SunPower (San Jose, CA) Reviews

Updated April 22, 2015
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3.2
83 Reviews
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SunPower (San Jose, CA) CEO and Director Tom Werner
Tom Werner
47 Ratings

Pros
  • Best technology in solar panels (in 5 reviews)

  • Good people environment and good work atmosphere (at least in the Richmond office) (in 6 reviews)

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

  • Few in upper management have contracting experience (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Great place to grow!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at SunPower (San Jose, CA) (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Because of the size, it's possible to be broad and to take on new things. Stretch is an daily opportunity. It's an industry with huge growth, and the CEO truly cares about the employees. It's hard work and often more work than you're able to complete, but the rewards are worth it!

    Cons

    It is tough for those who want 8-5. Some people have that but not many.

    Advice to Management

    Help subordinates prioritize to ensure the most important items get the most focus.

  2. Operations & Maintenance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Operations and Management in Austin, TX
    Former Contractor - Operations and Management in Austin, TX

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA) as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    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.

  3. Finance Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at SunPower (San Jose, CA)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Top solar panel manufacturer, growing industry

    Cons

    Not a lot of development, or career growth opportunities.

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. engineer

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

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    one of the best technology companies in solar industry.

    Cons

    too much travel for work. work becomes hectic due to many oversea conference calls at night.

    Advice to Management

    Help subordinates prioritize to ensure the most important items get the most focus.

  6. Great pay, and benefits and people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Austin, TX

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The people are nice and warm. You have the opportunity to learn a lot and take up as much as you can take. Exposure to lots of industries all in one company.

    Cons

    (1) No clear career path due to reorg almost every nine months
    (2) lots of throw away work done due to no proper planning
    (3) too many yes men.
    (4) no focus on long term goals, focus is mainly short term

    Advice to Management

    Focus on what works there are too many projects that don't make sense

  7. Helpful (1)

    Great people, little growth opportunity

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

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Really amazing people who are extremely dedicated. Lots of great perks like on-site showers, gym, good coffee, beer bashes with co-workers.

    Cons

    Limited growth potential, not a lot of thought leadership within the organization, only offering competitive pay for key positions or newer hires.

    Advice to Management

    Spend time assessing each department for burnout and attrition. Take demonstrable steps towards resolution. No one is too busy to lose good people.

  8. Helpful (3)

    Director

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

    I have been working at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Outstanding PPO health insurance plan. Good pay, quarterly and annual bonus. Very relaxed office culture in all facilities (TX and CA). Some great leaders in other departments.

    Cons

    Unclear and lack of direction for what their focus, goals, values, and vision is moving forward. Everyone and I mean everyone is overworked, departments understaffed, and only the favorites will get promoted. No work-life balance. Weekend and after hours calls the norm here. Recent major layoff in EMEA. Product is way too expensivie.

    Advice to Management

    Stop micro managing and empower your team. Why does it take 7 people to aprove a req and then the same 7 people to approve the office letter.

  9. Helpful (4)

    A hard-driving company, but with a tremendous sense of mission and collegiality.

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

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    SunPower has strong, positive company values. It seeks to attract top talent, and runs more like a high-tech, Silicon Valley company than a traditional manufacturer. It's great to work for the technology leader - SunPower has the highest efficiency panels by far - but this also makes things challenging, since the product is never going to be the cheapest. The employees are great, and salary and benefits are moderately competitive. The Key Performance Indicator system, while a little laborious, is applied consistently throughout the company and results in a clear common language about performance across all groups.

    Cons

    Because it is a manufacturing company, there are many pressures from outside, such as supply chain issues, regulatory compliance, and dealer/distribution channels, in addition to the usual marketing and technology development. Sometimes these issues arise quickly and cause major changes in work (including a lot of overtime) and nearly impossible deadlines. The growth of the company and its various operations has meant continuing siloization, in spite of many attempts to address this. People have the right intentions, but there can be structural barriers to working together effectively. Unfortunately, a focus on keeping profitability as high as possible during a time when solar prices have been dropping has meant under-investing in some key supporting functions, such as training.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to focus on aligning and optimizing resources across organizational barriers. Set consistent messages about talent development, career development, and personal work-life balance, and back them up with consistent, adequate resources. Continue ongoing communication efforts, and increase where necessary. Increase the use of professional project managers for major initiatives. Keep KPIs, but continue to streamline them by promoting best practices.

  10. SunPower's management is too centralized and doesn't empower its team to make decisions to benefit the company.

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

    I have been working at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    There are many excellent and interesting people. Work environment is casual.

    Cons

    Too many people focused on keeping their jobs and making themselves look good but not really helping the company.

  11. Helpful (1)

    Disorganized and exploiting

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

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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.

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