Illumina
3.0 of 5 116 reviews
www.illumina.com San Diego, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Illumina Reviews

Updated Apr 17, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 116 reviews

                             

65% Approve of the CEO

Illumina CEO Jay Flatley

Jay Flatley

(84 ratings)

53% of employees recommend this company to a friend
116 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Illumina is a fast-paced and exciting place to work with bleeding edge product development"
    in 10 reviews
  • "Some amazingly dedicated and smart people work at illumina"
    in 10 reviews
Cons:
  • "The worst middle management I've ever had in my professional career, the work life balance"
    in 17 reviews
  • "No work life balance, getting more bureaucratic"
    in 5 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • Approves of CEO

3 people found this helpful  

Constantly aiming towards a moving target

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
San Diego, CA

I have been working at Illumina

ProsIm proud to have Illumina on my resume. This is a fast paced, do or die, sink or swim, you better keep up type of company. To be the leader in anything- you have to fight hard to make sure you remain on top so understand that there are a lot of high expectations. The people who work here are intelligent and very friendly. The dress code is business casual- which is awesome. The campus is beautiful.

ConsDid I mention it's fast paced with high expectations? You're going to have a large workload with the expectations to get it done- you're working 40 hours a week? Then youre not working enough and trust me, sooner or later it will show. We tend to come up with great ideas to solve the severe lack of structure- but we can never seem to sustain. We work in silos too much just trying to get our jobs done and keep up with the high demands. You want to take time off? Psh! Vacation means just stopping your work, letting the mountain grow only to come back to a bigger mess. If you're not consistently being proactive- vacations aren't worth it.

Advice to Senior ManagementDo not forget where you came from on Towne Center and before- you need every single individual that is working for you. Remember that open, "we're all on the same team" moral? You're slowly losing it- be careful not to turn into just another corporate company. Keep alive one of the biggest reasons we all wanted to be here.... But I do like your new executive wing!

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Lack of Collaboration

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
San Diego, CA

I worked at Illumina

ProsWorking with new technology and a few interesting people.
Good personal time off system.
Holiday events and happy hours are fantastic.

ConsRecruitments, selections and promotions are based on internal political
agenda, for example hiring friends to guarantee personal loyalty at the expense of other
highly performing and more-qualified employees.

Managers believe that the more people they manage and the
bigger the budget, the higher the chance that they will be promoted. This results in raging
battles around budgets, strategies and operations.

There are many management layers in the organization, thus,
hindering communication and resulting in slower execution.

Muted level of commitment and enthusiasm teams. Even
successful results cannot be shared and celebrated due to animosity and internal negative
competition.

There is a high rate of absenteeism and a high employee
turnover rate.

Advice to Senior ManagementTo quote Gandhi: "Be the change you want to see.” The most powerful leaders are almost
always the role models for the change they seek. If the CEO practices bad politics, no
amount of training or coaching will change the management team.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Joke

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
San Diego, CA

I worked at Illumina

ProsOne consistent thing I have read in these reviews that is very true is that this place is very fast paced. This forces you to prioritize and will prepare you very well for any other organization (as no one lasts long here, whether it be through their own free will or the company's)

ConsNo respect and no work life balance. Sacrifice of weekends and evenings is consistently not just expected, but required (yes you read that correctly). Poorest quality management I have seen in all my years as a working professional, as there is zero reward for excellent work, hard work, and effort. Only the most blatant of kissing up will get you anywhere here, and it is very sad to see this go on right in front of you. This is due to the very cutthroat and often immature politics that plague this organization.

Very blame ridden environment, with lots of blame passed between departments and not very much inter-department collaboration.

Company often times appears to refuse to get affairs in order, with everyone scrambling at the last minute due to poor execution and bad leadership, and very unclear direction.

Advice to Senior ManagementLet Roche come in and take over. It would be better for your employees, customers, and the scientific community in general

You've exploited and ruined this company, and you should be held accountable

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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An intense ride that will keep you on your toes during your tenure,

Prefer Not to Disclose (Former Employee)
La Jolla, CA

I worked at Illumina

ProsAlthough the benefits and perks at Illumina are amazing it's the the employees at Illumina that keeps the company strong. The yoga/gym/recreation on site and the monthly happy hours / half yearly sponsored corporate parties allow us to network with so many individuals from various pars of the company. Illumina does know how to care of its own. The salary is pretty competitive with stock options, bonus, raise, etc.

