with most people staying for at least 5-8 years in their band. Very resistant to change and were often met with a "we do it this way because we have always done it this way" mantra - despite all of the change an initiatives from the top which were often meerly just words rather than actions. Constant rounds of reorganisation and redundancies meant that productivity had dropped at least 50% as people were too bust working out where the next job was going to be!

    Advice to Management

    Be more open to new ideas and have the courage of your convictions, stop with that half arsed plans and just do it properly!

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  5. Great experience, hopefully not my last

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Biochemical Screening Scientist in Alderley Park, England (UK)
    Former Contractor - Biochemical Screening Scientist in Alderley Park, England (UK)

    I worked at AstraZeneca as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good management, good culture, value their employees and their development

    Cons

    Uncertain times, with potential take over talk, too many meetings to setup meetings

  6. A sandwich year placement in AZ.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Placement Student in Alderley Park, England (UK)
    Former Contractor - Placement Student in Alderley Park, England (UK)

    I worked at AstraZeneca as a contractor (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent support from everyone. Amazing facilities.

    Cons

    Concerns regarding to site relocation.

  7. Helpful (1)

    Great experience, but felt a bit out of the loop

    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Medicinal Chemistry Placement Student in Alderley Park, England (UK)
    Current Intern - Medicinal Chemistry Placement Student in Alderley Park, England (UK)

    I have been working at AstraZeneca as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    Social - most people in your team/section have tea together. Often, large lunch groups form.
    Great food - very good restaurant for lunch, tho the prices started to creep up quite high.

    Good facilities - usually have access to all the equipment you would want.

    Plenty of consumables budget.

    Sense of community/belonging.

    Opportunities for secondments and further training

    Great sports clubs and facilities.

    Cons

    For me, I felt very disconnected from the projects I worked on, as I was quite junior, I wasn't invited to design meetings - I'd just be given a target list. This quickly became tiresome, just feeling like a chemistry machine without purpose.

    Whilst I was there (2007-2008), we hit recession and the company restructured, with a whole section losing their jobs in one afternoon. That was a tough experience for everybody.

    AZ don't seem to have a clear vision for their product pipeline. This makes me worry about their future. The solution is not to just keep buying out biological companies.

    Often, there was too much emphasis on effociency and six-sigma, rather than thinking more carefully about how targets are designed and distributed to chemists.

    No communication happened between chemists and biologists (and others). This only happened at a team leader level.

    Many projects seemed to have stagnated - they had been around a long time.

    Advice to Management

    Drug discovery is inherently interdisciplinary. Make time to allow all departments on a project to communicate with all members of that project team. Also, involve all medicinal chemists in the design process. This will prevent stagnation and breed creativity, to push on projects faster.

    Think less about how a process fits into the lean sigma strategy and more about how to get te best quality from the molecules and data you generate, rather than just making things quickly.

    The career progression path is a bit mystical to new recruits.

  8. Relaxed place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alderley Park, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Alderley Park, England (UK)

    I have been working at AstraZeneca

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Nice atmosphere, relaxed atmosphere in my area.

    Cons

    Can be difficult to get people on-board with some projects. The relaxed atmosphere is nice, but it can feel a bit lethargic at times. A bit of an 'old boy' network in the top echelons with the older (mainly men) enjoying excellent salaries, with a bit of a difficult climb for talented younger people. Most of the really talented people move to other companies in order to get ahead.

    Advice to Management

    Better talent spotting at the junior levels. Too stultifying at the top levels.

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