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

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work but I question their motives in the policies they push internally

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

    I have been working at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It is a great place to work, good pay and benefits. Mostly nice people to work with. There is room to experiment on new ideas.

    Cons

    The upper tier are pushing all values to customer centric items that seem to place us all at a disadvantage. Increasingly it is a do more with less and anything the customer wants vice what they truly need. A customer focus is great but it is making the internal operations very short sighted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Balance your values. Stop being afraid to add personnel when they are needed. The org is so lean that it cannot sustain the demands of the company. This is where the future breaking point will be. Organizational Exhaustion will lead to higher turnover and lack of confidence in the leadership. Knowing what I know as an investor (not insider) I would sell if it continues.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Good company, great coworkers, but ultimately felt misled about the chance I would be given to succeed

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    I worked on a great team, really collegial. Great work-life balance. Superb benefits. Felt great supporting the company's products.

    Cons

    SunPower's (highest) price point makes them extremely vulnerable to competition and market factors. I think that without a cheaper PV product option, they are doomed to stagnant growth, at least in some market segments. Also, being a public company makes them a slave to Wall Street.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need a cheaper product to be more competitive. Don't blame staff for when you don't hit quarterly goals primarily due to this HUGE handica.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Many good people treated badly - No recognition, no job security, no confidentiality, no confidence in exec staff

    • 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

    High quality product, many excellent and dedicated employees, good benefits

    Cons

    Most salaries are below market. No clear report of actual earnings due to obfuscation by HR. Statement of earnings includes projected bonuses, benefits and paid time off, but not adjusted for unpaid time off required at year's end. There is no job security. HR, based in Texas, is ignorant of California law and provides incorrect information, routinely violates state and federal labor laws. High-visibiity long-term staff have been laid off without notice when their jobs were arbitrarily transferred to lower paying US or foreign markets. Good people leave and are not replaced. Management circulates "anonymous" questionnaires prior to quarterly open meetings, but it is common knowledge that they are not anonymous and no one answers truthfully for fear of reprisal. Performance evaluation software is also touted as confidential, but no one answers truthfully for the same reason. There is little confidence in the executive staff, some of whom are utterly unqualified for their positions, but prevalent demeanor is obsequious. Established e-staff members and management staff vanish abruptly and are replaced with no explanation. Austerity programs are applied randomly. Software is either obsolete or, in the case of new programs, selected without apparent regard for functionality. Training is inadequate or absent. Management in many cases have no management skills and, despite lip service to the contrary, are not loyal to or supportive of their subordinates. Information regarding where to turn for answers does not exist. Accounting department (which is excellent) is overseas; unclear and haphazard U.S. approval processes result in bills being consistently unpaid or paid late, sometimes many months late. Some e-staff, through sheer apathy or inattention, allow their subordinates to claim credit for the hard work of others and to assume power disproportionate to both their position and their abilities. Power corrupts. Watch your back.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Loyalty.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Crumbling From The Inside

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

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Very Intense, with lots of great experience, but the experience tends to be the reward

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

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

    Pros

    People are generally very nice and fun to work with.
    The growth of the industry and the company provide a lot of opportunity to gain great experience that would normally require more seniority.

    Cons

    Work life balance is only balanced if you don't like your life.
    They tend to bring in outside talent rather than promote from within.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend more time and effort to decide what NOT to do. You tend to give directions that mean do everything. It leads to the work/life balance challenges.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Excellent vertically integrated solar co

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

    I have been working at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    excellent team attitude, work life balance is a priority

    Cons

    areas of business focus are varied and vastly different one another

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    beat the street

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    New processes weekly

    • 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) full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Not much. Quarterly bonuses not always paid.

    Cons

    Work life balance. The current management doesn't care how many hours are worked and the hiring process is a joke.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire yourself.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    If you are passionate about green technology, this is the place to be.

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

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

    Pros

    Brilliant strategy - in the cutthroat world of solar, this one is going to survive. Leadership is excellent at explaining the strategy and how SunPower is performing against it. Culture is very rigorous: set objectives, measure success, set a new batch of objectives. You will get more done than you ever thought possible. You know that you are making a genuine difference in the world, and that has incalculable value.

    Cons

    Absolutely grueling. Highly global, which means that most employees are "on" 24x7, and your closest colleagues are likely to be in a very different time zone. To have standing meetings at both 7AM and 7PM is common. Very activity oriented - standard reports, plus ad hoc, plus fire drills (lots) plus ongoing projects. To some extent, this is necessary due to the competitive environment. But some is self-inflicted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust your employees. SunPower has some of the most passionate, hardworking, intelligent people I have ever met. The culture of centralized control adds layers of approvals to the simplest request, wasting precious time and sucking the soul out of people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Decent place to work

    • 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)

    Pros

    Some good people in the company. They can be really helpful. But some of them are just overloaded and not having bandwidth to help.

    Cons

    Some bad colleague and management. All talking and no actions. You have to pick your battle or just leave on time and enjoy your personal life outside the work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Action speaks louder than words

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Great Product, horrible CAO

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

    I worked at SunPower (San Jose, CA) full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good product and technology, unassuming CEO and very knowledgeable, great manufacturing team

    Cons

    Horrible CAO, more of talk less knowledge, until this CAO is removed you cannot trust financials

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of your CAO and appoint ethical and knowledgeable person

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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