Cree

www.cree.com

Cree Reviews

Updated January 23, 2015
Updated January 23, 2015
124 Reviews
2.6
124 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Cree Chairman, President, and CEO Chuck Swoboda
Chuck Swoboda
81 Ratings

Review Highlights

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

  • Good benefits ,3 weeks vacation to start, 401K, really good health insurance plans (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • There's really bad work/life balance and then there's Cree (in 17 reviews)

  • No Work/Life Balance, No Career Development, Poor Managers & Senior Leaders, No Team Work or Collaboration (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    great place to work

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

    I have been working at Cree

    Pros

    Great place to work, great work hours, laid back setting

    Cons

    could treat temps better, not allowed to holiday functions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    none

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 7 people found this helpful  

    Do not board this sinking ship

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

    I worked at Cree

    Pros

    Some coworkers; benefits; job security

    Cons

    You are not valued as an employee. They value the shareholders. Mandatory overtime with absolutely no appreciation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People have families. They want to spend time with them. They are not robots.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Unusual environment

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

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

    Pros

    The benefits package is solid. Health, vacation, stock options, ESOP. Cree has a cafeteria and gym. They also promote donating to worthy civic causes - blood drive, etc.

    Cons

    As many have mentioned, the work/life balance is inadequate. Most exempt employees are expected to be available 24/7. This includes holidays, weekends and vacations. It is not unusual to be on conference calls, or receive emails that you are expected to respond to, at 10:00 at night.
    As a result, tension is high and there is a high turnover of employees. Interestingly, there is also a high churn rate for supervisors and managers. It appears rare to find a manager holding their position for more than 2 years. They either leave, or are moved to other positions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Take a new look at the "Cree Way". It is not working. Many employees - including several managers I have spoken with - mock it.
    2. It amazes me how many long-term Cree employees are unhappy working here. As a company, being flexible is one thing. Working in a chaotic, reactionary environment is something else entirely.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Teamwork

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

    I have been working at Cree

    Pros

    Overtime, bonuses, health insurance, 401K, 401K employer match

    Cons

    May have to start on 2nd or 3rd shift

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    There are far better options in Raleigh/Durham area then Cree...

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

    I worked at Cree

    Pros

    1) Medical, Dental and Vision benefits are very good, but I have now worked at 4 different companies since I graduated from college and all have been on par with Cree so its not anything special if you already have really good health benefits.
    2) There is an on site gym (main campus only) that is free to all full-time employees and their intimidate family. Gym is equivalent to a Golds Gym (we'll get back to the gym in the cons).
    3) Most managers for exempt employees are good about letting you go appointments and having a schedule that allows you to come and go as needed, but there are cons to this also that will be below.
    4) On main campus there is a cafeteria. Typical cafeteria food but they try to make it a little different and fancy.
    5) There are summer and winter parties every year. Summer party is casual, held on main campus, and has food trucks and free beer, wine, water and soda. The winter party is formal held usually at a hotel in a large ball room. You get one to two drink tickets per adult then its a cash bar. Food is free at both events.
    6) There is a bonus structure in place if the company meets their goals and exempt employees can get stock options. There will be more on this in the cons below.
    7) Compensation is above average but it does not out weigh the negatives.

    Cons

    Where to start...
    1)Going back to the gym. Yes they have one but if you can actually find time to use then you must not have a lot to do at Cree or are some how flying under the radar and haven't been noticed so that they can give you more work.
    2) About the managers being flexible with your time in office and out office...you are expected to be available 24/7, including holidays, weekends, and vacation. Especially if you support manufacturing in China and/or Malaysia.
    3) Oh that bonus...If you are exempt (not including the CEO) you can get a quarterly bonus if the company makes their goals that quarter (only got a bonus twice in the eight quarters I was there and one of those was pity bonus because we had gone 5 straight quarters without a bonus). Non exempt employees and the CEO get a yearly bonus if the company shows growth year over year so if each quarter you don't make your goal but still have growth at the end of the year, Chuck still gets to line his pockets with his 7-8 figure bonus.
    3A) Regarding stocks they are one of a few companies in the area that actually offer stock options. The only problem I had was all my stocks unvested at a price $20 over the current stock price so when some of them get vested (1/3 is vested every year) they were useless.
    4) There is no work/life balance at Cree if you have a meaningful position in the company. Most of those people work 10+ hours a day including weekends. You are expected to be available at night, holidays and vacations. Very few managers (<5%) actually make an effort to try and give their employees time off work just to unwind and recharge but even they run into hurdles and can't keep their promise 100% of the time.
    5) If you are not an Engineer you will find opportunities very hard to come by. Some people with no Engineering background do move up or at the very least get opportunities to work in other departments in a lateral move. However those opportunities are very rare. 90% of all management is filled with Engineers..just let that sink in.
    6) You have to be part of the "good ole' boy" network to not get stepped on repeatedly. If you are not part of this network then your time at Cree will more miserable then normal.
    7) For a technology company they act more like its 1998. They run their manufacturing out of Excel for the most part. They have some software but it's cumbersome and in the case of Oracle they are only using 25% of it's capability. It has to make a lot of home grown software to try and patch together the company. Also don't go into Cree thinking that you can introduce some new software that will make everything better because they will not spend the money (instead they spend it on food and alcohol at two company events).
    8) Also if you see any 4 and 5 star reviews for Cree on this website they are almost always written by Recruiting for Cree or someone that Recruiting asked to write a positive review. Yes they have asked current employees to write a positive review for Cree in Glassdoor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All of those little sayings that go across your ticker on your intranet need to be re-evaluated. People are looking for a career at Cree not another job but unfortunately this how the senior and middle management treat all their employees. Most people at Cree don't care about the semi-conductor industry. They are more passionate about what they do ie. finance, HR, QC Supply Chain, Customer Service, etc. The research scientist and most the Engineers may have gone to school for this industry but 70% of the rest of your employees, exempt and non exempt did not. If Cree management is not careful the next acquisition may not be them buying someone else but someone else buying them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Growth

