Lam Research Reviews in San Francisco, CA

Updated August 26, 2014
Updated August 26, 2014
171 Reviews
3.4
171 Reviews
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Lam Research President & CEO Martin Anstice
Martin Anstice
51 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Successful, professional, great work environment (in 11 reviews)

  • Bonuses and benefits Work-life balance needs improvement (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • Having to work every weekend provides an extremely poor work/life balance (in 19 reviews)

  • If you don't like working a lot or long hours don't look here (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

103 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Lam Research

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Technical Writer  in  Fremont, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Technical Writer in Fremont, CA

    I worked at Lam Research as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    People were great, job was interesting, sorry it all had to end.

    Cons

    Couldn't get converted to full-time employment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None.

    Recommends
  2.  

    Fast pace environment and okay place to work if you can ignore all the politics and management favoritism

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Marketing Manager  in  Fremont, CA
    Former Employee - Product Marketing Manager in Fremont, CA

    I worked at Lam Research full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Products and management decisions are mostly engineering driven. The engineering team is very talented and highly technical. If you report to the right people and work on the right projects, you can get promoted rather easily.

    Cons

    Not much work and life balance in placed, expect to work long hours and on weekends. If you don't know the right managers, don't expect getting promoted although you may be highly capable workers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Many promotions are based on management favoritism not the actual capability of the employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not the same company it used to be.

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

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

    Pros

    Interesting and challenging work, absolutely never a dull moment.
    Some co-workers are absolutely brilliant.
    Relatively stable employment, for the industry. They run lean so they don't need to lay off as much during the downturns.
    Given the state of technology, the company isn't going anywhere. (Hard to explain this to others who aren't familiar with the industry).
    Opportunities for travel exist.
    You really feel like you are contributing to something every day you come to work, and the management team does a fairly good job on disseminating the big company news so everyone knows which projects are important to which customers.
    They profit share. 'Nuff said.

    Cons

    As others have commented, work life balance is atrocious. At my orientation, one of the presenters said "what are your hobbies that you like to dream about being able to do?" He was only half kidding. That was ok when it led to promotions.

    Since the merger a few years ago, it's gotten VERY bureaucratic. The company almost doubled in size overnight. Lam used to be about getting the job done right now and nobody cared how, but they've hired a legion of bean-counters to count minutes and pennies and it's mostly destroyed the culture of day-to-day innovation that existed when I was hired. Nowadays you spend more time defending yourself from petty political infighting and audits than on any actual projects. The group I work in has changed out every single person but me, and the general knowledge about how things actually work has gone down with every single person that left. The new people are half trained and then unleashed on unsuspecting coworkers.

    There's a blatant tier system. They have slides that show up about how they retain "> 80% of high-potential employees". What that means is that if someone has a PhD they throw money at them to keep them. There are literally entry level (Shakespearean-keyboard monkey, not kidding) jobs that they will not hire anyone without a doctorate into. For anyone without one, don't bother, you'll always be a second or third class citizen, no matter how much experience or value you bring in. Spending 8 years in a research lab on a campus to earn a thesis or spending 8 years in a research lab (or production fab) at a business to earn a paycheck shouldn't be all that different in terms of compensation or advancement, but that's how it is.

    They get around having to ramp up with the industry by hiring contractors for years, just so that they can get around paying for severance/unemployment or having to claim layoffs to finance when the inevitable downturn comes. It's unethical to the contractors who work side by side doing the same exact work as the full time employees. And it's inefficient because every year the contractors will leave as they realize they are never getting hired and seek greener pastures elsewhere. That leaves a double whammy on the full timers who have to pick up the load and simultaneously train new people. Management has been escalated to the highest levels over maintaining a sustainable workforce; all pleas for relief have fallen on apathetic ears.

    The lean layout of the company means that you are more likely to keep your job during the bad times, but you won't see the sun during the good times, due to you doing the job of three people and getting paid for one.

    They are a multi-billion dollar company that grossly underpays anyone below a mid-level manager. They quote that their compensation is "60% of the industry average"; what they fail to disclose is that a chunk of their management skews that up significantly and that a large chunk (~50%) of their employees are located in one of the highest cost of living areas in the country (HQ), so you can barely afford a shack in the area on what they pay. They also don't mention that they want the top 90% employees at a bargain 60% price, and they aren't afraid of enforcing that standard.

    Goal setting is usually an exercise in hilarity, at every level of the company. They start with ludicrous numbers and timelines, and we scream until they lower them to only impossible ones. They call them "stretch" goals; the idea is that you realistically will only succeed at 80% of them during an evaluation period. Which would be fine except for how they treat failure. (Which is absolutely ironic because of the slide show printed on main screens for months about "how to kill innovation - step 1: punish people severely for failure") When junior personnel miss a goal, they get pulled into a meeting room and practically read their rights on how the company is paying top dollar for top employees and basically shape up or the next pink slip will have your name on it. Mid and senior level employees don't even get that, they just go away and you find out about it the next day in a meeting.