You learn a lot of valuable skills at Illumina in such a small amount of time. They expect you to hit the ground running. 1 or 2 years at Illumina is the equivalent of 3-5 years at a regular company.

ConsWhen I came on board with Illumina, I was hired specifically more certain skill sets. I have seen myself and others included have their positions radically evolve into something completely different. Regardless of whether or not you are satisfied with the change. Projects and priorities could shift instantly, leaving things a bit chaotic at the office.

Illumina's core values don't seem to align with your personal goals and end of year review, which tends to lower your raise/bonus. Whether this is on purpose or not I leave that to the employee.
There seemed to be a disconnect in communication and goals between upper/middle management and rest of the teams.

Advancement and movement across the organization was difficult and hard get approval of for some employees. No structure was in place to show you a path to becoming a senior person on the team or move into a manager or assistant director role.

Although Illumina does hire outstanding employees, there seemed to be a lack of basic MS skill sets or analytics for some of the employe thereby having no understanding of their data the to create presentations critical for senior management on how their business line is doing.

Turnover is quite high. The burnout and level that you are running at Illumina can be exciting but also stressful.

Advice to Senior ManagementStructured and concise path for growing and advancing to the next level at our position.
Find a way to keep top talented employees from turning over after several years. Turnover is quite high.

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Good place to work, however lack of communication between management and employees hurts.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
San Diego, CA

I have been working at Illumina

ProsGood People and work environment. Fast Paced and Challenging. The compensation seems right for the positions being held (if negotiated well)

ConsLack of communication between the management and employees about the exact direction of the company. Plenty of broad spectrum directional communication that isn't really clear. Plenty of lateral movement, very little upward movement. Very little recognition and very high demand on employees. Seem to be drawn into work even during "off" days.

Advice to Senior ManagementSome major changes need to happen, especially in the mid/lower management. Sometimes you need to step back before going forward.

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Fascinating company, very poor management and leadership. Work life balance is very bad.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
San Diego, CA

I have been working at Illumina

ProsSome amazingly dedicated and smart people work at illumina. Could not ask for better coworkers.
The core business is interesting. ( i.e. High throughput DNA sequencing )
The field is very dynamic and fascinating.

ConsManagement is very poor. Slow to make decisions, make bad decisions, they backtrack, communication is bad and when they make decisions they want it ASAP because they thought of it last minute.
Constantly operate in fire-fighting mode, not enough resources.
Work life balance is a joke

Advice to Senior ManagementIf you are 'leadership' you should really provide some leadership - Your not doing that now. You really need to re-inspire your employees or your top talent will leave. When you push employees very hard to work long hours and demotivate them you will not get the same results.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Good products, poor leadership, stressful environment

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
San Diego, CA

I worked at Illumina

ProsWorking at the cutting edge

ConsVery stressful environment, unless you like drinking water from a fire hose

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great company from hurt by key people leaving

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
San Diego, CA

I have been working at Illumina

ProsGreat technology
Great people
Many interesting projects

ConsChallenging time now
Uncertainty in strategy

Advice to Senior ManagementCommunicate better
Involve more employees in decision making processes

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Weird

Systems Support Engineer (Current Employee)
San Diego, CA

I have been working at Illumina

ProsGreat people to work with

ConsAsses are running the company into the ground.
It will be a $ 25 stock until it goes under

Advice to Senior ManagementGet someone who knows how to run a business

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Extremely underpaid

Electro Mechanical Assembler (Current Employee)
San Diego, CA

I have been working at Illumina

ProsThere are some smart people and advanced technology. If you are so inclined, you can really learn a lot working here.

ConsIt seems like incompetance is rewarded here. There are a couple very incompetant and stupid people here in high positions that just hang around and make life difficult for everyone else. Contract employees are extremely underpaid and undertitled. Many contract employees have degrees from UCSD and other schools of equal quality, who are titled Electro-Mechanical Assembler 1 and are paid $16 per hour - ridiculous!

Advice to Senior ManagementMoving your operations to Singapore is not going to save you any money when can you get college graduates in San Diego to work for $16 per hour.

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