Algenol Biofuels Reviews | Glassdoor

Algenol Biofuels Reviews

Updated Aug 19, 2019

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Found 28 reviews

2.2
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Rating TrendsRating Trends
35%
Recommend to a Friend
77%
Approve of CEO
Algenol Biofuels CEO Edward Legere
Edward Legere
5 Ratings
  1. "I like working here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Fort Myers, FL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Algenol Biofuels full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The research is exciting--something new every day. I have made many good friends here.

    Cons

    Sometimes it seems like there isn't a straight forward game plan. The hours are very long during high volume times of the year.

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    Algenol Biofuels2015-12-20
  2. Helpful (12)

    "Don't ruin your career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Algenol Biofuels full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I really don't think this company is good for any one who cares about their career, dignity, or ethics. So, if you don't care about any of these criteria go there, but don't relocate.

    Cons

    I don't recommend it for either fresh grads or experienced people. This company is made for some guys to pass time, make some money, dine and wine. The company failed to make even one gallon of ethanol or any other valuable product. They hire people just to show that they have the competent professionals so they suck money from the investors. They will never let a good employee do the right thing. The company that was established to make ethanol from micro algae is now talking about changing their focus into water treatment and carbon capture; nonetheless, I bet if they succeed in producing any thing.

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    Algenol Biofuels2015-11-18
  3. Helpful (6)

    ""A joke""

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

    I worked at Algenol Biofuels full-time

    Pros

    You get paid for what you do.

    Cons

    Management is unprofessional and executive decisions are taken at bars.

    Algenol Biofuels2015-10-29
  4. Helpful (9)

    "Quickly went from the best job I've ever had to the worst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Algenol Biofuels for more than 3 years

    Pros

    When I first started at Algenol, the coworkers really felt like family. I've made some wonderful friends there. The median age of workers is actually quite young as compared to most science related jobs. It really felt like I was making a difference and my opinion was valued at first. The benefits are very nice, and truthfully were the only reason I stayed as long as I did. The idea that the company is chasing is appealing, but just wasn't enough to keep me there.

    Cons

    I do believe that every startup will have growing pains, but the trend of Algenol's culture had gone downhill. Instead of working with employees to change attitudes and the internal perception of the company, management constantly swept concerns under the rug and unfortunate person who had the bravery to stand up was immediately put down as "not being dedicated enough". Upper management seemed always distracted and "too busy" to deal with problems that contributed to the overall culture of the employees. It was left to middle managers (that had no management training) to have total control over assistant and associate levels, including all concerns. The phrase, "that's just the way it's done" was thrown out almost every time employees tried to voice a concern. The unwillingness of middle managers to stand up for their employees was a real morale killer. The hours can be VERY long, and employees are expected, on very little notice, to do anything that is asked of them. If the employee did voice a concern about hours, it was also constantly brought up in subsequent meetings as a personal flaw. Middle managers were also not reviewed by their employees, so there was no avenue available for assoc/assist. concerns to be voiced. Timelines for experiments were also constantly last minute. It got a little ridiculous to have every experiment be the most important! experiment! and constant threats of-if it's not done on time you'll be fired-got really old. It is understandable that a fast moving startup will have timelines that are shorter than academia for example, but it also felt that managers had forewarning, and then just didn't pass it on to employees. Communication was CONSTANTLY brought up as the biggest problem area, but there seemed to be little to no change in avenues for better top down AND bottom up communication. Middle managers also did not seem to care about employees opinions about the science -much different from the first couple of years there. Assistant/ Assoc. employees were not invited to meetings where results were presented either, so there was absolutely no feedback about the work. It's hard to keep up such a pace when no one knew how the work was perceived by upper management.

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    Algenol Biofuels2015-09-25
  5. Helpful (9)

    "Don't waste your time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Scientist in Fort Myers, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Algenol Biofuels full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    If you're a yes man, you might advance. The beach is nearby. Some employees are good to work with, and try hard to make a difference.

