Intermolecular

  www.intermolecular.com
  www.intermolecular.com

Intermolecular Reviews

Updated October 12, 2014
Updated October 12, 2014
22 Reviews
2.9
22 Reviews
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Intermolecular President, CEO, and Director David E. Lazovsky
David E. Lazovsky
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    This company needs the new and effective strategies to grow up!

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

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

    Pros

    Good team with smart and knowledgeable people, lots of R&D tools and metrology tools, they are flexible and capable of doing research covering semiconductor, display, battery, solar energy, glass coating... technologies

    Cons

    The current business model does not seem to work well to gain more business, especially for the business with high profile companies; employees not feel the company stable and worry about their job security; people considering looking for new opportunities outside of the company; promotions more on management but engineers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Most of the employees are willing to spend extra time on their work, which is necessary. Company and management should acknowledge those and may be flexible to give them some time off.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good but as a stepping stone.

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

    I worked at Intermolecular full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Management in software side had a vision and direction.

    Cons

    Business model has yet to be confirmed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to keep the good players around before they bounce.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    The consequences of a short-range business philosophy

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

    I worked at Intermolecular full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    This is a good company if you like to work on a lot of projects in a fast-paced environment. There is not the technical depth that you might find at a larger company, but there are interesting projects and the potential satisfaction of having a large impact on the fate of the company.

    Cons

    Intermolecular suffers from the same malady that is plaguing this country's culture: pragmatism. By that I mean a focus on the short-range at the exclusion of the long-range. What are some examples? One is the constant over-promising to customers of what the company can deliver. Another is constantly branching out into new areas and ventures, which causes a dilution of effort and prevents the development of expertise in the company.

    Successful companies operate by strict adherence to long-term considerations, just as successful individuals do. The focus of this company has to change from the short-term to the long-term if it is to remain in business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Here are a few suggestions: 1) Focus on a few key technologies, eliminate projects that in net are draining resources, 2) Only promise what you can deliver in sales meetings, 3) Rather than focusing on the sales, focus on the product and specifically product excellence -- this above all is what the customer derives value from. Most likely these changes will require a change in the top management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    "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 (less than an 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
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Bad Career Move

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Member of Technical Staff
    Former Employee - Member of Technical Staff

    I worked at Intermolecular full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -some cutting edge semiconductor development.
    -good variety of thin films and metrology tools.

    Cons

    -the business model is not viable. in 2014, proprietary concerns are at the forefront of semiconductor/PV development. as much as the company tries, it is impossible to control on a day-to-day level w/o significantly disrupting operations.
    -your treatment, your compensation, your position, everything.......depends on your degrees of separation from the CEO.
    -proprietary hardware has a lot of underlying issues.
    -the strongest technical contributors to the company have left within the past year. A LOT of personnel turnover.
    -to concurrently operate with multiple projects in a lab environment, you need operational excellence. they don't have it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -no advice. much of management is in over their head. too many managers brought in due to their "connections" in the industry and not their accomplishments. "connections" get customers in the door, but that's about it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    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 (more than an 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.

  8. 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 (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
  9.  

    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
  10.  

    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
  11. 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 (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

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