SunPower (San Jose, CA)

  www.sunpowercorp.com
  www.sunpowercorp.com

SunPower (San Jose, CA) Reviews

Updated December 9, 2014
Updated December 9, 2014
78 Reviews
3.2
78 Reviews
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SunPower (San Jose, CA) CEO and Director Tom Werner
Tom Werner
43 Ratings

Review Highlights

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 Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    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 an 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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    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)

    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.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great people - it's all about the people anyways, isn't it ?

    • 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) full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great company. Office culture is welcoming and friendly.

    Cons

    Big company feel with a lot of processes.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Get In & Get Out

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

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great people, growing company!

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

    I have been working at SunPower (San Jose, CA) as a contractor (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Smart, innovative, team-player people
    Great culture: always professional skills and attitude but simultaneously accepting of business casual or t-shirts and shorts.
    All work tied to changing the way the world is powered... and building a sustainable future for us all.

    Cons

    Multiple and frequent reorgs. Extremely competitive marketplace = multiple waves of layoffs. Solid performers not always recognized or compensated fairly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Build a plan and an organization and stick with it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    N/A

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA)

    Pros

    A company on the rise

    Cons

    Charge customers a lot of money

  11.  

    A number

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

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA) 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 ManagementAdvice

    Promote from within before and working with internal talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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