Spansion
2.7 of 5 100 reviews
www.spansion.com Sunnyvale, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Spansion Reviews

Updated Apr 15, 2014
Spansion – Austin – “Spansion B4”

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.7 100 reviews

                             

67% Approve of the CEO

Spansion President, CEO, and Director John H. Kispert

John H. Kispert

(46 ratings)

25% of employees recommend this company to a friend
100 Employee Reviews
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Also, there was a good work life balance"
    in 9 reviews
  • "Good place to work with lots of good people; laid back as most places in Austin are"
    in 9 reviews
Cons:
  • "The employees seem to have diminishing faith and confidence in the company because of numerous lay-offs"
    in 5 reviews
  • "no benefits, no bonus, conventional (no WFHs), longer promotion cycle, not willing to take risks at all, random shutdowns"
    in 4 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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On a great trajectory

Senior Manager (Current Employee)
Sunnyvale, CA

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

ProsRenewed executive management team has been in control since 2009. The company is on a growth path now and investing in new memory technology as well as entirely new product categories. The company is providing employees with new and more opportunities for professional development and training. The people here are amazing - some of the smartest and nicest people I've been around.

ConsPace of change and growth could be faster. It is not friendly environment if you like to telecommute.

Advice to Senior ManagementProvide employees a bit more flexibility in working, like flex schedules and telecommuting options. Company is quite behind in this respect compared to other valley companies.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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a chip in a wrong business

Senior Staff (Current Employee)
Sunnyvale, CA

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

Prosrespect employee and empower employee, good benefit plan

Consaverage 1 lay off for every couple of year

Advice to Senior Managementstable and diversify business

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

Good place to work

Test Engineer (Current Employee)
Sunnyvale, CA

I have been working at Spansion

ProsGreat opportunity to work on challenging job! I got good training in using the exiting tester and learning new technology!

ConsSometime not enough time and not enough hand to get the job done! Everyone in my team putting a lot of hour to get the work done!

Advice to Senior ManagementNeed to expand and if it is not broken don't fix it!
Need more equipment and existing equipment need to be working optimally 100% of the time for better results!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Good place to work but need to be self sufficient in order to succeed.

Manufacturing Engineer (Current Employee)
Austin, TX

I have been working at Spansion

ProsSpansion has gone through a very difficult transition. It all started with the 2009 financial crash and led to firing of almost all the senior management, restructuring, selling extra facilities, bankruptcy then re-emergence. This has all been a positive path and was critical for Spansion in order to be as successful as it is becoming. New executive management is competent and driven to succeed. In most cases you will not be micro-managed at this company. This is good if you already have experience in the field and are a self starter. Pay is good and bonus plans are fair. Work/life balance is good. People at Spansion really do care and there exists a reasonable level of comradely and teamwork.

ConsUnderstand the history of Spansion as AMD, AMD spinoff, and then bankruptcy then new company. There are alot of legacy AMD people/ideas that carry them down with excesses baggage and bad habits form the past. Be aware: In most cases you will not be managed very closely at this company. Often times more management interaction and leadership is needed for people that require more guidance. Senior talent that is not used appropriately, to much focus on the “past” and how the “good old AMD” days used to be. Leadership is needed to get people past that.

Advice to Senior ManagementAt Spansion there are lots of very talented resources. Not always clear concise direction on how to use those resources to better help the company. Tend to leave people alone and allow them to function at the comfort level they have managed to create around them. In some way this is de-motivating for some of those people and the people that see it. Work harder to create a more unified culture between Sunnyvale and Austin.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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enjoy everyday work with nice colleagues and managers

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Beijing, Beijing (China)

I worked at Spansion

ProsNot much pressure, good relationship between employees, good salary, good location, good working environment. It meets most external requirements for an employee.

ConsAlways doubted the projects you are doing is meanningful or important enough to boost the company's business, especially when NOR Flash is going to its end life.

Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on key business to keep major customers, and avoid price war with competitors to make a better survival. Keep going forward, you are returning back on track.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Set expectations for a short-term career

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Sunnyvale, CA

I worked at Spansion

ProsPay scale competitive and management treats employees fairly and with respect. Offers a challenging and face paced work environment.

ConsAs a "Memory Semiconductor" company, cash and profits will always be a struggle. Set Spansion career expectations for short-term employment. Keep resume updated and active. Poor CEO/management decisions put company in bankruptcy. Many empolyee's upset about short notice layoff in early 2009, but this is part of working for a company struggling to make a profit in a very tough market environment.

Advice to Senior ManagementAvoid double standards with VP & Executives versus the rank and file. During the 2008/09 furlough days (and paycuts) there was a clear double standard as VP's were exempt from the paycut. Rank and file definately felt slighted and rightfully so.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

Once great company battered by tough industry, dismal economy, weak leadership, and unassertive negotiators.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Austin, TX

I worked at Spansion

ProsI loved the people I worked with at Spansion. They tended to be very bright and hard working problem solvers. Spansion permitted its employees to take calculated risks within the manufacturing environment. For instance, we were permitted to continuously refine our processes, introduce new consumables, and collaborate with vendors. Had its business model not been horribly flawed I would have liked to work there my entire life.

ConsSpansion's economic model was flawed. For a very long time, AMD and Intel were locked into a price war in flash memory that caused both companies to sell below cost year after year. For Intel, this was a calculated, logical approach. 90% of its revenue came from the highly profitable CPU segment and only 10% from Flash. AMD was split 50/50. By creating severe pricing problems in the NOR flash market, Intel could hamper AMD's growth. When AMD jettisoned the flash business as its own company, Spansion - that was an important step to reducing excessive competitive rivalry. For several years, Spansion operated independently losing $75 to $150 M. Eventually Intel management tired of trying to destroy Spansion and destroying enormous value for its shareholders. I had hoped that when Intel and ST Microelectronics finally spun off and merged their NOR businesses (Numonyx) that there would be finally much needed peace and reasonable pricing. Yet this never came to fruition. Neither company's leadership made any moves to wave the white flag and so both companies continue to suffer. To Intel's credit, many years ago the company attempted to raise all flash prices by 15%. To AMD's discredit, they maintained their artificially low prices. Had I been running the company, I would have thanked Intel by raising our flash prices by 17 or 18% to make the NOR industry more attractive.

Another major factor in Spansion's decline was the NAND flash glut. I read some iSuppli reports indicating that NAND coupled with DRAM could achieve similar performance to NOR at lower cost. iSuppli predicted that NOR would continue to lose market share for mobile phone to NAND. The mobile phone manufacturers constantly put pressure on NOR providers to lower costs. I can't understand how sales would tolerate reservation pricing 15% below cost but they seemed to do it year after year. Another report I read indicated software was a major barrier to entry for NAND. Unfortunately, I never had access to the upper echelons of sales and strategy at Spansion - I would have loved to understand the rationale for their business thinking. In the end, I believe Spansion and Numonyx have both capitulated declaring they don't want to supply mobile phone makers anymore than demanding they pay a reasonable price for these chips is mind-blowing. That is an amazing declaration! To chose to simply refuse business rather than first saying, "Hey, how about you pay cost plus some profit for these parts! Considering I've been subsidizing your profit margin by selling below my total production costs for 5 to 10 years - YOU OWE ME!"

