A123 Systems Reviews in Waltham, MA | Glassdoor

A123 Systems Waltham Reviews

Updated August 16, 2017
12 reviews

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Waltham, MA

2.4
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Peter W. Cirino
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12 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Supervisors, Process Techs, and Team Leaders all knowledgeable, easy to work for, and care about their people (in 5 reviews)

  • Good middle management and many great people (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance out the window if the execs are going to miss the bonus rounds (in 4 reviews)

  • Outcome of business is shared to only the top management (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "Engaging and Intellectually Challenging R&D"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The fundamental R&D group is focused on developing game changing technologies for lithium-ion starter battery, start-stop, PHEV, and EV applications. Once the technology is demonstrated, the company has a clearly defined path for transferring the technology from the laboratory bench top, to pilot production, and onto full scale manufacturing. Seeing technology that you are a part of make it directly into a product that can play a role in the growth of the company as well as have a positive impact on the environment is satisfying.

    Cons

    A challenge associated with working in the R&D organization is finding work-life balance. This is due to the compressed timelines and frequent travel associated with the huge growth the company is currently experiencing.

    Advice to Management

    Continue the current path that is focused on developing internal talent in order to ensure longevity and continuity within the organization while simultaneously bringing in young, talented scientists and engineers to encourage the influx of new ideas.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Test Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Test Engineer in Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Test Engineer in Waltham, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Decent work life balance. Most people are good to work with. The product still has potential, but many issues still.

    Cons

    The management stinks. They don't reward people with hard work. The don't promote from within. They are more concerned with their bonuses than treating employees fairly.

    Advice to Management

    Reward hard work. Stop playing favorites

  3. "Right Direction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Scientist in Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Staff Scientist in Waltham, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great Technology and Excellent people to work with. It's a very exciting industry to work in and the upside is fantastic. Management has done a nice job turning this place around after the bankruptcy. Its nice to see our products out in the market making a difference in energy storage.

    Cons

    The company needs more staff, the work load is high. It would be nice to have more technicians to help with cell builds.

    Advice to Management

    Its okay to say no to new customer quotes. We have won a lot of business in the past year and we need to make sure we execute on delivering booked business. It's nice to win all of the new business and lets make sure we are staffed right to execute


  4. Helpful (5)

    "Stay Away"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time

    Pros

    Working with the technical (non-management) team. It used to be a fantastic place to work up until about 2014. The intelligence, energy, devotion of the team was inspiring. We created something new and exciting and built a company out of technology from MIT. We built plants in China and Michigan and became a world-wide player in the battery world. We went through an IPO and became a public company.

    Cons

    Where do I begin? The newer management has destroyed the morale of A123. A123 is a shell of its former self. Current management here in Waltham is atrocious and mean spirited. HR is lazy and completely useless and always sides with management (as expected). Management has let go or forced out loyal and talented long-term people (with no severance) who knew the technology inside and out and replaced them with low wage Chinese nationals. This may be orders from the new Chinese ownership who bought the company during the bankruptcy. The benefits are horrible. No matching 401k in the 14 year history of the company and the health benefits are far worse than what they were before bankruptcy. Other than a paycheck I am not sure why anyone would want to work here at A123. There is a very negative atmosphere and everyone talks about wanting to leave. The talented, hard working people who are here should look elsewhere if they are not already. There are much better places to work.

    Advice to Management

    For management in Waltham: Stop creating complaint files and instead, focus on the company, listen to your employees concerns and treat them better.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Interesting technology, poor management."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at A123 Systems full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The company paid well and provided nice employee perks. For example, there were regularly catered breakfasts and lunches.

    Cons

    The company had seemingly good technology but inexperienced/ non qualified management pushing the product forward. They were more concerned about getting a production line up and running than fixing the fundamental problems of the technology. The management in my department was extremely unprofessional. The technicians were constantly at odds with the senior manager and said manager was known for getting in frequent arguments and bad talking his peers and employees.


  6. "Great company but struggles with management leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA

    I worked at A123 Systems full-time

    Pros

    Great technology and the opportunity to have a big impact

    Cons

    Solid leadership was an issue before the bankruptcy, but post bankruptcy and purchase by Wanxiang has left the company floundering. The primary focus is reducing cost: which is a good thing. But, there is also a view among many employees that the company isn't making the good solid investments for the long term. While Wanxiang did make some changes, they are a very hands-off company and left much of the A123 leadership team in place.

    Advice to Management

    People need to see the upside. What's in it for the employees other than just employment. Benefits are practically nil, there are no stock options or company ownership opportunities and benefits are very limited.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "One of the worst to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Waltham, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good Technology !!! but technologist adamant and not receptive to ideas

    Cons

    Nothing else. Directors and above treat engineers as peons. Total lack of appreciation.
    Always put people on defense while presenting work. Get bogged down minute details to prove superiority. No team spirit always on the computer attending meetings with the same group of people. No communication to the team . Directors act as jerks

    Advice to Management

    Open up. Encourage employees. Give freedom and appreciate

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Stay away"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Database Administrator in Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Database Administrator in Waltham, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    None. There are some great employees there but most have either left or being laid off.

    Cons

    Top heavy. Too many incompetent managers.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "too bad it used to be a company full of hope"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at A123 Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    a lot of nice and smart people, at least used to be

    Cons

    poor management. I wish to give negative three stars if possible.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "A123 Systems is a poorly run organization with huge management issues."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Materials Technician in Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Materials Technician in Waltham, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    To be honest with you I am hard pressed to give you any pro to working at A123 Systems. But if I were to give one up side to the company is they have assembled a good group of people to work with. However due to poor organization they are fleeing the company.

    Cons

    The down side to working for A123 Systems is they do not know how to manage their money. They are an extremely top heavy organization that is more interested in how to line the board members pockets with gold instead of spending their money on things that would make the organization run better and actually deliver a product and make a profit.

    Advice to Management

    Develop some people skills. Stop taking bonuses.


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