Achaogen Reviews | Glassdoor

Achaogen Reviews

Updated April 11, 2019
30 reviews

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3.2
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Blake Wise
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great culture, growing fast!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in South San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Scientifically driven. These are the smartest people I've ever worked with.
    -Incredible culture. Employee feedback is solicited actively and acted on.
    -The company takes their values very seriously and I've seen tough decisions play out with values in mind.
    -Very transparent. No skeletons in the closet on the inside.

    Cons

    -Growing fast causes growing pains with so much change. This is a good problem to have.

    Advice to Management

    -Keep it up!


  2. "Short lived"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Hospital Account Manager
    Former Employee - Hospital Account Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great culture, with solid training program

    Cons

    downsized abruptly, poor financial and fiscal planning

  3. "Needs funding"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Dedication to antibiotic research and development

    Cons

    Weak management especially financial planning


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Hubris and Vanity Poisoned this Once-Charming Startup"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in South San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Director in South San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There is a diaspora of really fantastic, talented people who had been part of the company. Some wonderful souls still soldier on. The mission to combat antibiotic resistance is genuine and critical to society.

    Cons

    A well intended emphasis on positive culture mutated into a clique system that punishes dissenters and devalues stoic worker bees. A system of annual employee evaluations came with instruction that it was more important "how" people did things than "what" things they did. Classic pendulum swing into form over substance territory. This provided the guise to favor the gregarious yea-sayers and marginalize dissent, or anyone who simply had a more quiet demeanor.

    Advice to Management

    The Board of Directors should have exercised much more stern oversight of the company senior executives. The executive committee was allowed to become a self-congratulatory club of former Genentech buddies. No prior EC experience. No dissenting voices. (Both were chased off of the EC.) And, no ability to see a train-wreck of their own making coming. The downward spiral of the company is not just because the market for antibiotics is brutal. The EC should recognize it was arrogant to take a invent-it-all-ourselves mentality, and to assume the company could dabble in numerous therapeutic areas outside of the specialty of the company to get quick wins. They blew all of the company's money on a bloated research budget, extravagant building expansions, and a gigantic sales force for one tiny launch. All auctioned off, sublet out, or laid off now. With the cash disappearing, of course investors smelled blood.


  5. Helpful (6)

    "Used to be a great company"

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

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

    Pros

    Very smart people, driven and with the genuine interest to make things work.

    Cons

    Huge lack of transparency from management.
    Priorities are upside down - there is money for promotions, expensive dinners to attract clients, cars for those in the field, but not for professional development of those who are pushing through in the home office.
    CEO does not have a science background and is not supportive of research. If you want to work in a science-driven company, then this is not it.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent (good or bad news) with your employees - we deserve it.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Medical Affairs is Toxic"

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

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

    Pros

    Achaogen did have a unique approach to communication from EC, etc. and great IT tools available for employees. Outside of medical affairs, culture was good up until the beginning of 2018 when things started to go south. Senior Leadership made some very bad decisions that destroyed the company but they blame it on the antibiotic market.

    Cons

    Medical Affairs is run by senior leadership from Gilead - their leadership is focused on Hierarchy, Micromanagement, no decision-making given to employees and kissing up to the EC at all costs. No employee engagement, no camaraderie, no caring, no integrity, no consistency.
    If you like working for a corporation from the 1980s and have no self-respect, go work there.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of leadership that don't align with the corporate culture.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "EC members’ profits before patients’ lives"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Achaogen full-time

    Pros

    Achaogen gives out promotions like Halloween candy. You brown-nose the right people and sky is the limit in terms of how high you can go.

    Cons

    Overpromise, under-deliver. EC members are inexperienced, have no clear vision, and are only interested in deepening their pockets.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Was a unique inspiring co in past"

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

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

    Pros

    Great R&D, passionate people who believe in the dream - really wanted to help patients

    Cons

    Dream became a nightmare due to entries failure in fiscal management by top leadership. Legally forced to pay laid off folks and went cheap.

    Advice to Management

    Learn accounting. Don’t spend on useless stuff it cost jobs. Actually be honest


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Scientist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist in South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Scientist in South San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great team environment, supportive atmosphere

    Cons

    Going through restructuring deflates mood


  10. "vice president Government Affairs & Policy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Vice President in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Vice President in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great company, unique culture experienced leadership

    Cons

    No downside.. enjoying the experiences of a small and growing company

    Advice to Management

    Celebrate the foundation build for the future