Cree
2.6 of 5 80 reviews
www.cree.com Durham, NC 1000 to 5000 Employees

Cree Reviews

Updated Apr 10, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.6 80 reviews

                             

44% Approve of the CEO

Cree Chairman, President, and CEO Chuck Swoboda

Chuck Swoboda

(50 ratings)

32% of employees recommend this company to a friend
80 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Good opportunity to make decent cash on stock options sometimes"
    in 6 reviews
  • "Fast paced and constantly changing processes"
    in 5 reviews
Cons:
  • "There's really bad work/life balance and then there's Cree"
    in 16 reviews
  • "No Work/Life Balance, No Career Development, Poor Managers & Senior Leaders, No Team Work or Collaboration"
    in 6 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Disapproves of CEO

6 people found this helpful  

Good people, terrible management and poor compensation.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Cree full-time for more than 8 years

ProsMost of the workforce are great people that work hard. Low cost of living in North Carolina

ConsManagement sees everyone as easily replaced, even employees with extensive experience. Terrible compensation far below other comparable tech companies. This results in very low moral and unmotivated employees.

Advice to Senior ManagementWhen it comes to your workforce, you get what you pay for. You will not retain top talent without reasonable compensation.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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4 people found this helpful  

Weak people need not apply

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Durham, NC

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

ProsFast paced company. Good stock options. Match small % of 401K. Generally surrounded by hard working individuals. Making world class products and supporting the generalization of the LED market can be a fun place to be.

ConsBudgets for everyone except R&D and Racine site are very limited. Individuals that do not pull their own weight are able to coast through the workday without managerial intervention while everyone else is working a 10-12 hour day to ensure their work is completed. Cree doesn't invest in their employees. High engineer turn over. Cree does not pay enough for all of the extra hours that are expected.

Advice to Senior ManagementPick 1 business model and go with it. Working in a knee jerk environment is exhausting.
Invest in your employees to improve retention.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Student working summers in manufacturing

Manufacturing (Former Employee)
Racine, WI

I worked at Cree full-time for more than a year

ProsGreat pay for college student; 40 hours/week; overtime available (sometimes); 3 different shifts; clean work environment for a factory; friendly employees and bosses; air-conditioned factory; assembly lines were ergonomically designed

ConsWork would slow down toward the middle of summer and they would start to lay off the summer help earlier than planned. Production would slow down when an issue arose and management was hard to find to help with said issue

Advice to Senior ManagementMake sure more trainers are readily available to help all active assembly lines

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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2 people found this helpful  

Long hours

Manufacturing Operator (Current Employee)
Racine, WI

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

ProsGet benifits right away from the day you start, have tution rembursment after one year of employment, full insurance

ConsLong hours, hot conditions to work in, advancement limited, supervision not professional, need more schooling to learn how to lead

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4 people found this helpful  

Great for a New Engineer - Difficult Balance

Process Engineer (Current Employee)
Durham, NC

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

Pros-Incredible experience in a fast pace manufacturing environment
-Plenty of great minds to mentor you in first few years out of college
-Industry changing products
-Great bonuses and stock program which can lead to big bursts of income
-Great career paths are possible but extremely competitive, however lateral movement for better career fit is frowned upon and sometimes denied.

Cons-In my experience, management is a direct reflection of their superior, this causes narrow mindedness and rushed reactions
-Very shortsighted for immediate revenue gain and stock movement
-I always get the same answer from management, "I want you to improve the process without changing the process."
-Extremely demanding. It is difficult to have the proper work life balance. Work late nights and weekends when needed.
-As a standard the practice the management tries to get as much production and development with as few resources as possible, this includes people and equipment

Advice to Senior ManagementPlease, please, please stop micromanaging. There is a reason you pick the best engineers and brightest minds, USE THEM! I have heard of so many ideas get shot down without ever getting any real consideration.

This company will continue to grow despite itself. Incredible technologies in a growing field and some of the leading minds in their fields make this company something special.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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2 people found this helpful  

Good Company

Research Scientist (Current Employee)
Durham, NC

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

ProsLots of hard work needed. Fast Growing place. Has potential to be an industry game changer.