    I would not recommend today's company to a friend.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn that failure IS learning.

    Allow people's ACTUAL value to be the determining factor in advancement, not some "potential based on semi-relevant education".

    Stop counting pennies and seconds when you are wasting thousands and days.

    Listen to the people that actually perform the work that produces revenue, not the guy in a cube who sends email to them occasionally.

    You get what you pay for has never been truer than today.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Depends what group you work in

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

    I worked at Lam Research full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    This company pays significantly above market rate for a given skill set, and people tend to stay a long time, while maintaining a work-life balance that's well weighted on the side of kids, hobbies and barbecue parties.
    Also, equipment engineering teams, from what I could see, are cohesive socially and technically, have deep expertise in equipment design and there is plenty of excellent creative work being done, with the associated respect, mentorship, and sharing of credit among peers.

    Cons

    The overall culture is influenced by many employees hired straight out of the military, and with the low turnover rate the changing norms of society are slow to permeate. The Fremont office - with the exception of equipment engineering - seemed to have little of the professional mutual respect I had seen elsewhere, and instead had some distasteful elements - bullying and posturing as a means of persuasion, crass and sexually loaded language as the language of criticism, and a daily banter of overt homophobic, racist, and sexist insults being thrown around for levity.
    To give a sense of how noticeable this was, when I was there I expressed some surprise to a colleague at the inappropriate joking going on. I was told the HR department made it a point not to visit our section of the offices because there were so many things to be heard or seen that would have been a problem for them to witness.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    fix the culture

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    ups an down

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Field Service Engineer Senior/Tech Support  in  Fremont, CA
    Former Employee - Field Service Engineer Senior/Tech Support in Fremont, CA

    I worked at Lam Research full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The money an the people Until I moved up the ladder. I tried to stay on the road working keep out of managements eyes nothing good come from most of them'
    unstable management there out of touch with workers

    Cons

    To many managers laying the wrong peopleoff''' out of touch with there workers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When you need RIF Try to let few managers see the road .maybe they would learn who is the dead weight at that company

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Nice Employer with Challenging Spirits

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

    I worked at Lam Research full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    A fast moving company, challenging new targets daily paid good compensation. They had good profit model of which tool prices were high, and evaluation costs were lower than thin film equipment companies. Now, I do not know about this since Novellus has joined this company.

    Cons

    They need to increase the number of SEM and CDSEM machines for a faster evaluation of their etch process tests.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You may need to challenge double patterning (DP) projects more since you have both spacer deposition and plasma etch capabilities. Hire me back for this project.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Left Applied Materials

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

    I worked at Lam Research as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Great People, good salary, growing company

    Cons

    some people are just "there"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    fire the unproductive workers

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Exciting, challenging, and rewarding company. Core values and how they are embraced is highly valued!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Human Resources Manager  in  Fremont, CA
    Current Employee - Human Resources Manager in Fremont, CA

    I have been working at Lam Research full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    No one day is the same. Fast paced, and lots of opportunities to grow and stretch. Great people to work with and learn from - company is on an amazing journey since acquisition of Novellus. Every employee has the opportunity to have significant impact and help shape the future Lam.

    Cons

    The industry and pace is fierce. There is not a shortage of good ideas and opportunities to engage in...which can make work/life balance a challenge. Very similar to any startup company out to change the world.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Love the All Hands quarterly employee meetings. The more we share and cascade effectively, the stronger we are as a cohesive team.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Out of control and about to crash. HR leaves misleading reviews on glassdoor.com.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director  in  Fremont, CA
    Current Employee - Director in Fremont, CA

    I have been working at Lam Research full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    There is a cafe onsite to run to and grab a bite to eat. Located in Bay Area.

    Cons

    Too many to list. HR is now horrible. HR even puts in misleading reviews in glassdoor.com to make themselves look good! They poach from KLA-Tencor and Applied Materials after getting rid of people. Then they end up doing rifs on the people they hired to replace the people they should not have riffed in the first place. Mangers think they are tough bullies and proud of it but someone needs to tell them they're acting dumb and people are doing the work because it's the right thing to do and they are just getting in the way.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Buying back shares will not mask the disasters that are about to happen.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Out of control.

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

    I worked at Lam Research as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Lam had a cafe on site.

    Cons

    Too many to list but number one was one hand never knew what was going on and the other didn't care. Not all management but most were Proctologist doing brain surgery. My manager was a complete Bully and did not like me cause he did not hire me.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They can't hear and they don't read lips, so nothing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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