Illumina

  www.illumina.com
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Illumina Reviews

Updated Jul 28, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.1 130 reviews

69% Approve of the CEO

Illumina CEO Jay Flatley

Jay Flatley

(96 ratings)

55% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You get to work with a lot of smart people, and the amenities of the new campus are great (in 11 reviews)

  • cutting-edge research organisation, very nice work culture with decent socialising events for employees (in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • The worst middle management I've ever had in my professional career, the work life balance (in 18 reviews)

  • No work life balance, getting more bureaucratic (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights
130 Employee Reviews
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Cutting edge chaos!

    Field Service Engineer (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsGood industry dominating products.
    High level of collaboration and communication. Great coworkers and demanding customers(but in a good way). Feels like a sense of purpose, work that is doing good and make the world a better place. Management I report to is very hands off and supportive. Technically challenging and fun. I can say I'm one of few that that finds contentment in a 9-5 job.

    ConsPay and benefits slightly below average. Lots of growing pains in the company, feels chaotic and with roles/processes changing so frequently it's hard to keep up. Parts inventory system is largely ad hoc, constant shortages are the norm. Lots of silly mistakes in documentation, lack of effective processes. Optical based technology although works well, can be dethroned quickly if a competitor comes up with a disruptive technology that is cheaper/faster/simpler and produces good accurate data.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't reinvent the wheel, many of the needed processes already exist and are being used everyday by companies. Continue to heavily invest in future technologies, never ever rest on your laurels. There is a tendency for successful companies to become fat/lazy/complacent, else, go the way of Eastman Kodak.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    The grass is not always greener

    Senior Sales Representative (Former Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsOne of the largest and fastest growing companies in San Diego.

    Competitive pay and benefits

    Innovative products

    ConsI have worked for several biotech companies as a territory manager and sales rep previously. Coming from smaller and medium sized biotechs in the past. I thought I had hit the jackpot with securing a position with Illumina. One of the largest and fastest growing companies in San Diego. Well, the grass is not always greener on the other side. It was the worst sales position and career move that I had chosen. My biotech lab and sales career has been long and really rewarding. Being in sales, I am a people person. I can relate to a very wide demographic of people. Yet, Illumina's company, culture and vibe was just a disconnect for me. It never really felt like a community or even welcoming to me. All the other companies that I worked for, there was transparency and cross departmental collaboration. At Illumina, it was like pulling teeth to get any assistance from marketing, product managers, technical support, customer service, fulfillment, and logistics. Nobody ever wanted to help each other. Each department seemed to be against each other. Never felt a collaborative effort. It was a very self serving or self preservation type of company culture. I guess it is understandable when I saw some colleagues fired out of the blue. If you see something like that, you probably want to keep very busy and your head down. As many other reviews here, I would have to agree that upper management has a deficiency in leading and growing this company.

    The sales teams were made mostly from people that have no science or biotech experience at all. How can your front line representatives sell an instrument when they have never worked in a lab or have zero understanding of the up or downstream processes that the instrument is going to fit into. There was one week of training but it was more like them turning on a fire hose. Trying to cram everything into one week. Online self training was also idiotic. Those that did not have previous scientific or biotech industry background didn't have a chance.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire experienced and educated sales professionals.

    Protect your employees first. Use layoffs as a last resort effort vs. a tool to protect your job because you missed an earnings call.

    There is probably no right way to lay people off but CEO Jay and upper management, please don't joke, smile and shake employees hands as you lead them into a corporate layoff meeting.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    What's all the complaining about?

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsI keep reading reviews about the horrible work-life balance and how people work endless hours. Then why is the parking lot mostly empty before 9am and after 6pm, and a ghost town on weekends? Don't believe me? Just drive by and see for yourself. Perhaps maybe by San Diego standards Illumina is a demanding employer. Can't get my afternoon surf in, oh my. By most other measures the workload is moderate at best. Contrary to other reviews, the politics are not overwhelming, and collaboration is pretty good. Never had an instance of asking for help from another group and not getting it.

    ConsSo many layers and titles. OMG! For a company with 2000 people, new scientists and engineers can count at least 11 layers of titles between themselves and the CEO. It is absurd. Decision process is not particularly crisp, but not to the point of getting in the way (too much). Benefits are decent but middle-of-the-road at best. Payscale is on the low side, they can probably get away with it for a while as the dominant company in a hot field, and as long as the overall stock direction is up. Internal systems are either non-existent or abysmal. Fortunately senior management knows it, is fairly open about it, and is working on a solution

    Advice to Senior ManagementPush decisions down the chain of command. Seems that directors wait for VPs to decide, VPs wait for the SVPs, and the SVPs waffle until Jay speaks up. If there is one organizational thing that can endanger the future health of the company, it is this very issue. So add "decision making" to the GBP process and institutionalize a healthy level of decision ownership at the appropriate level.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
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    2 people found this helpful  

    Great, Till I was laid off

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat people, good money, poor management

    ConsLong days and short nights

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet a clue

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Challenging.

    Lead Manufacturing Technician (Former Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsLearning how solutions can heal cancer.

    ConsCycle count in a -20 freezer.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGive more protective gearing when entering -20 freezer.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

     

    Project Manager Intern

    Project Manager (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsGreat people and atmosphere. It is a huge company that is really at the forefront of groundbreaking technology. The position was fun with a lot of flexibility and responsibility. Great mentors.

    ConsDesk job so there was not a lot of interaction with other employees.

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Profoundly Disappointing

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsSome nice, positive people. Great campus and cafeteria. They are into supporting altruistic causes.

    ConsDisorganization, paranoia, and sabotage seem to rule the day.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop treating employees, contractors with disrespect.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Average

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood benefits. Great products. My direct coworkers were nice. Very consistent 9 to 5 kind of job.

    ConsDidn't see much growth. Hayward felt like the step-child of the company, always had to prove that we were worthy.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Approves of CEO

    9 people found this helpful  

    Don't let the great products fool you

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsIllumina has cutting edge products and is #1 in every market that it competes in.

    ConsIllumina suffers from executives who have not grown with the scale of the company and therefore think they are better managers/leaders than they are. It is much different to manage 100 employees vs. thousands. Execs need to lead by example and inspire others for the demanding work they place on their employees desks. The company is a bit of a country club where the execs reward each other and are very demanding of their employees with little rewards other than the stock price continuing to go up. I remember asking an exec one time if we should benchmark against other companies and their response was "We don't need to benchmark, we're Illumina." Overall I would descrite the culture as stuffy, arrogant with a depressing work environment.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDouble-down on process and leadership. Hold your executives accountable include getting feedback from their employees.

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    Excellent Learning Experience with Good Pay

    Technical Applications Scientist (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsExcellent compensation
    Great growth opportunities
    Colleagues are very intelligent and motivated
    A great challenge
    On site gym including group classes
    Decent cafeteria
    Beautiful campus

    ConsCan feel like a small fish in a big pond
    focus on improving instrument quality
    Improve customer experience by tailoring products to how our customer use instruments and software. Sometimes it feels like these are not designed with customer in mind

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to improve customer focus

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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