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

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

    Pros

    Manufacturing is dying in America -- nice that Cree employees the blue collar worker.

    Cons

    12 hour shifts can be tough

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8. 8 people found this helpful  

    Career started off as a very empowering experience, but quickly turned into a toxic one.

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

    I worked at Cree

    Pros

    Great benefits, compensation package, employee stock purchase plan, excellent people with great talent

    Cons

    Employees are not considered a resource. No emphasis on people. Everyone is considered replaceable. Very data driven. No work-life balance. Cut throat environment. Leadership constantly changing. There is not a defined vision shared by the leaders. High turn-over in most areas.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on developing the great employees that work for you. At the end of the day, these are the people that help make your bottom line. Step up your employee relations, and show empathy for people. Ensure that your mission and values are shared by all management and communicated to all employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 7 people found this helpful  

    Growth???

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

    I have been working at Cree

    Pros

    It's a job, nothing more (except an ulcer).

    Cons

    Yes, they employ Americans....when they have to;... the other jobs are filled with overseas workers brought here and as much manufacturing as possible done with much cheaper labour in Asia. Unfortunately, Cree isn't unique in this; just doing their best to "do whatever it takes to achieve the goal" of "increasing shareholder value".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None. What they're doing has typically worked well for shareholders and upper management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 18 people found this helpful  

    May God have mercy on your soul if you have to work at Cree.

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

    I worked at Cree full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Decent benefits (but don't plan on getting more than 3-4 days of PTO approved per year if you're salaried) and good job security. There are some departments that are "hidden gems" within Cree that are good to work for, but they are far and few between. You have to be hired into a good department though, so don't plan on starting off in a less desirable position and making a lateral transfer later. Requests to transfer are always denied without comment by management.

    Cons

    Whether you're a recent or upcoming graduate looking for your first engineering job, or if you're a more experienced engineer who just got laid off, let me give you some advice I wish I would have listened to: Do not work at Cree.

    Your experience will be worthless outside Cree and you will be miserable. Cree will affect your life in a very negative way. Your relationships with friends, family, and your SO will suffer, or maybe even be completely lost. Your mental and physical health will suffer. You will have to work 70-80 hours a week while being on call 24/7/365, you will be screamed at (literally) by managers who can't control their anger, you will be micromanaged to the extreme (my group had 3 2-hour long staff meeting every week, plus you were required to send out a ~8 slide update to management 7 days a week, including your days off), and you will only be paid an average salary for it.

    Unless you're at the point where you're going to starve to death, keep looking elsewhere. If you got laid off from your last job, keep milking unemployment, or if that's run out, try prostitution before you work here. As a prostitute, your clients will probably respect you more than Cree managers respect their employees. If you're an experienced engineer looking for a change, I can guarantee you Cree isn't the type of change you're looking for. If you're a new graduate desperate to get your foot in the door, look into field engineering positions at oil service companies first. You will work similar hours but for better pay and a better career path, and possibly even better working conditions.

    Most engineers with only a B.S. who start at Cree end up having to go to graduate school to get out. Cree doesn't use any statistical tools, six sigma, or lean manufacturing that are common at other companies. Most young engineers at Cree end up with 3-4 years of their life wasted doing nothing but work along with a several year block on their resume that's completely worthless.

    I'll repeat the advice I was given many times but ignored: Do. Not. Work. At. Cree.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Marketing

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

    I worked at Cree full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Excellent and competitive benefits, including ESPP and stock options
    - Global presence and brand

    Cons

    - Lack of career development
    - Literally no work/life balance
    - Stressful/Negative environment (Throughout the entire organization.) The environment itself can be extremely mentally and physically taxing

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your employees make a lot of sacrifices for you and for the company. There needs to be more positive energy and more focus on employee growth and career.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Cree Photos

Cree Clean Room
Cree Building 10 Entrance
Cree Type C Goniophotometer in Bld 10

+ Add Photo

Work at Cree? Share Your Experiences

Cree

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.