Genentech

www.gene.com

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 52 reviews)

  • Great benefits - very typical of extremely large companies (80,000 employees worldwide) (in 80 reviews)


Cons
  • It is hard to keep a good work life balance if the job is burning you out (in 51 reviews)

  • Lower pay, NO work/life balance (in 11 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    A great place to work, can be political

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

    I have been working at Genentech

    Pros

    The company's mission is real and lived every day: Our mission is to be the leading biotechnology company, using human genetic information to discover, develop, manufacture and commercialize biotherapeutics that address significant unmet medical needs. We commit ourselves to high standards of integrity in contributing to the best interests of patients, the medical profession, our employees and our communities, and to seeking significant returns to our stockholders, based on the continual pursuit of scientific and operational excellence.

    Cons

    This is a huge company and it is easy to get lost in the crowd. For most people that is probably fine but if you are seeking advancement and recognition, it can be difficult. It is sometimes hard to understand why the people that seem to be rising stars are doing so well as often there is nothing special about them. The environment can at times seem VERY political.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The "true" senior leaders seem to have a clear sense of where we need to go and how to get there. That seems to get more muddy the farther down the leadership chain you go.

    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Experienced guy, seems OK

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

    I worked at Genentech

    Pros

    Great environment, lots of employee services. I like the casual dress, all the perks that we have, and it is a fun place to work.

    Cons

    Big company, lack of information. The site is so huge, it is hard to stay informed about what is going on. There may be career opportunities that we are missing out on because we just don't know about them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let us know more about what is going on with the various departments within Genentech, I would be interested to know what is going on with Research, Government Affairs, etc. as well as the other business units. Would like more info on the Avastin vs Lucentis situation.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good place to work but not great.

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

    I have been working at Genentech

    Pros

    Great benefits and solid growth potential.

    Cons

    Sometimes it is not great to work for the best...if you want to leave, you leave to go to #30.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They are doing a great job...any dissatisfaction with the company is largely centered at the group or manager level. You cant criticize management too much...they are great.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Every day (even Mondays) are inspiring.

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

    I have been working at Genentech

    Pros

    Hands down the best reason to work at Genentech is the people we are surrounded with, both colleagues and patients. At Genentech, we are on a mission, working together to make a real difference in people's lives. It is hard to describe the overwhelming sense of pride I feel, knowing that our medicines are enabling people with cancer to spend months (sometimes years) longer with their families and friends. We are surrounded by some of the smartest, most passionate people I have ever met. Working at Genentech is more than "just a job."

    Cons

    Working at Genentech is more than "just a job." There is a high value placed on passion and commitment here. No one I know goes home at 5 o'clock and leaves their work "back at the office." Sometimes the lightning pace can feel consuming, but if there was one thing that I had to choose to feel consumed by, I'm thankful that it's helping people live longer, healthier lives.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great work!

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work

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

    I have been working at Genentech

    Pros

    Employees who are committed to their work and to the company's objectives, management generally supports work-life balance, excellent catering and cafeteria,

    Cons

    1) Middle management and leadership are poorly trained and are not prepared for their roles
    2) A culture that does not support telecommuting opportunities

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train your management-track employees! Tenure does not equal talent. Please consider telecommuting as an option, especially for folks working in the Commercial division (as this is an area that lends itself nicely to a telecommuting format)/

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Working at Genentech can be an amazing experience, if you have sales experience.

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

    I worked at Genentech

    Pros

    The culture there is great. Everyone is very friendly, and they foster a very academic environment which encourages alternative viewpoints and constructive feedback. The hours were also very flexible and I was allowed to work at home when I needed to. Also my manager was very tuned into my professional development and took an active interest in helping me prepare for my next job.

    Cons

    The problem with Genentech is that if you are not a scientist or if you don't have a deep sales background (or willing to go out in the field and get one) your career potential there is limited.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep listening to y our employees and try to be more approachable on campus.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

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

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

    I have been working at Genentech

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Leadership 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 ManagementAdvice

    Great 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).

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

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

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

    I have been working at Genentech

    Pros

    Genentech 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.

    Cons

    Management 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

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

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

    I have been working at Genentech

    Pros

    Highly 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.

    Cons

    Have 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Best company in the industry and beyond

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

    I have been working at Genentech

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up!

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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