Genentech
3.7 of 5 674 reviews
www.gene.com South San Francisco, CA 5000+ Employees

Genentech Reviews

These reviews contributed towards 2009's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.

56 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Good work-life balance, beautiful campus, co-workers are mostly nice and helpful"
    in 39 reviews
  • "Employees get great benefits, though Roche prefers to save money by hiring contractors"
    in 69 reviews
Cons:
  • "Some departments are overworked while others maintain a good work-life balance"
    in 40 reviews
  • "After the merger with Roche there have been many changes that are taking some time to get used to"
    in 21 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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Genentech is a phenomenal company with exciting science, great employees, and a wonderful work environment

Senior Systems Architect (Current Employee)
South San Francisco, CA

I have been working at Genentech

ProsHighly capable company with track record of success. Profits are plowed back into keeping employees happy. Enjoyable work environment with lots of perks. upper management is highly capable, inspiring, and forward-looking. In general, whenever I do great work, I'm praised lavishly, and if I do average work, managers are still pretty happy. I'm sure if I failed to meet the requirements of my position, my employer would tell me quickly and give me an opportunity to improve, rather than ignore me, like some other employers I've worked with.

ConsHave to pay for meals in the cafeteria. Sometimes very stressful at crunch time. Company grew very quickly, losing individuality. I don't like the big, impersonal IT department. The "Ho-ho" parties were moved to a really lousy warehouse with poor acoustics. Would rather they avoid "gimmicky" parties and focus on just having a good time at the party by having nicer facility for it.

Advice to Senior ManagementDoing a great job. Would like to see increased understanding of and sympathy for research, development divisions in the IT department.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Proud to work for a company that cares at every level--for internal folks as well as patients/doctors

Supervisor (Current Employee)
South San Francisco, CA

I have been working at Genentech

ProsDevelopment - part of each person's annual plan; lots of training opportunities
Doing worthwhile work - helping patients get access to the medicines Genentech creates

ConsLeadership roles are stressful, have long hours. Departments are very separate but they are working on improving communication between departments (this will also allow career opportunities)

Advice to Senior ManagementGreat vision! They really look at the 5 and 10-year plan and how their decisions impact all levels of the company. There are some changes coming that really are clever and took a lot of thought and several years to come to fruition.

Create opportunities for other than the Rockstars to excel. They tend to get picked for special projects while others are overlooked. I too have to look beyond the usual suspects (who you know you can count on and will get the job done).

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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A great place for high-intensity high-productivity work.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Current Employee)
South San Francisco, CA

I have been working at Genentech

ProsGenentech boasts an outstanding scientific community with most scientists rivaling assistant professors in their field. Postdocs are given free reign to explore any aspect of biology as they would in an academic lab, but without the funding restraints of limited NIH budgets. The depth of scientific experience among the ranks of scientists is impressive and drives highly efficient research science.

ConsManagement expects long hours from research, very little of the warm and fuzzy attitude projected in other departments makes its way into the labs. The rapid expansion of the company also seems to have outstripped some logistic capacity. One alarming trend is the employment of experienced PhDs as "senior research associates", a position with no apparent career path.

Advice to Senior ManagementScientists need more training as managers. Some of the new scientists are ill-equipped to run labs without some guidelines.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Best company in the industry and beyond

Senior Product Manager (Current Employee)
South San Francisco, CA

I have been working at Genentech

ProsThe people at Genentech are bright, friendly and driven, and the company lives by its mission of focusing on science and unmet need. The environment is one of "casual intensity", where dress codes and titles are much less important than work quality and intellectual capabilities.

ConsThe company has not managed to completely avoid bureaucracy, particularly in the Commercial organization where many of the people come from large pharma. Even still, I would argue it's the best place to be in the industry!

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep it up!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great company to work for!

