Intermolecular Reviews

Updated July 21, 2014
Updated July 21, 2014
18 Reviews

3.1
18 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Intermolecular President, CEO, and Director David E. Lazovsky
David E. Lazovsky
7 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Seldom a dull moment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Intermolecular full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Fast-paced and constantly changing. The collaborative business model brings in opportunities to work in a wide variety of cutting-edge, wowie-zowie technologies, and to meet one's opposite numbers in sone top-name companies. Everybody who works there is very smart and almost everyone has kind of an R&D. mentality; for instance, even the accountants are familiar with vacuum chamber hardware. State-of the art hardware and software to play with. Many departments harness technology to efficiently organize their processes.

    Cons

    If I was not obligated by contract not to disparage, perhaps I might have something useful to say, but as it is, I'd better keep my digital trap shut.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep a few people around with warm, friendly personalities and senses of humor. They're the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down.

  2.  

    "no comments"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Process Engineer  in  San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Process Engineer in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Intermolecular full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Fast paced, plenty of opportunities to work on various technologies.

    Cons

    Too many layers of management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too many upper level people and not enough people / process associates to run all the tools and experiments.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Three year sprint to a layoff

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer  in  San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Engineer in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Intermolecular full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Many smart people, more than half hold PhD. Interesting, cutting edge work.

    Cons

    Long hours are expected. Management style is same as Applied Materials, where most have worked before. Company is locked into some equipment designs from early on which hamper progress today.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't assume everyone understands why you are taking a certain course. I regularly got into some trouble by choosing the wrong thing to work on because the priorities had changed and I did not know about it. This is more to do with mid-level management than the executives.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    No Comments

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Intermolecular

    Pros

    Fast grow-up place for new grad

    Cons

    Service mode business model and growth is questionable

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Considering more realistic business model

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Good technical experience, poorly run

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Intermolecular full-time

    Pros

    Lot of good technical people, very strong technical expertise with all employees combined. Innovative ideas.

    Cons

    Voice of engineers does not reach managment. Ways to improve are disregarded. Old problems persist. Company worrying about finances, went public too soon.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest company money in internal workflow improvements

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    It is difficult to figure out where this company is headed.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Device Engineer  in  San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Device Engineer in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Intermolecular full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The technology department is siloed and tied to individual clients. This provides a "small team" atmosphere with high visibility to at least the middle-management level, although not necessarily VPs. Demonstrate success and you have the potential to rise, in theory. In actuality, promotions to next-grades (e.g. engineer to MTS) are infrequent, but within the same grade (e.g. engineer II to engineer III) they are regular.

    Cons

    Middle management is excellent at managing upward, and little else. Client pushback is nonexistent; goals and timetables are erratic and ambitious. Expect to work nights and weekends on a consistent basis. This is a major drawback of the business model, which is a hybrid of short-term (platform tools and contract R&D) with long-term (IP royalty) revenue streams. The contract R&D service leaves IMI at the whim of the clients, and frankly, they're not happy with poor results on an ongoing basis. This is why the stock takes such a beating; the company is unable to show profitability in a low-margin space, leading to recent layoffs (18% of the company) and a return to selling platform tools.

    The tools have their own areas of problems. Engineering was decimated in the recent layoff, and even before that, the tools were finicky at best. Dealing with ultra-thin films of ALD and PVD materials is challenging even with world-class deposition chambers, and these are not. Add in the constant rotation of materials, leading to contamination of forward runs and inconsistent results, and you have a recipe for disaster. Some of these problems have been solved by other groups in the company, but the silo structure of the company has prevented method sharing, resulting in a lot of wasted effort spent duplicating work. That is beginning to change, but very slowly. The fundamental problem (weak, unreliable tools) is not addressed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The toolset needs a reboot from the ground up. The end goal is viable IP, which means IMI needs trustworthy films. Our tools cannot provide them. The company is hemorrhaging technologists who figured this out years ago.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Fantastic place!

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Intermolecular

    Pros

    Wide variety of research projects. Good health insurance and other benefits. You don't feel like a number since company is relatively small. Talented people.

    Cons

    Resources are a bit fragmented since many processing tools and equipment are project specific.

  9.  

    Excellent Company to work at! Very smart People

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer  in  San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Engineer in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Intermolecular full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Working with Tier 1 customers to deploy state of the art technologies into production. Employees are Supported by management well. Most managers are good at what they do. IM hire only the best Engineers out there in the industry to meet customer expectations.

    Cons

    None at this time to report

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Weed out the Slackers and the complainers!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great place to work, great co-workers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Accountant  in  San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Accountant in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Intermolecular full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Company is growing and has a good business model to be successful.

    Cons

    None at this time to report.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great technology and talented staff. Business development needs more focus, narrower scope.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Intermolecular full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I have no doubt that IMI will continue to be a successful company. The equipment and methodology that has evolved to apply combinatorial research to semiconductor and clean energy applications is powerful.

    Cons

    A lot of time and money is spent on programs that are unlikely to commercialize and yield revenue bearing royalties. Until this improves IMI will continue to be a good contract R&D provider but won't realize the significant differentiation that the business model is built upon.

    The company has never been good at firing or removing poor leaders (and there are plenty). Middle managers and directors are good at managing up and have created a barrier between what's really happening and what the executive staff perceives.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out and walk the floor regularly and talk to the techs to understand what is working well, and what isn't.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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