There are newer employer reviews for Samsung Austin Semiconductor

Helpful (7)

Been here a few years, can't wait to leave...

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Experienced Engineer in Austin, TX
Current Employee - Experienced Engineer in Austin, TX

I have been working at Samsung Austin Semiconductor

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO
Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

Pros

Benefits – SAS touts their benefits at every opportunity, they are one of the few real positives at this company. Benefits are still above-average at SAS, even though the level has consistently degraded. Each year the levels of coverage are decreased and cost to the employee increases.

Responsibility – SAS has a very flat structure within the engineering departments, projects and responsibilities are assigned by available warm bodies and not by talent or skill. The benefit is there is ample opportunity to show your capability by succeeding in high-level, high-visibility activities and be recognized for the achievement. SAS still has a core team of very high performing engineers and SOME managers where if you are lucky enough to work with them you will have rapid career development (at least from a skill set standpoint, don’t count on promotions).

Cons

Employee turnover – Recent turnover has skyrocketed, and not from the recent hires as would be expected – these are high performing, experienced employees that are jumping at their first chance to leave Samsung Austin as the economy recovers. Staffing levels are already razor-thin and executive management needs to take swift action to retain top performers before the current major projects are jeopardized.

Pay for Performance – Technology companies use either a stock option bonus system or profit sharing, instead Samsung Austin has implemented a quarterly bonus system based on arbitrary goals for yield, production output and cost controls. Described by management as ‘dream’ or ‘champion’ goals, they are completely unrealistic targets that even management admits will not be hit – so while there is the “possibility” of earning a 3-week bonus each quarter, the actual bonus paid is much, much lower.

IT Systems – Even HQ developers are shocked when they see the state of IT systems at the Austin facility. Samsung Austin is perpetually 3-4 revisions behind the functionality deployed in HQ, the systems deployed are more than buggy – they flat out don’t work without weeks and weeks of troubleshooting and work-arounds, and they are deployed without preparation and re-training of the staff. This is directly in conflict with the ‘Rule Based Operations’ where management is threatening employee discipline if a rule or procedure is not followed perfectly – how can the employee do the right thing when the systems don’t work, the procedures don’t exist or are outdated, the new security encryption system slows everything down and conflicts with the SOPs so they can’t be opened. Everyone knows how workarounds are REQUIRED to support daily operations because the systems just don’t work but the real problem never gets addressed.

Training – Training consists of a few hours of generic system training and then a few minutes of shadowing somebody that was hired the previous week – then you are magically certified to do the job. The magic is necessary because the certification and training systems don’t work, and most of the managers and supervisors don’t care if you are trained for real – they will write you up as soon as there is a problem anyway. Human error is routinely blamed for major incidents, even when the employee was setup for failure by the systems and procedures.

Advice to Management

When SAS transitioned from a tyrant as President to the person that was formerly in charge of GWP at HQ, many people had high hopes for a turnaround in the company culture. Unfortunately that hasn’t materialized, President Han appears to be in over his head, with no clear vision for the future to align the company and inspire the employees. What is even worse, the divide between local members and Korean dispatchers has increased significantly – the teamwork and trust are gone and a culture of fear is spreading.
There are islands of strong performance in the organization, where GWP is above average, employee retention is high, where management and the employees have mutual respect for one another, and where problems are identified and addressed rather than ignored and explained away. President Han needs to take ownership for Samsung Austin performance and future by addressing the real issues, and taking the necessary steps to correct the immediate situation – the recent reorganization is not nearly enough.

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  1. Great compensation, intense environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer I in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Engineer I in Austin, TX

    I have been working at Samsung Austin Semiconductor

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Competitive compensation, very good benefits lots of opportunity for quick advancement and valuable experience if willing to work hard

    Cons

    You will have to work very very hard to stand out. Most employees work 50-60 hours. If you want to stand out in order to advance fast you need to work 12+ hours/day including weekends. Baseline expectation is about 50 hours/week. You have to be very flexible with time off as the demands of the production might require you to work holidays, occasional nightshifts, weekends and other odd hours depending on demand.

    Advice to Management

    Good to hear increased focus lately on work-life balance. Keep it in focus and it might be able to improve the culture a bit and reduce turnover.

  2. Helpful (8)

    State of the Art Facility Management trained by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Engineer in Austin, TX

    I have been working at Samsung Austin Semiconductor

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    State of the Art Facility

    The only semiconductor manufacturing facility building a new fab in Austin.

    Unlike its US counterparts Samsung is to be commended to building a factory in the USA. Most US manufacturers have just given up on building fabs in the US.

    Pay is OK until you calculate your hours worked. Then it falls into the well below average category.

    Cons

    Output at SAS is King and Quality is an afterthought.

      Management routinely ships questionable material to customers to “make the numbers”. Regular employees are replaced with temporary employees to save on benefit cost whenever possible.

       As a young engineer I have often pondered the following: Is it by design or by default that Korean Management is extremely well educated and US management is not? Most Senior Korean Management has Doctorates’ from major universities world wide. US Senior management no in the same league. Is it because Korean management feels it is easier to control the organization?

     Regardless or like many at SAS say “Irreguardless”(not a word in the dictionary) this does cause another issue at SAS. US management is extremely insecure in themselves and as a result manages thru brute force and intimidation. There is no team atmosphere at SAS it is complete authoritarian rule. Backstabbing, favoritism, constant positioning are seen a quite normal.

     Work Environment: Great Work Place is discussed frequently but no one at SAS has a clue what it is. SAS great work place score 30% below all Fortune 500 companies.

    Work less then 60 hours per week and you fall in the “below expectations” category.

     There is a positive here though, it is great news for everyone out there that wants to work (or sit in their office and surf the net) 60+ hours but can’t add 2+2. You can simply show at 6am make a PowerPoint presentations, leave at 7 pm and wow! You walk on water. If you do not know how to use PowerPoint, no fear we have junior engineers who make the PowerPoint presentation so you can take credit for their work.

    Advice to Management

    Ever wonder why most Engineers quit and "go back to school" Take a close look at who you have as your senior "leaders".

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