SunPower Reviews

Updated August 5, 2015
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SunPower CEO and Director Tom Werner
Tom Werner
12 Ratings

Pros
  • Leading edge technology in the solar industry - makes you proud of changing the way the world is powered (in 3 reviews)

  • Good pay, quarterly and annual bonus (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is only balanced if you don't like your life (in 5 reviews)

  • upper management has poor leadership skills (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

20 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (7)

    What not to do

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales
    Current Employee - Sales
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at SunPower full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The mission is respectful and the product is far superior to anything on the market. The support staff oversees is amazing team of hard working, customer focused employees.

    Cons

    If you were teaching a class on what not to do when trying to build a world class company, this would be a great example. SunPower should stop talking about Work/Life Balance as its non-existent unless you take Life out of the equation. The bonus structure (key initiatives) in place encourages employees to get a task done by a deadline. Programs will launch that are half-baked because someone wants to hit a bonus, not because it is ready. There was a shift to 'Putting the Customer First', which was inspiring until it quickly came to fruition that it was really 'Putting the Customer First, when convenient'.

    Advice to Management

    It is time to bring an in outside consulting firm to do a review of the entire organization and take the advice. This will require a truly anonymous survey. The internal review process is anything but anonymous so the feedback you get is not your employees real feelings. This is the reason between the disconnect of your internal audits and this website. I witnessed and have been a victim of retaliation for comments put in a review. You will never improve if you can't accept feedback and grow from it.


  2. Helpful (5)

    Great purpose, horrible culture

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at SunPower full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Really doing something that will help our world. Good pay and benefits. Trying to improve culture but the problem is at the top.

    Cons

    Overload employees in the name of "efficiency" while they waste man months in building power points and having endless meetings where no real decisions are made. Exec team is weak and mainly concerned with their bonus. Everything takes twice the effort necessary due to heavy overhead. Lazy top down approach to budgeting leaves massive gaps at point of execution.

    Advice to Management

    Retire please and let a new generation move the company forward


  3. Helpful (8)

    Crazy town

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SunPower full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I love the idea of helping people and companies go solar. There are some good, smart people here. SunPower does a lot of donations and giving through their foundation, which is awesome. The Richmond office is in an amazing building.

    Cons

    The marketing department is the most insane that I've ever experienced in 15 years. That really is saying something. Leadership is terrible. They change direction every other minute and the CMO comes up with ideas at all hours of the night and expects you to jump on them no matter what else you are working on. She introduces prescriptive "solutions" instead of presenting a problem and letting the experts come up with a solution based on their experience. There's zero consideration given to actual planning and strategy. So naturally, the marketing team produces crap. Only a very select few people here get that the only thing we can produce is crap given the non-direction and the completely insane timetables. I've tried asking questions about "why does this need to go live today?" and that was frowned upon. There was no reason given. Just that the CMO wanted it done. I'm all for done is better than perfect... but producing a ton of crap isn't the answer. Everyone I work with consistently pulls 60+ hour weeks and for what? This will come to a head. IT is really terrible. Everyone who has a Mac has to have a Dell laptop to schedule WebEx meetings and conference rooms. The company chooses to use a lot of really dated and really unproductive tools. The process for getting software is the worst I've experienced. I've been waiting months to get really basic software installed. IT is based in the Philippines.

    Advice to Management

    Understand the power of stop. Let the experts you hire do their jobs and listen to their recommendations.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    project engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Point Richmond, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Point Richmond, CA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SunPower full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    great projects to work on. smart staff to learn from. vertically integrated, so able to work with racking team, PM, O&M, finance, development, land, permitting, planning, and executive teams. pt. richmond office is a truly great place to work at.

    Cons

    the contract v full-time employee ratio creates a pretty big issue for moral and i think after a certain time is illegal to not offer them full-time benefits or move on. Everyone juggles 4-6 projects, so often the timelines pop up out of no where and are unrealistic. This creates a hectic chaotic atmosphere where employees are unnecessarily stressed and put in a position to self-prioritize and work crazy long weeks on end.

    Advice to Management

    Management could do a better job helping project teams prioritize, pushing back or agreeing to realistic deliverable dates. Listen to staff feed back and observe stress levels.


  6. Operations & Maintenance

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Operations and Management in Austin, TX
    Former Contractor - Operations and Management in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at SunPower as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Most people are kind and fun, educated, nice activities planned.

    Cons

    There is a sexual predator in this department. Women beware!!!! Lack of focus and direction. There are not enough employees hired. They rely too much on contractors, you get to do all of the work, but reap no benefits. It is the "meeting capitol" of the universe.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention.

    SunPower Response

    May 11, 2015 – Senior HR Business Partner

    We take your comment very seriously. A situation as you outline is absolutely contrary to our policy prohibiting sexual harassment and harassment on any other basis protected by law. We are committed ... More


  7. Helpful (6)

    Disorganized and exploiting

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Creative Director in Richmond, CA
    Former Employee - Creative Director in Richmond, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SunPower full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great product, superior technology, highly motivating purpose

    Cons

    Disorganized throughout, plus the company is more than willing to exploit the motivation of employees. The hours are unreasonably long and the pay way below market yet they just keep riding you because you are all drinking the renewables gatorade.

    Advice to Management

    Stop the exploitation, wind back the constant need to have everything over justified, invest in marketing - your technology is good, but that alone just wont get you to where you so desperately want to be. Also stop and think about why you have brought in so many CMOs over the last 5 years - only to drive them away when you do not back up promises of investing in their department.


  8. Helpful (3)

    Get In & Get Out

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You will be involved in some great projects w/ a leader in the industry (scary). There are some solid people still working in the trenches 8)))

    Cons

    It's not a place to hang your hat as technical knowledge is not valued. Few in upper management have contracting experience. Supply Chain is in disarray. It personifies Silicon Valley arrogance and "Catch 22" administrative shenanigans.

    Advice to Management

    Who really wants work thier? And why would you want to be thier customer? Without Totals $$$ you would be unemployed and forced to work as clowns 8P


  9. Helpful (1)

    A number

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrator in Richmond, CA
    Former Employee - Administrator in Richmond, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SunPower full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    It's a large company and there's opportunity to move within the company.

    Cons

    It's a large company and you're just a number.

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within before and working with internal talent.


  10. Helpful (3)

    Crumbling From The Inside

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Richmond, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Richmond, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SunPower full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great technology Diversified business Solid growth potential Competitive compensation and industry leader in the equity plan department Will be one of the long term winners in the battle for solar

    Cons

    I left SunPower half way through 2013 after I concluded I had no growth potential. It was a disappointing conclusion for me, but life after SunPower has been great and further points out the internal dysfunction at this company. I have received >10 inquiries from current employees over the last 6 months who too are dissatisfied with SunPower and looking to move elsewhere. SunPower's success in retaining employees is solely based on the fact that their existing employees believe there are only a few 'safe' options within the solar industry as it goes through consolidation. Limited internal growth prospects due to the segmented nature of their business Negative spirit of competition within its employee base (people rooting for others to fail) Inconsistency in compensation on the sales side, rewards luck versus hard work and innovation

    Advice to Management

    Address the employee issues or retention will be a problem in the long run.


  11. Helpful (2)

    system engineer

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

    I worked at SunPower full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    exciting renewal energy technology and applications

    Cons

    confusing management and too many meetings



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