Cree

  www.cree.com
  www.cree.com
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10 people found this helpful  

The "C" in Cree does not stand for Compassion

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

I worked at Cree

Pros

Cree has great benefits, great job security, a great product, and excellent market position that should allow them continued dominance and mastery over their competitors should nothing surprising happen. Working at Cree was a very valuable experience for me in many ways.

Cons

For all of the great things about Cree and there are a lot, there are four major things that it does not handle well.
      The first is that there is no concept of work-life balance. They expect you to work weekends, holidays, erratic schedules, and 12+ hr shifts. It would not be so bad if trying to schedule vacation days was not like trying to pull out your own teeth with a pair of pliers. I lost a significant number of vacation days, because there was no "convenient time" to schedule my vacation request. If you are not an R&D Scientist then you are going to be hard pressed to have all of your holidays off.
      The second is that Cree's merit compensation is also a misnomer, since merit is based more off of the "amount of time" you work and the "number of years" that you have worked there and not the "quality of your work". Cree loves warm bodies. You can be incompetent, but if you work over 80 hours a week, you will be well compensated. Despite expecting you to work a ridiculous number of hours they only pay you what the market pays for a 40 hour a week job.
      The third is that Cree does a very poor job at building their internal talent and helping valuable and talented employees move up the ladder. Many of the fellow operators, techs, and engineers that I worked with that were obviously over qualified were unable to go anywhere. On more than one occasion I was told myself, that I was hired as a tech and despite my engineering degree, that a tech I shall remain. They told me in the interview that I would probably be an engineer in a year. Cree prefers to either hire desperate experienced people who have been laid off for cheap, cheap college grads, or to poach an employee from another company over promoting from within. Cree would also prefer to hire a new employee rather than send you to training to improve your skill sets.
      The last is that Cree's culture is very much "Caste" based. There caste's breakdown from lowest to highest as: the Manufacturing Operators, the Technicians, the Engineers, the R&D Engineers, and the R&D Scientist. The culture dictates that each caste is intrinsically superior in every way to the castes below them. They demand absolute respect and obedience from them irregardless if they are even above them in the org chart. To reciprocate these inherent rights they feel that they deserve, every caste is expected to treat the lower caste's very poorly, often times it felt as I was being treated as if I were less than human. The R&D Scientist caste is considered to be infallible and they treat everyone as if they are their servants. If you are not R&D, then your opinion is most likely pointless. Your overall respect, recognition, and intangible perks are directly tied to your caste level. Like most caste based societies, you cannot move up. Personally, the extreme level of arrogance gets old fast.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Put a stronger emphasis on developing the talent that you already have. You have hoarded a wealth of talent that almost every company would be jealous of, but most of them are in positions that they are obviously over qualified for. Invest in cross training your employees in all of the castes. This will allow for fewer employees to be needed, less of a strain when someone is sick or on vacation, and result in a much higher morale. Take it upon yourself to enforce what you state as the company culture of a "Merit driven culture, where hard and quality work is rewarded" rather than the actual culture of "Merit = Time at work and to remember what caste you come from".

Doesn't Recommend
No opinion of CEO

118 Other Employee Reviews for Cree (View Most Recent)

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  1. 6 people found this helpful  

    Better than average benefits but no allowance for a work / family balanced life.

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

    I have been working at Cree

    Pros

    - Benefits not bad. At the salaried level stock options are offered which increased my net income this year by over 10%
    - Internal and external offered opportunities exist. Cree has been hiring while other companies have been laying off.
    - Cree's business and market share is definitely growing.
    - Cree has very little "fat". It is very efficient and usually gets the optimal ROI from its people and equipment.
    - Promotions and career advancement exist for those willing to make personal sacrifices.

    Cons

    - 60 hrs/week is viewed as a minimum
    - The company's inclement weather policy is "we never close"; Even when there is 8" of snow on the ground.
    - Time off is contingent upon upper managements mood. If they feel a department needs to make a better showing of effort (even if it is simply for the purpose of just being seen) you will be at work regardless of the day of the year. This applies to Christmas and other traditional holidays.
    - Work environment is optimal only for single workaholics with no social life outside of work.
    - At the salaried level, if you're in a manufacturing position, you are on call 24/7/365.
    - At the wage level, 12 hour shifts are the norm and often coupled with additional mandatory 12hr work days.
    - Expanded manufacturing overseas may soon decrease the size of Cree's domestic work force.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None to offer. Cree's culture is set by the CEO and his slogan is "whatever it takes to achieve the goal". This no holds barred approach to management gets quantifiable results. From a financial perspective (especially when unemployment is high) there is no incentive for Cree to change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Cree is by far the best company I've ever worked for and a place where you get to literally change the future.

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

    I have been working at Cree

    Pros

    Cree is a very high-growth technology company that is changing the way we think about lighting. It is fast-pace with no dull moments where you have the ability to change processes every day. From my perspective, Cree has great pay and great benefits including a free onsite gym. It's located in a great location (Raleigh/Durham, NC) and the people are awesome here.

    Cons

    My only concern is the sudden changes we seem to go through because we don't have the best forecasting ability. We need better systems here as we continue to grow into a larger company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to change our external perception that we're a sweat shop. We no longer are that, in my opinion, but the public doesn't know that.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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