ConsHard to get a life work balance. Lots of time and commitment needed.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep working at it.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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5 people found this helpful  

You do not want to work here!

Sales Position (Current Employee)
Durham, NC

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

ProsWork attire is extremely casual- as in, jeans and tshirts
Gym and cafeteria

ConsThis place reminds me of high school- and not in a good way! Imagine all the socially awkward and nerdy kids you went to school with. This is the place for all of the nerds to gather and compare their vast knowledge of everything among each other. There are bullies and just very inappropriate people here. Very stressful environment. I actually have anxiety even thinking about this place.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop the micro management. Hire people with some personality for a change! The atmosphere is awful...company morale is very, very low.

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

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5 people found this helpful  

Only come here if you are desperate!

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

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

ProsPaycheck. Quarterly bonuses. All you can stand overtime. Benefits are ok, nothing special.

ConsPlans change far too frequently. Insane lack of planning and forethought. Lack of processes. Lack of manpower. Lack of equipment. Frustratingly inept IT dept. Frustrating work environment.

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your employees. Stop letting marketing dictate product development.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

Disrespectful to employees.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Cree as a contractor

ProsCo-workers are intelligent, sometimes friendly.
Good mentors, if you can find them.

ConsThis company does not respect its employees.
Company does not promote "energy efficiency" or the "green movement" internally (i.e. company does not authentically live up to the values it portrays to customers)
Management is erratic.
No self-growth.
Work environment is tense.
Long hours.
No work-life balance.

Advice to Senior ManagementRespect your employees more. Authentically.

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

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15 people found this helpful  

Expect disappointment if you work in an engineering/manufacturing department.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Durham, NC

I have been working at Cree full-time

Pros1. Plenty of (mandatory) overtime
2. Decent health benefits
3. Decent starting pay
4. Diverse workforce

ConsMost of Cree's cons are ultimately due to the fact that it is cheaper to make LEDs in China and the fact that its main manufacturing facility is really just an overgrown research lab.

1. High turnover at all levels ranging from operator to low level management--no one is happy to be working here. If they are, they are either very new or have tons of Cree stock.
2. Severely understaffed, both because of the high turnover and because of management's reluctance to hire new employees.
3. Middle managers are at best impotent and at worst active yes-men for out of touch upper management decision making. Some low level managers try their best to look out for their employees, but are usually surrounded by an aura of defeat.
4. The gym is only really usable by salaried employees working M-F 9-5. Most people are too exhausted after a 12 hour workday (or night) to gym it up and hourly employee break times are not long enough to use the gym facilities during the workday.
5. Complete lack of individualized employee development. Some classes exist, but like the gym membership they are either unusable or generic and irrelevant.
6. Rigid caste system with no promotion from within. Experienced operators interviewing for open technician positions are asked much harder and more obscure questions during their interviews than external candidates who are usually lobbed softballs. Same goes for technicians interviewed for engineering positions. Oftentimes even engineers attempting merely lateral moves are stopped by upper management.
7. Petty politics dominate the corporate landscape. Favoritism, disparate salaries for the same position, and the "divide and conquer" management style used by micro-managers with poor people skills that pits employees on the same team against each other are ubiquitous at Cree.
8. Close to zero career growth potential.
9. Live to work philosophy.
10. Profit over people. Cree is geared towards short term gain over long term investment.

Advice to those offered a position in the LED chips division here:
1. If you have an engineering degree, consider other engineering offers first. There are places out there with slightly lower starting salaries, but much more growth potential.
2. If you accept the job offer, do not stop applying to other engineering opportunities. This company will not make you more marketable, so there is no point investing time here career-wise.
3. Negotiate a high starting salary. You will not be getting promotions or raises anytime soon.

Advice to Senior ManagementI have no advice for Cree's management as their goals do not remotely align with the goals of most of its employees. The CEO seems to be putting his best foot forward for the shareholders and upper management seems to be squeezing every penny out of the company for their coffers.

For a company that touts it's 21st century relevance, Cree is woefully behind the times in its corporate culture, its inability to retain new talent, and its decrepit internal infrastructure. Cree seems to be a company where the semiconductor industry's equipment and careers go to die.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Cree reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda. All 80 reviews posted anonymously by Cree employees.