I believe the new Spansion under Kispert's leadership has made the tough, yet inevitable decisions that Management should have made many years ago. Spansion could not afford the high fixed costs of operating a R&D facility in Silicon Valley. The plan to build a tiny 300 mm factory in Japan was a total blunder. If I had been CEO, I would offered a relocation package for the R&D folks to move to Austin and I would have concentrated all production (and only profitable production there). The most dedicated could have left over-priced and bankrupt California, sold their over-priced homes in the central San Jose area, and lived like kings and queens in the low-cost, highly desirable Austin area. All effort should have been focused on exploiting the talent within FAB25 and coming up with creative solutions to boost capacity by eliminating bottlenecks in the factory. The management now has pretty much done what should have been done years ago except now they have eliminated a lot of good engineers and destroyed morale and wiped out $1.2 B in investor cash and confidence. Year after year Spansion was loved by its suppliers - it has received award after award for best supplier including perhaps ironically even several awards from Samsung's mobile phone division which one might assume would naturally favor its own internal semiconductor division. Spansion created considerable value for its customers yet continuously failed to capture that value in profits. I would have made whatever legally permitted gestures to Intel/ST Microelectronics/Numonyx to diffuse the price war and get mobile phone pricing back to reasonable levels. Market share is meaningless if it is achieved unprofitably.

Advice to Senior ManagementRebuild Austin manufacturing. Hire some better negotiators. Get back in the mobile phone business as long as you can negotiate proper pricing (i.e. full cost of chips plus profit). Build chips that can be customized through software rather than 10's of different hardware designs. Require upfront payment for specialty chip design work. Seek out new business opportunities such as biomedical and environmentally sensor chips. Offer a foundry service for the numerous semiconductor startups in Austin offering quicker development turns and tight collaboration. Reinvigorate the EcoRAM initiative based on customer feedback. Most importantly treat your former employees and current ones with the respect they deserve - cutting 3,000 jobs with no severance was obscene. SVTC looks like it is pioneering some interesting new markets - perhaps Spansion could bring particular profitable business in using its very low cost per wafer manufacturing cost. Continue to invest in BIST and other cost savings techniques for packaging and electrical test.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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a good place to learn

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Austin, TX

I have been working at Spansion

Prosfriendly and helpful co-workers, good work-life balance, amazing place to learn and grow, salary in par in the top companies in semiconductor industry,

Conslegacy systems and practices, tough market-a shrinking NOR market,falling ASPs,bad financial decisions,slow decision making-(eg)projects getting cancelled just when the project is in the final stages citing poor customer demand for that product. These kind of project cancellations keep happening round the year-an absolute waste of resource and money,placing more emphasis on meeting the unrealistic deadline without ensuring the quality by coming up with a good systems of checks and balances

Advice to Senior Managementget your priorities clear on which projects you want to work,

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Need senior leadership, BFC we need to hear from you.

IT Professional (Current Employee)
Austin, TX

I have been working at Spansion

ProsBeing a mature company, technology company it is a good place to work. Some very nice people work here. It offers great working environment for many reasons as follows. It offers great areas for walking, running, basketball. It has a very good and inexpensive cafeteria. There exit great opportunities for advancement. Pay offered is competitive.

ConsPoor direction from top and middle management. Hence the direction received is often obscure and changing. Often the wrong goals are set and then they are changed to other wrong goals. Poor performance does not get addressed or good performance is not rewarded.

Advice to Senior Management1) Hire from outside your comfort circle for senior positions.
2) Create opportunity to get unvarnished feedback and suggestions from lower in the management hierarcy. Involve employees and contractors, since your best talent is hidden from you within the contractors.
3) Cut a few layers of middle management. They obscure the picture for you and for the employees.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great place to be, but financially it is going down fast.

Materials Engineer II (Former Employee)
Sunnyvale, CA

I worked at Spansion

ProsPeople are Spansion's best asset! When I first came to Spansion I thought there is no other place Id rather be at. It is great going in to work and seeing everyone. Most of the older staff is very nice and helpful and pleasant to talk to. The spirit is high, and people treat each other with respect.

ConsThe company is doing pretty poorly financially, and as a result the layoffs are becoming more frequent and the benefits are getting worse. New management is treating people poorly. Aggressive people with very little people skills are becoming in charge.

Advice to Senior ManagementPeople that worked for Spansion for 20+ years are pretty disappointed with some of the new changes. Don't allow some of the new and unexperienced management to treat employees the way they do lately.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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