Genentech

  www.gene.com
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Genentech Reviews

These reviews contributed towards 2011's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.
73 Reviews

3.6
73 Reviews
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Genentech CEO Ian T. Clark
Ian T. Clark
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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. 3 people found this helpful  

    Lots of changes- not for the better

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

    Pros

    This place still has some of the smartest people in the industry. My legacy Genentech teams are data driven and goal oriented with good camaraderie. There remains a strong sense of purpose, placing the good of the patient above all else. I am well compensated (for now) and the campus is beautiful.

    Cons

    Since we integrated with Roche, there has been a dramatic shift in overall culture to a one that is market and revenue driven. This has created significant disagreements within the new “integrated” teams that have both legacy Roche and Genentech members. Roche management style is vastly different from Genentech’s. Feedback is almost nil and there is little to no mentorship. Our department head is more concerned with amassing power than with improving either the department or the work life of the employees in it. It is completely demotivating. This trickles down so that many employees are more interested in high profile committee work than their actual work, placing an undue burden on those that still want to do a good job. The protection of European employees is at the cost of the US employees who have no such protections. Some departments seem to have fared better than others but ours is completely changed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You bought Genentech because of its proven track record and now you want to dismantle development. Here is a clue, if Genentech development takes on all the Roche ways, you will get Roche results and not Genentech results. You will also have sheeple and not motivated, intellectual, inquisitive employees. Stop your power tripping and concentrate on doing the company and the department some good.

    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work for but not much growth ahead for starters and low level employees.

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

    Pros

    Great time flexibility and some of the smartest people to work with.
    Free espresso and coffee machines all over the campus and great gym.
    You get paid to ride the bus by Genentech and again reimbursed by the state.

    Cons

    No growth or opportunity for promotion.
    Saturated with too many mid and upper level managers.
    Research Associates are made to work very hard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please make room for growth of employees.
    Keep up the good work on great research.
    Love the Friday kegger and flexible timings.

    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Growth opportunities difficult w/o a Berkeley MBA or Harvard M.D.

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

    Pros

    Their benefits package is great, salary is competitive and work atmosphere is very supportive and full of people who you enjoy working with, for the most part. That being said, if you don't have an Ivy League degree you'll find it hard to move up in the company unless you are extremely networked and have good relations with management. There are managers and directors who are fully supportive and try to promote you when they see you are ambitious, but there are other managers who try and prevent that.

    Overall, I very much enjoyed working at Genentech. I would return but not until I have been successful elsewhere.

    Cons

    Very windy and cold usually. The company is growing so the culture is starting to change and the growth of the company may be its detriment. Hopefully, with the acquisition by Roche, the culture is not damaged too much.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the culture the same as it was. The majority of the talent in Development left due to the acquisition. You don't want to lose your best people just so that you can make billions in profits in the short term. Don't kill your golden goose.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    Horrible Place to Work, Horrible Politics

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

    Pros

    Good Pay-34 dollars an hour

    Cons

    -Horrible hours for contract workers
    -Contractors get fired without warning for political reasons
    -Temporary workers are treated like second class citizens

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more transparent and stop treating contractors so poorly

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Beware of Genentech IT!

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

    Pros

    Delivering medicine to society, casual attire, corporate buses for commuting, onsite gym.

    Cons

    Promotions are very political. The result is poor management, often making decisions individually rather than taking their direct reports' opinions into account. There are middle managers management who are malicious, assigning blame on direct reports rather than taking accountability.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire competent managers. You will start losing great employees due to your selfish and incompetent middle managers!

    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 7 people found this helpful  

    All that Glitters isn't Gold!

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

    Pros

    Genentech offers a great transportation system and commuter reimbursement program..that was a huge selling point for me being that I have a long commute to get here. Salary is ok but I made just as much money when I was in Downtown San Francisco.
    If celebrations with lots of free food, t-shirts and hats motivate you, then this is the place for you.

    Cons

    Middle management leaves a lot to be desired. The entire day here is meetings, meetings, and more meetings but it takes a long time for decisions to be made. And once the decisions are made, it takes even longer for them to be communicated.

    I think this is a good company if you are a scientist because you are expected to "be all you can be" but if you are not, you are not held in a very high regard. And to be promoted, you have to be willing to hob-nob and go to all of the social functions.

    In general, I think all of the "perks" here have made people a little high maintenance and spoiled...and that has been really disappointing to me.

    I have been in the biotech industry for a while and before I came here, getting a job at Genentech was like beeing beamed up to the mother ship...it was held in a VERY high regard. I must confess that I got caught up in the glamour of it all but when it comes down to it, I know that this was not the right career move for me.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please stop trying to hold on to the "old" Genentech. Genentech is now a part of the Roche group and yes, some things are going to/have changed because of that. Just embrace the changes and figure out how to make them work for you rather than against.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great place to work

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

    Pros

    rewarding work, personal connection to the company mission to improve the lives of patients
    fun factor - company parties are great, eg. GIn Blossoms playing at the holiday party; t-shirts for major milestones

    Cons

    Project Managers aren't highly respected by upper management. There's a sense of distrust or incompetence that trickles down from the top; ironically, we can't do our best because our hands are so tied following processes and guidelines that remove any "art" or judgment that would utilize our valuable experience and knowledge.

    Focus on development is strictly "soft skills"; some of which is great. But for technical folks that have put in many years at one company, it's critical to hone technical skills too. You can't keep up with technology trends when you're working with the same folks and same systems for 5+ years. You must have exposure to new things from external sources. Technical training is NOT readily available.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be cautious of perceptions of hypocrisy. When you have lavish off-sites, extensive leadership perks, etc., it seems pretty callous to bust a project manager for wanting to give a Genencheck or team gift or wanting another contractor to ease resource constraints. We are pushed to cut corners on project delivery that compromise quality, and yet on the other hand, it's ok to spend thousands on the "it" project of the year for team building, eg a bike competition for Giro where everyone got an ipod shuffle. really?!

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    A broad landscape of mediocrity in support departments

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

    Pros

    - Good benefits
    - Working for a good cause
    - Reasonable work hours (almost too reasonable--often witnessed management leaving for "offsites" on the golf course or in a bar before 3PM)

    Cons

    In IT, there was often the case of the "blind leading the blind" going all the way to the VP level. More time was spent thinking about which "motivational speaker" (interpret this as you will) to bring in next and re-classify/re-orient the staff instead of improving the accountability (which is SORELY lacking despite what some might have you think), and rewarding the top achievers. Generally, the support departments appeared to suffer from:
    - Unfair playing fields
    - Hypocritical management policies
    - Inflated sense of entitlement by middle and upper management
    - Lack of respect for people who actually get the work done

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend more time thinking about who you have to thank for meeting your end of year goals and contributing to your sizeable bonus.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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