Executive Assistant (Current Employee)
South San Francisco, CA

I have been working at Genentech

ProsI believe in what the company is doing and think most of the people who work at Genentech love their jobs. I am also a huge fan of the casual atmosphere. I have a great manager who gives good feedback and helps those who work for him when they need it. I am very satisfied with my salary and love the benefits!

ConsIt's a fairly large company now so there can be a lot of red tape for some things. As the company grows more policies and procedures are being put into place, which can be cumbersome.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep on listening to the employees feedback.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Genentech is a great place to work

Programmer Analyst (Current Employee)
South San Francisco, CA

I have been working at Genentech

ProsCareer and personal development opportunitites are abundant.
There is little bureaucracy and things seem to move extremly fast as compared to what I heard from other companies.
The benefits are very good: 401k and roth, $4/day for commuting to work in any way but driving, great time off, good bonuses, free shuttles to take you to work spread out through the bay area.
Open IT environemnt, no blocks, monitoring etc.

ConsI wish they were more open with telecommuting and they would have a more transparent process on how they determine your performance. I wish there was more communication taking place between the higher management and employees.

Advice to Senior ManagementHave a better defined process for performance reviews.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Number one company to work for in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry

Manager (Current Employee)
South San Francisco, CA

I have been working at Genentech

ProsGenentech has great benefits and employees are mostly valued (depending on what department/projects you're in/on). Employees are paid $4 per day to take public transportation and GNE provide shuttles to BART and have buses for high impact geographical locations. There are employee discounts such as free VIP passes to the SF MOMA or See's chocolate discounts. Additional learning is supported through conferences paid for by the company as well as tuition reimbursement. A comprehensive training program is free to full-time, regular employees through gLearn which includes Harvard business courses. There are social clubs including those based on cultures or hobbies.

ConsLarge workload, difficult to manage work-life balance. Promotions and hiring are not always fair or balanced. Lower qualified individuals may be hired/brought in at a higher level due to mentor or lab prestige or degrees that are not necessarily applicable for the position. High visibility projects may be rewarded more than low visibility projects regardless of the amount of work required for the project. There are a lot of egos, especially in Research where the academia culture still persists, as well as politics with a very fine line from being competitive to being vicious and under-handed. The company is still undergoing growing pains from growing very quickly in a short amount of time.

Advice to Senior ManagementBe very careful about balancing business need with the impact actions have to address business needs on current employees.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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If you're in biotechnology there is no better place to work.

Research Assistant (Current Employee)
South San Francisco, CA

I have been working at Genentech

ProsThe benefits are awesome! There is nowhere else that compares in biotech. They also pay the best.

ConsIn large departments, individual employees do not advance in rank and salary as quickly as smaller departments. It is also hard to get a job (or an interview) here unless you meet and exceed the job description. It is important to have experience before applying.

Advice to Senior ManagementYou waste too much money on free food and parties. This could be better spent on new equipment and promotions.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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One of the Best Places I've Enjoyed Working in a Long Time

Administrative Assistant (Current Employee)
South San Francisco, CA

I have been working at Genentech

ProsI like the people and friendly environment at GNE. I'm always learning new things so it's never boring.

ConsThe hiring and promotion process are frustrating at times. With the growth of GNE, things have seemed to change in the way people are hired. Lately it seems to be more of who you know rather than what you know. Also promotions seem to be based on favoritism at times. Many times they hire externals before giving transfers to internal employees.

Advice to Senior ManagementLook at your competent staff within the company before giving the positions to an exernal...where is your loyalty? Work harder on identifying the BAD managers and doing something about them rather than just talking about or recognizing that it can be a problem.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Genentech is a great place to work!!

Senior Product Manager (Current Employee)
South San Francisco, CA

I have been working at Genentech

ProsGenetech has excellent science, people and compensation

ConsMy biggest criticism of Genentech would be that it is not the best with work/life balance. Also, there is a strong focus on science (which is great) but very little attention to operations and the importance of solid training.

Advice to Senior ManagementGenentech needs to be more flexible with work from home options and should offer regional positions in order to stay competetive.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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