Cree Reviews

Updated August 3, 2015
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2.3
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Cree Chairman, President, and CEO Chuck Swoboda
Chuck Swoboda
107 Ratings

Pros
  • Excellent and competitive benefits, including ESPP and stock options (in 7 reviews)

  • good benefits and clean enviroment (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is nonexistent (in 17 reviews)

  • compensation is not as good as i thought; no work life balance; push employee to work long hour with large amount of work (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

167 Employee Reviews

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  1. Manager

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

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

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

    Pros

    Cree has some of the best on-site amenities that you will ever find and they are open to each and every full time employee along with their families. Cree is a very fast pace moving technology company. Very solid IT, HR team and Legal team. On-site training classes are a huge bonus.

    Cons

    Their is not much growth opportunities from with-in. Expect long working days, expect to work during holidays if your shift falls on the holiday. Required to use vacation time during mandatory or forced slow-down periods.

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on work-life balance for mid-level managers. Focus more on positive reinforcement and rewarding of employees who value the company. Look among the inside talent to promote.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Equipment Technician

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Equipment Technician in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Equipment Technician in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Cree full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    If your right out of collage or new to the semiconductor industry this is a good place to start! you will have the chance to work with some really smart people! And will meet some really Good people! you will be constantly challenged to perform above and beyond the call of duty! you will learn the Art of "make it happen Now!" And you Will!!!! you will do "what ever it takes" to get the systems online! and after a few years you will be valuable..(to other company's)

    Cons

    The Company (or the people making the decisions) always seem to be one step behind the Industry!..it wasn't always like this! we never know if were a materials company, a Lighting company or a chip company! The Hours are a little tough at times..12 hrs can take it toll on you. revolving door of people. the bottom line in not always clear!..one minute we need you to work as many hours as possible..then,,stop all overtime and let people go! Seems very unorganized!

    Advice to Management

    it doesn't matter! they wont listen! the decisions start at the top!


  3. Helpful (1)

    Great product but all about buisness not people

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

    I worked at Cree

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits, free training to better yourself

    Cons

    Work you to the bone, not family structured like it use to be. They just don't care about the people who really make them the money and the hours are crazy. When you work at CREE you better be able to revolve around CREE not your family

    Advice to Management

    Be more open minded to suggestions and not feel threatened about there position


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Innovative

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

    I have been working at Cree (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Files a lot of patents

    Cons

    Very competitive industry - management focus drifting from product quality


  6. Helpful (1)

    Cree

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

    I have been working at Cree

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Fast moving company, cutting-edge of science

    Cons

    too many overworked people, no work-life balance, not much development of their emplyees


  7. Helpful (4)

    Grass is greener on the other side

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Equipment Maintenance Technician in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Equipment Maintenance Technician in Durham, NC

    I worked at Cree full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Cree has some of the best benefits you can ask for. Medical/dental by BCBS of NC. 401k matched to the typical industry standard of 6%.Stock purchase plan is great for those who take advantage of it. 8 holidays is slightly higher then the industry standard. People who work at Cree for the most part are great. There are really intelligent people at the company who are eager to share knowledge. You typically stay busy and it makes the time go by fast. Ability to get your name out there for professional networking. Typically the pay is on scale within NC. Industry comparison is considerably low. Dress policy is very loose. Clean room policy is laughable and loose. See people all the time with face mask down by the chin, no safety glasses on.

    Cons

    There were a lot of gaps in communication. Groups didn't communicate very well with one another and often blamed one another instead of working together for the benefit of the company as a whole. Direct managers were not well trained on detailed operations and procedures. Some managers denied paid vacation times for hourly employees. No training program for new technicians. Techs were hired with no prior industry experience, sometime not even knowing basic hand tools and their functions. Tools to complete the task at hand were hard to find and not easily accessible. Company would not spend money on hand tools to fix equipment. Company must pay osha under the table. The safety violations in every one of the factories is astonishing. Cree does not care at all about employee safety. They went as far as to remove the calcium calgonate from areas that have fluoride. Regular maintenance PMs that have been known to cause cancer and Cree does not provide respirators to the technicians performing the PM. Limited opportunity to grow within the company. Management often blocks applications to other positions.

    Advice to Management

    Safety needs to be a value not priority. Train the new people. Work together not in individual groups who blame one another.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Poor Working Environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Process Technician II in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Process Technician II in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Cree full-time

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

    Pros

    Met my husband at Cree and hopefully we'll be leaving soon.

    Cons

    Poor bonuses, when we get them; no room for advancement; poor raises; very low moral; poor managers

    Advice to Management

    It would be great if Cree actually hired managers who were qualified to be managers.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Cree is meh

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineering Laboratory Technician in Raleigh, NC
    Current Employee - Engineering Laboratory Technician in Raleigh, NC

    I have been working at Cree part-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of smart people at the company. Lots of cool people at the company. Cool technology being worked on.

    Cons

    Focus on projects sometimes misplaced.

    Advice to Management

    Provide better entrance into company aside from redirecting to the online portal.


  10. Helpful (11)

    Toxic. Unhealthy.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Semiconductor Manufacturing Operator in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Semiconductor Manufacturing Operator in Durham, NC

    I worked at Cree full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Great benefits. The gym is really nice. They offer some tuition assistance after 12 months of employment. The work the company is doing is exciting and the company is big. There are opportunities to make extra money (when overtime is available).

