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Outside of the factory - Pretty good. Inside of the factory in trying to make a respectable difference - not good.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Product Engineer  in  Fremont, CA
Former Employee - Product Engineer in Fremont, CA

I worked at Lam Research

Pros

Almost a decade of my life - very proud of what I was doing and how Lam treated me - except for the last 8-10 months - when it became purely a confused state of affairs.

Pay is way above average - not that it makes a difference when you work 60+ hours a week, but for the most part - 75% of the time I was with Lam - compensation was excellent, advancement was good - and my management, overall, was very supportive.

Cons

In the middle world of Lam - There is a general lack of communication - too much tribal knowledge, and several instances of cronyism. It's 50-50 - many technically sound personnel, but there is alot of fluff internally, in some cases sheer confusion by middle management (who don't truly understand the product or what the customer seeks), or lack of foresight (continuously repeating tests that have no conclusive data, which wastes time and money) and apparently some who think they are almost deities.

In my last position - Management - didn't know (obviously did not understand) what I was doing and wasn't the least bit concerned that I was working 60+ hours per week trying to 'keep up' with the workload - having to carry the load for others who found it better to prove themselves as an asset by keeping close proximity to management's backside. Don't try to think outside the box and have it appreciated - and never tell anyone the truth, although that is one of the key principles that Lam impresses upon you to express, with respect, but it does have it's consequences (in this instance and with this particular manager, highly counter-productive to your continued employment).

Clear communication and goal guidance (big picture) can be severely lacking.

Also - for the field - SAP completely inhibits productivity. Nice place to make and keep records, but it is time consuming and inhibits supporting the overall productivity of the products sold by Lam.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

If you truly want to understand how to manage - we are people, not bots - and many of us have experience outside of Lam, and when we offer our 'advice' (sage knowledge), we believe that we feel there may actually be a better way to make progress and money. Try to listen and not just demand.

Upper management - officers - appear to be set up and above the citizenry - and having met one or two during my tenure - are very focused on business as a profit making entity, and that Lam is not a playground for people to abuse. I feel Lam upper management is on target to continue making Lam a very successful and competitive leader in the industry - although I would look into making key changes in managing how costs overrun for spare parts that are sent to the field, not used, not returned - accountability and controls. When a site can lose $0.25M in spares in a QRTR and no one seems to mind - that is cause for alarm, since that lost money is lost profit. Multiply that by roughly 20 (multiple sites in 4 QRTR's) - $20M up in smoke...

Approves of CEO

171 Other Employee Reviews for Lam Research (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Working at Lam is extremely high pressure and you are compensated well for it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Process Engineer  in  Fremont, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Process Engineer in Fremont, CA

    I have been working at Lam Research

    Pros

    Lam research is one of the top companies that manufacture tools for semiconductor fabrication. Lam's plasma etch business is highly regarded and you would have the chance to contribute in this area. You would also gain experience in managing yourself in a very challenging work environment with high demands placed on technical ability and work load.

    Cons

    The work environment at Lam is fast paced and very little deference is given to work-life balance. If you want to advance, be expected to devote a major portion of your energy to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lam is run too lean. My experience as a process engineer in the lab shows me that many people are loaded up with too much. I see people just checking off to-do lists and not thinking. Many mistakes are made that could be avoided. More is not always better, better is usually better.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    One of the best managed companies in semiconductor equipment industry in United States

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

    I have been working at Lam Research

    Pros

    - Top-notch technology in dry etch
    - Market share leader
    - Highly-qualified, motivated work force
    - Heavy R&D investment
    - Competitive salary and top benefits in semi-tool industry of the Bay Area
    - Practices business in an ethical way
    - Support to employee's day-to-day life is outstanding (Help Desk, HR, IT, Benefits, lab supplies, Logistics, laptop, iPhone/BB, etc.)

    Cons

    - Very often it is stressful to meet customer's demo requirements (Specs and timelines)
    - Need to invest more on metrology tools (SEM, CD-SEM, etc.) to cut down queue time for engineers
    - Compared to other semi-tool companies, although Lam had relatively less lay-off's but still had laid-off people during 08/09 downturn
    - Middle and 1st-line managers are mostly promoted from technical positions. They are lack of good interpersonal skills. Need to offer them effective training

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Keep Lam's style as in Newberry's time
    - Keep lean on top/middle management
    - During the downturn consider lay-off as the last last measure to keep company's reputation and employees' morale and loyalty

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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