Genentech Reviews

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

3.8
53 Reviews
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Genentech CEO Ian T. Clark
Ian T. Clark
51 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work-life balance, beautiful campus, co-workers are mostly nice and helpful (in 42 reviews)

  • Employees get great benefits, though Roche prefers to save money by hiring contractors (in 71 reviews)


Cons
  • It is hard to keep a good work life balance if the job is burning you out (in 43 reviews)

  • After the merger with Roche there have been many changes that are taking some time to get used to (in 22 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good, but does not live up to the all the hype.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Process Development and Research Technician
    Current Employee - Process Development and Research Technician

    I have been working at Genentech

    Pros

    The name of the company. Innovative ideas, on the forefront the latest technology, lots of resources, and job variety.

    Cons

    A lot of times employees opinion for Senior management is not taken into consideration. The people above you will not present your ideas to their superiors if they know it is not what their superiors would like to hear eventhough it may be a great idea. People are afraid to stick their necks out for others. People will do everything to protect their own reputation. It is generally hard to get promoted. It's not uncommon for it to take 3-4 yrs. to go from a research assistant to a res. asscociate, and another 6 years to get a senior Res. associate title. There are always people who are favor more than others. There can be some very long work days.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen more to the people you manage. Be more open.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great projects, people but too many politics to make a difference

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager
    Former Employee - Project Manager

    I worked at Genentech

    Pros

    Excellent benefits and recognition for working for a top employer; exposure to very leading-edge projects

    Cons

    Very restricted in what you can actually do; every step you take is extremely political and territories defended; high 'churn' rate in management. Process is to introduce new leader every two years, sink or swim, then add another new manager 1.5 years in. If the old boss can't take it, they end up reporting to the new boss. I know of four instances of this in my department, and four more in a parallel department.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have a great group of really smart people who are frustrated. A large part of each employee's time is dedicated to avoiding the hazards of restructuring if they want to stay. For those who ignore it and focus on the job, there is actually little chance they will get ahead, so the ambitious ones are either leaving or focusing on the wrong thing.

    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great perks, not so great culture.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Assistant  in  South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in South San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Genentech

    Pros

    Benefits are phenominal, very easy to take vacation and flexible. The gym is great, cafeterias are quality and not too expensive. On site ping-pong tournaments are another perk too.

    Cons

    Promotions are very obscure and roles are very defined. A feeling of compartmentalization in this giant firm leaves me looking for more. Projects are so large and research is so slow that I feel removed from my work and have little ownership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide more feedback as to what the requirements are for promotions and expanding the scope of a position. Too much politics make work very slow.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Decent place to work ....................

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager  in  South San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in South San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Genentech

    Pros

    You work with really smart people. There is a good work-life balance as well as excellent benefits and the opportunity to work from home.

    Cons

    It''s really "clique-ish" if you attended a certain university or if you are a part of a certain group, you have a much better chance for advancement. If you did not, it's as if you have to work 2 to 3 times harder just to get noticed let alone advance.

    As I mentioned, there are a lot of smart people there(on paper), but sometimes a lot of those people seem to be more interested in patting themselves on the back for their past accomplishments than they are at working hard or trying to help the company. A lot of arrogant people.

    There's also a lot of ambiguity in roles and responsibilities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure middle management is leading their organizations in a way that is in line with Senior management's goals.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Genentech is a great place with great products and great people!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - MBA Intern  in  South San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - MBA Intern in South San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Genentech

    Pros

    Great products that make a difference in people's lives, smart, interesting, fun people, company clearly values its employees and takes good care of them, very science and patient-driven, great perks and lovely campus.

    Cons

    Some managers are inexperienced at giving feedback, not always enough interdepartmental communication - you may find out that your project is a re-inventing of something another team has done previously.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't let Roche acquire you!

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    An incredible place to work... for some.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Operations Support  in  South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Operations Support in South San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Genentech

    Pros

    For some, flexible hours, great benefits, working in a positive environment with great people. Onsite healthcare, daycare, beautiful campus make Genentech even more magical.

    Cons

    Some areas "look down" upon others, and many employees feel they don't get respect without an advanced degree. Many of the things that make Genentech a great place to work (such as onsite child care, weekly parties and celebrations, etc.) can only be taken advantage of by certain subsets of the population. If you are not in a position to benefit from these things, they mean nothing. If you are, though, they can make Genentech the best place to work in this country- period.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Genentech is a great company as envisioned by two great men. two guys who wanted to do something new and spectacular and address medical issues to help people, not just make money. We should honor them by making sure that patient focus is in the forefront of what we do every day, not just what we say everyday.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Recognition

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Bioprocess Technician  in  Vacaville, CA
    Current Employee - Bioprocess Technician in Vacaville, CA

    I have been working at Genentech

    Pros

    Safe people's life. There's lot of respect among the Employees and Managment.

    Cons

    Roche trying to take over. The way the economy is right now it puts lots of pressure on all companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recognition is the best tool for each employee. Pay attection to every one, cause we all make an impact in people life.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Genentech!! A great place to work if you've got what it takes

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - QA Specialist II  in  South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - QA Specialist II in South San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Genentech

    Pros

    A lot of employee centric benefits, along with the chance of of working for a company that is very cutting edge. The company has a lot of potential for the future, and this is a great place to gain experience and to be able to include as part of my professional resume. This is a very friendly environment where employees are encouraged to network as well as take time off to be able to decompress. Every 6 years, a six week sabbatical is included to coincide with the 5 weeks of vacations that can be accrued for a total of 11 weeks off (that's nearly 3 months off in 1 year.

    Cons

    Unfortunately with the Roche buyout looming on the horizon, it is very hard to determine whether all the perks to which we are accustomed to will be available. we already know that there will be job cuts as part of the merger of Roche's business and Genentech's business. It is also a high intensity, very demanding work environment to which not every one can get accustomed to. Many individuals have taken a position here to only be either terminated, or quit voluntarily (or unvoluntarily) after a few short months. It is also very hard to get project pushed through as there is a lot of anxiety to introducing new ways of doing things that have worked just fine for years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Relax, and allow some way to introduce progress without undermining the current process

    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Manufacturing in Genentech

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Bioprocess Technician  in  Oceanside, CA
    Current Employee - Bioprocess Technician in Oceanside, CA

    I have been working at Genentech

    Pros

    Benefits package, bonus and money. Free fountain drinks and a beautiful facility. Monthly celebrations (open bar) a plus.

    Cons

    The job here is a repetitive one that a monkey could do. There is no real opportunity to move on to other departments.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Interact with your employees. Try to at least pretend you're they're friend.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    No place is perfect but this comes pretty close

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Scientist  in  South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Associate Scientist in South San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Genentech

    Pros

    Senior management will come talk to you. In most companies there is an strict trickling up of information via the manager only. This is not the case at Genentech. It is NOT stuffy like most big Pharma. Lots of fun activities. Growth opportunities

    Cons

    Some managers can be extremely bad. If you get stuck with one of those....

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't let Roche destroy our culture

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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