    Cons

    Contents: 1. Lack of Advancement Opportunities 2. Blatant Sexism Against Women in the Workplace 3. Instability 4. Working Night Shift is a Huge Disadvantage --- 1. Lack of Advancement Opportunities From what I observed in my department, people in intermediate positions (such as shift leads) remain in those positions for 10-15+ years and are either unsuitable for advancement or refuse to change positions, clogging up the very few paths of advancement for operators who do wish to try and advance. Departments outside the one you're placed in are extremely unlikely to consider you. Cree appears to try to hire fresh blood from outside the company instead of promoting from within. The only people I saw advance had been trying to do so for close to a decade. They are unwilling to train you and equip you with skills needed for advancement at any, even the smallest, levels, even if you explicitly request such training. I had to fight tooth-and-nail to acquire extra job skills that I used as a vehicle to get out of this awful company. A competitor hired me in a much higher position after Cree refused to consider me for such a position. 2. Blatant Sexism Against Women in the Workplace While the majority of the sex-based discrimination/harassment I encountered came from my lateral peers, the two areas I have first-hand experience with and have decided to stress here have to do with A) management and B) Human Resources. A) Although I cannot speak for the whole company, I personally experienced an extremely sexist work environment during my two years at the company, predominately in my (numerous) male supervisors' responses to my desire and attempts to advance myself within the company. This is especially of concern to women within/considering Cree because your supervisor is the one tasked with conducting approvals for advancement consideration as well as your salary-modifying evaluations. I had supervisors dismiss me from conversations about advancement multiple times with casual sexist statements. One stated very clearly that he only thought I was being considered for a position because the manager was being "flirtatious" with me, another said I didn't need to worry about making more money or advancing because I could "find someone to take care of" me. I had 7+ (all male) supervisors and department heads and most at some point made several offensive sexist remarks throughout my time working with them and clearly did not take women as seriously as men. They showed no signs of realizing how offensive they were being and the other women there tolerated it. Try being a female young professional and going to work at an acclaimed, reputable, technology company and having your boss respond to you with phrases like "it's a man's thing and you wouldn't understand". B) My perception was that HR picked and chose which cases to look into and which to ignore and it seemed very slanted in opposition of women. For example, I reported a piece of verifiable, written proof of sexual harassment to HR and they could have very easily discovered and taken action against the perpetrator. Despite me emphasizing that I felt threatened by the note and following up several times, no actions were taken. But when, around the same time, someone falsely reported to HR that I was sleeping with a manager, they looked into that, subjecting parties to degrading investigations. Other female workers there had similar experiences. HR should focus more on making all areas of Cree a fair place for women to work and less on frivolous fraternization witch hunts. I could list several more examples of unfair and sexist treatment and HR enabling it. I am sharing this because I never want another woman to go through what I went through there. Cree needs to install accountability at all levels (not just the higher ones) to ensure women are being taken just as seriously as their male peers across the board. Hopefully they do that quickly before they have discrimination lawsuits on their hands. 3. Instability My experience at Cree was littered with market forecasting inaccuracies leading to questionable company reactions. We were on double mandatory overtime for almost a year, and then all of a sudden overtime was completely unavailable, there were multiple "shutdowns" (where you're forced to take a weeks vacation, either taking no pay or using your HPTO/PTO) and layoffs of temps due to a "surplus of inventory." I understand the semiconductor market undulates up and down, but how Cree handles the "cyclical changes" affects the jobs and paychecks of real people in drastic ways. A lot of workplace conflicts arise from the hysteria of scared and uneasy workers in response to Cree's knee-jerk reactions to market changes. 4. Working Night Shift is a Huge Disadvantage There is no accountability for management on nights. Many of the employee "perks" cannot apply to night shift nearly as much if at all because they occur during the day. HR is not there at night. If you are an operator you will be put on nights (if not immediately, but eventually) and you will stay there for years (based on "seniority"). Most night shift supervisors are almost never on the floor and are allowed to become very corrupt. Some operators got away with sleeping on the job and goofing off night after night while I was nit-picked, camera-watched, called on the phone and scolded over little things (such as my knee touching the floor while picking up materials in the clean room). Most technicians at night are very absent as their bosses are not present, negatively affecting operator cycle times. I experienced an unfair and toxic working environment, especially on the night shift.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on making this a better place for women to work even at the operator level. Evaluate not just how many women work for the company, but where they are distributed department and career-level-wise. Create a fair workplace environment because I can assure you, it is not. Roll out further education to all employees, especially those in management, on the definitions and negative (and legal) consequences of sex-based discrimination. Make it possible for willing employees to advance.


  11. Helpful (6)

    The Black Hole

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Optical Applications Engineer in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Optical Applications Engineer in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Cree full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Really good people work there, management needs to shape up and fly right. Benefits are OK but better at other companies. Management only helps their selves.

    Cons

    No work life balance, management needs to train their people. Too much overworked people benefits are OK but better at other places. Top management does not care at all about the workers but how much money they can put in their pockets.

    Advice to Management

    Get a life and a new job some where else, go back to our values that were started in the beginning, this is not Texas Instruments.



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