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4 people found this helpful  

Xyratex SI Fremont Management is Terrible, Period!!!

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Ex=Employee - Xyratex SI Fremont in Fremont, CA
Former Employee - Ex=Employee - Xyratex SI Fremont in Fremont, CA

I worked at Xyratex

Pros

There are only three pros, and in better economic times none are compelling enough to consider working for Xyratex in Fremont.

1) The fellow Fremont SI development team is wonderful (under different management we could do great things)
2) Pay is decent.
3) Benefits are decent

Cons

1) The SI Fremont management is terrible; its the worst I've ever worked for, period.

2) Project planning is terrible and a known issue that the Xyratex SI - Fremont management continues to ignore. In my tenure with the company, I never saw a project, regardless of size, completed within 9 months. However, every project is allocated 4 months, and in reality most take 9, 12, or 15 months to complete due to a complete lack of vision and direction by management.

3) Excessive overtime is expected or out right demanded without consideration for the personal life of the employee (FYI: many on the development team worked 3 to 4 man-months of uncompensated overtime in 2010).

4) With only two or three customers left in the magnetic storage industry, the business cycles for Xyratex SI Fremont have significant peaks and valleys. Hence, job security is non-existent unless you follow managements orders for overtime, spur of the moment international travel, and doing "whatever it takes" to stay in the graces of middle to upper management.

5) Fear and bullying are the common methods used by management toward employees.

6) Vacation is difficult to use because of overtime, excessive work loads, and consistent stream blazing wildfires. Laptops and cell phones are given to employees while on vacation. Nice vacation, huh?

7) Executive management seems to direct by immediate business performance and its impact on short term stock price performance.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Executive management, there are two business axiom you should know:

1) The coal-face workers are the best personnel to rely on for identifying business, operational, and development issues.
2) The coal-face workers have many great ideas on solving these issues, if only you would listen..

The reality TV show Undercover Boss is proof to this fact, as well as the accounts of more successful executives.

This forum contains feedback from what looks to be a majority of rank and file workers. Based on these axioms and this forum then; Fremont SI management is a major issue and removing a majority of that middle management is part of the solutions to improving business performance, moral, employee retention, customer perception, and growth.

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

65 Other Employee Reviews for Xyratex (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Xyratex is a white collar sweatshop operating in a sinking and dying hard disk drive industry.

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

    I have been working at Xyratex

    Pros

    This review is regarding the Xyratex SI Division in Fremont, CA

    To write this review I had to fill out a questionnaire with seventeen questions ranking certain aspects of the company on a 1 to 5 scale. I read each question carefully and my honest response resulted in 14 "1-stars" (no "0-star" option, unfortunately), and the following non 1-star items which I would consider the "Pros":

    3-star: Okay pay for the area and industry (haven't had a raise in two years though)
    3-star: Okay opportunity to improve professionally (outside the company through contacts)
    4-star: Better than average benefits (good health plan and four weeks PTO that is hard to use)

    Aside from the "Pros" indicated on the questionnaire, I would say, as others have, that the rank and file are wonderful people to work with and deserve much more respect. For those looking for work in this tough, consider Xyratex SI Division a paycheck, with benefits, until something better comes along (I survey many fellow employees, and this is the sentimate of 60% or more of the staff at Xyratex SI in Fremont).

    Cons

    Once again this review is regarding the Xyratex SI Division in Fremont, CA

    There are so many cons outside the pros mentioned above its hard to determine where to start. The "Run Away Fast!" review is an accurate list. I feel this review will best serve the public by detailing the typical experience of working at Xyratex SI in Fremont.

    Starting Out:
    Formal training and a sound business process are non-existent. You are expected to hit the ground running and navigate the bureaucracy from day one with lightning speed. Why? Xyratex SI Fremont operates in constant fire fight mode 24/7. For newbies, the honeymoon last for about one or two weeks, as that is when they figure out that Xyratex SI Fremont is incredibly dysfunctional. I as well as many other have to constantly (25-50% of our time) help new hires and contract workers navigate the chaos while battle the blazes. The problem is exacerbated due to a constant turnover of people (i.e. the management ideology is front-line employees are expendable). For example, it's hard to find anyone that has been with the company beyond three or four years in Fremont.

    Grinding On:
    Once acclimated to the dysfunction and fire fighting, you adjust and work to the best of your ability. Project requirement focus on "how" customer needs are met. The "how" requirements are developed by marketing, and middle to upper management, as they are the only personnel that interacts with the customer. The rest of the organization is their to implement their vision for the project.

    Unfortunately, marketing and management lack customer relation skills and diplomacy, and let the customer change the 'how" requirements continuously throughout each and every project. The deadline is never moved, and the fixed deadline is used to extract substantial overtime out of the rank and file as the project progresses. Deliverables, regardless of quality, are passed over the wall from department to department, each feeling the pain at some juncture in the project in a valiant effort to meet managements unreasonable deadline. Regardless of all the effort by the rank and file, the projects are substantially late and over budget. Worse yet, the next project assumes the prior projects deadline will be met. Therefore, the late project leads to a late start on the next project, leading to another late project; in a continuous and vicious cycle. Hence the environment of constant fire fighting and overtime!

    Burnout:
    Obviously operating an organization this way causes frustration, burnout, and down right resentment toward management. Hence, Glassdoors has many poor review regarding the management at Xyratex. Bucking the trend leads to being black listed and on the fast track for layoff or firing (Fear based management). Becoming a "yes-man" results in job security, a compromised character, and a complete loss of work-life balance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    First, read the above review, in particular the cons, and you'll know exactly what is wrong with Xyratex SI Fremont, as well as potentially other areas of the business.

    Second, clean out middle management, and flatten the organizational structure. There are way to many chiefs and not nearly enough indians (last review of the org-chart relieved 1 (chief) to 3.7 (indians)). Accept a quarter or two of substantial losses for Xyrates SI Fremont, to correct the systemic issues with the management, the organization, and the customer. Your long-term health is more important to the investors that matter, not the traders you keep listening to.

    Third, the hand disk drive industry is dying, denial of this fact has directly impact your revenue, resulting in downsizing the expendable rank and file once again. There are other technology industries that are growing, which require test and automation equipment, obtain some vision, plant a seed, and watch the money tree grow!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    It's a company that is on the decline

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

    I worked at Xyratex

    Pros

    A lot of very talented Engineers work here and the commitment that they have shown has been extraordinary. Facilities are good and staff are generally provided whatever tools are needed to do their jobs effectively

    Cons

    There appears to have been significant cronyism going on at senior management level in the last couple of years within the SI Division, leading to the Division following a strategy that is not appropriate for the industry in which SI operates, as the senior staff team now has insufficient HDD industry experience or knowledge (those with experience and who disagreed with the strategy get removed). The Division now operates with significantly higher numbers of VP's, Snr Directors & Directors than ever before, yet the revenue is less than 2006 ($385m then, $343m in 2010)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Starting at the SI EVP level and working downwards, dismantle the SI team that has been brought in over the last couple of years and rebuild

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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