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5 people found this helpful  

A great company, at risk but no doubt worth it.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Core Technology Engineer  in  Foster City, CA
Current Employee - Core Technology Engineer in Foster City, CA

I have been working at EFI

Pros

EFI is to the image of its CEO: very friendly and concerned about people. EFI has a very good work ethic. EFI is to digital printing what Microsoft is to operating systems. EFI was the early emerging leader. EFI cannot be avoided. If you want to be on the side of Goliath, join EFI. This is a dominant player that can stay for years, although it can still fall fast, from high. A new General Manager has been hired in March 2009. This person will likely make a difference. The initial perception of this GM by the base is excellent. Practically all managers are very, very good human beings.

Cons

Downsides are also at the image of EFI management. Good engineers have been named managers as the company grew, starting with the CEO himself. But engineers are not always natural communicators or managers. Creativity has been killed by this kind of management over the years. At EFI, management skills are learned by trial and error. Training, when it is allowed, is associated with technology, not with management skills. The company performance and motivation has been slowed down by too many well intentioned managers interfering because they continue with their technical work, focusing on technical solutions, driving instead of inspiring their employees (those supposed to do the actual work). Outside of management, very few feel empowered and accountable. A bureaucratic culture of meetings and process-making has flourished at the management level. Watch out for the number of processes that are asking for resources that are not available! These processes invariably end up with trimmed-down, cancelled or late projects.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Be back in touch with your real performers: those truly creating and selling your flagship products. Retain your expert doers. Be aware of the biased picture you get from layers of management too deep for this size of company. Reduce the ratio of persons who spend their days in meetings (and arguing endlessly) versus the number of actual doers, who have the direct skills to build your product, or sell it. There is too high a ratio of people having time to think about what EFI should do, versus the number of people who have the skills to execute. Rebuild your R&D. It was turned into a product building factory taking orders from OEMs, spying on their supplier/competitor EFI. Make this company drive innovation, again.

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

192 Other Employee Reviews for EFI (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good place for engineers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Foster City, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Foster City, CA

    I worked at EFI

    Pros

    Great group of people to work with, most products are competitive in market, pay and benefits are ok. Most employees do not seem to be overworked

    Cons

    This is an engineering company across the board, if you are in sales or (what passes) for marketing, look out. As noted before, politics will define your career path.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As a shareholder, I am astounded that EFI spends 23% of revenue on R&D, and has nothing new to show for it. The core Fiery technology is a mature product suffering from feature creep. The MIS group had to buy a competitor because EFI couldn't deliver a competitive system internally (you are a software company, and you can't write software?!?!). The Jetrion and Vutek businesses have legs, it will be interesting to see what EFI will do to them over the long run. FYI, Cisco, another company that has grown through acquisition only spends 14% on R&D. Maybe Chambers can give Gecht some advice!

    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    A lesson in failure.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technical Support  in  Concord, NH
    Former Employee - Technical Support in Concord, NH

    I worked at EFI

    Pros

    The best reason I can think of to continue to work at efi is passion for the technology.

    Cons

    As a former employee of a small disruptive-tech leader they bought, I watched as waves of arrogant upper management washed through and gutted the core of innovation and morale with systematically poor decision making, unrealistic forecasts, and downright arrogant decisions that directly harmed out bottom line. In many cases these people were then promoted. Instituting a policy where political considerations determine what technology will be implemented, rather than efficacy and overall cost. The writing was on the wall once we became more driven by responding to competition rather than leading with the best technology: defining the field. It was a sad story.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get the heck out of the way of the people who built the multimillion dollar companies you bought out of nothing. THEY know what their doing. Your stock price is a pretty good indicator of how well you've been doing for the last decade or so.

    Disapproves of CEO
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