Palo Alto Research Center

  www.parc.com
  www.parc.com

Palo Alto Research Center Reviews

Updated August 30, 2014
Updated August 30, 2014
19 Reviews
3.3
19 Reviews
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Palo Alto Research Center CEO Stephen Hoover
Stephen Hoover
11 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Excellent, great staff, location, and work ethics

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

    I worked at Palo Alto Research Center as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great work ethic. Variety in areas of work is beyond any I've seen in private sector. People are knowledgeable, amicable, and just generally great to work with.

    Cons

    Older facility. Strong ties to Xerox, which are sometimes useful and sometimes a bit difficult to manage around creatively

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If something is an issue between your employees and yourself, make it known right away.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Legendary place to work, has lost the aura of the past.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Intern in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Research Intern in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Palo Alto Research Center as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great people, great benefits, great location.

    Cons

    Lost the legendary aura of the past.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Ok for a year but then you need to move on.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Member of Research Staff II in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Member of Research Staff II in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Palo Alto Research Center full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    A good brand in some circles. Smart and generally nice people. OK work life balance.

    Cons

    40 years ago great things happened here. The thought leaders were gone by the 1990s. The company is now dominated by a cohort from that time who have built a museum (literally) and live int the past. New people come, stay a year or two, then rotate out.

    The business model is still work in progress. The Xerox endowment is declining with the parent company's market performance. There are large pockets for US Government funding but these directions and levels can turn on a dime. The commercial work plan is not supported by people who can execute and the costs are too high. What corporation is going to pay $50K to come hear a Power Point presentation at "PARC Place" and then pay per researcher head what you could use to fund a startup?

    The financial results are currently bad. Last year was a $4 million loss. This year there were significant RIFs. I don't see a change in that trajectory this year. How long will the parent company back fill these losses.

    Note: the bonus pool only pays out if the company makes a profit.

    Poor cafeteria. Poor gym.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The company is in a death spiral with the retired in place 30 year veteran cohort who are out of touch with the real worl. Bring in some new thought leaders with some real world experience. Close the hardware labs.

    The CEO needs to get buy in across the leadership (down to the Area Manager) level for his strategy. Part of that is replacing them.

    Just when you need to be focussing on rebuilding the future you've gotten distracted with the Webster merger.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Some pros, more cons

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Palo Alto Research Center

    Pros

    Very flexible work hours, Nice people to work with and talk to, Good work/life balance, good benefits

    Cons

    little to no personal growth, low compensation, flat organization, bad management, high stress, low morale at times

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Great place for research

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Palo Alto Research Center

    Pros

    Flexible, own schedule, People are really smart and helpful.
    Very good work from home policy.
    Lots of things to learn.

    Cons

    Not well defined strategy
    Since there is not product development at PARC it's difficult to build those skills.
    Funding is not very stable.

  7.  

    Amazing place... great benefits... but limited long term career growth

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

    I have been working at Palo Alto Research Center full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Excellent work-life balance, autonomy in work and projects, super smart colleagues - truly 'world experts' in their fields. Can learn something interesting about a new research area from almost everyone here.

    Cons

    Limited long term growth - a fairly flat organization with limited room to move up. Good pay and benefits, but appropriate incentives and rewards for outstanding work are somewhat lacking IMO. Top performers tend to leave frequently for greener pastures - especially with the economy picking up, lots of competitive opportunities out there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Overall a great place to work, but would be good if leadership were to communicate better with employees: high level decisions are made in a seemingly ad-hoc fashion sometimes, and even though company-wide meetings are held to discuss changes and issues, they frequently lack substance and clear communication regarding the decision process.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    world of possibilities with a closed closet of opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Member of Staff in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Member of Staff in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Palo Alto Research Center full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    stunning location overlooking Silicon Valley, smart people to talk to, work with, and learn from every day

    Cons

    no personal growth or career path, braindead management with few clues how to run an innovation organization, spectre of Xerox dying in the shadows as industrial research fades to black

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    get a grip on the 21st century with some fresh talent under 50 yrs of age and new ownership

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    It's got name brand recognition, but it's glory days are in the past

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

    I worked at Palo Alto Research Center as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    They have a good life balance - no pressure to work 80 hours weeks. Good place if you're a research scientist w/ a family. Coworkers were all friendly and competent (at least, the ones I worked directly with). Talking with the greybeards still left from the glory days is quite fun too.

    Cons

    High turnover, low compensation, bad gym, bad cafeteria, too big a focus on IP. Everything needs to generate a patent, even though they're terrible at monetizing said patents. Very little opportunity for research that does not directly lead to a patent. Secrecy during patent review process makes it hard to publish conference/journal papers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit nickle and diming people - pay your employees more, shell out for perks like a decent cafeteria, and learn to look beyond the next quarter's results.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Brilliant people, but stunted growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Member of Research Staff in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Member of Research Staff in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Palo Alto Research Center full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    People here are very smart and many take initiative to develop ideas into tangible research prototypes. My first few years here I grew significantly simply by assimilating the culture here. There will always be a way to work on what you are passionate about, and you have way more autonomy over your own time than other companies.

    Cons

    The company isn't really growing. Less growth means fewer promotion opportunities because you don't have many junior people coming in. This isn't a problem specific to PARC, but independent research labs in general, of which many have died.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You guys are doing a great job with the hand that you're dealt, but I think you have to fundamental shift business models to something such as that of MIT with their membership structure. There is pressure to get a quick ROI especially with some commercial engagements, but this is discordant with the nature of research. I would be open to more deals that don't always involve cash, such as more partnerships, spin-ins, and co-development arrangements.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Research Intern

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

    I worked at Palo Alto Research Center as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    very flexible schedule, highly collaborative environment, and competitive salary
    have the freedom to decide what to do and how to do it.

    Cons

    the building is old. no descent recreation center. the time card policy is a little bit annoying. be prepared to the high stress and fast pace.

    Recommends

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