    Cons

    The CEO is unprofessional and poor at managing people. This, along with his lack of experience in industry, is a hindrance to the company. For example, at several all-staff meetings the CEO has threatened to fire employees for clicking on phishing emails. He openly uses degrading language toward employees at all-staff meetings and other meetings such as "grow a pair of _____s", "stop being babies", and much worse. CEO focuses too heavily on fund raising, and not enough on getting technology to work. Detailed designs are frequently overruled by mere management opinion, and poor judgement abounds at the top. I have seen many weeks of work completely scrapped due to an EVP thinking the design just looked better another way. Rock/paper/scissors rules the day here. Unrealistic timelines are the norm, because management is overly optimistic in assumptions, and more often uses "git 'er done" instead of math or common sense. Then when delays occur, most team members hesitate to inform upper management / CEO for fear of retribution. This results in timelines frequently being missed over and over again, even after many revisions. Turnover is very high, at more than 20% over the past year or so. During that time, all of human resources, most of finance, and a significant portion of engineering have left the company. These departures include some top leaders who have been with Algenol for many years, which is telling. Many leadership and supervisor roles are based on nepotism and favoritism, and they don't possess the technical or management skills to lead. In many cases, other line functions must step in to indirectly manage others on the team so that the day to day work can get done properly. Upper management is either unaware of this, or doesn't care. Actions speak louder than words. After all of these years of development and hundreds of millions in the hole, still not one gallon of product. Morale is low in most departments because the CEO continually talks about Algenol's success, while not adequately addressing all the setbacks they've had in scale-up and design.

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    Algenol Biofuels2015-09-12
  6. Helpful (8)

    "Toxic Work Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Fort Myers, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Algenol Biofuels full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    You will get to meet and work with some genuinely good people, though their numbers are dwindling as Algenol continues to scare away their best and brightest. If you are so motivated, you can generally take on a lot of responsibility and get exposed to do a lot of different things.

    Cons

    The work environment at Algenol is incredibly toxic. Managers of other groups will take every opportunity they can to throw you under the bus in order to make themselves look better. And the executive management team eats that stuff up. If you aren't willing to play politics and make other people look bad, chances are that you will not be successful at Algenol. They have developed a culture of yes-men where the most important thing you can do is agree with your superiors with a positive attitude. Any dissenting opinions are taken as a sign that you are not a team player and ignored. The quality of your work is consistently less important than your "git r done" attitude. Similarly acting like you are stressed out and busy is more important than how much work you actually get done. (Note: This is the reason you can take on as much responsibility as you want. Everyone else is too busy looking busy or being a yes-man) The easiest route to success at Algenol is to never take on any direct responsibility and do not take ownership of any projects. If you can just spend your time talking a big game and letting other people do all the work, you will be in a great position to take credit for everything that works and blame others when it doesn't. As long as you never let anyone know you can actually deliver results, they will never expect you to. If you never put out good work and fail at every task that is asked of you, people will stop asking you to do any meaningful work... but as long as you have a positive attitude the whole time, they will keep you around and give you raises. And since your boss is mostly likely unqualified to be in their position, just send them a powerpoint with some meaningless numbers, and they will never know the difference! The CEO is an awful human being and the source of all the cultural problems at the company. Unless you are telling him how great he is, he will never want to hear your opinion and will go out of his way to marginalize any managers who are not willing to propagate his lies. Oh yeah... he will lie to you every chance he gets about the state of the company and the timeline of projects. Just look at the public timelines of Algenol over the years... they are perpetually one year away from being a billion dollar company. Even internal timelines for projects are months behind schedule the day they are created... but they are never corrected because it doesn't make for a good lie to tell the company at "all staff" meetings. He also has a reputation as a notorious perv who makes his female employees feel uncomfortable, and is pretty much guaranteed to say something racist, sexist, or just generally offensive in front of, or in an email to, the entire company several times a year. But that is not to take away from the rest of the executive management team, who are all doing their part to build a toxic community through lies, backstabbing, unreasonable expectations, and promoting/rewarding incompetent employees Morale has been low for quite some time at the company. To counteract this, the company created a team of employees from across all department to receive and review anonymous complaints. When the complaints were presented to the executive management team, the overwhelmingly negative comments hurt their feelings and they put an end to "anonymous" reviews. They refuse to confront any of their problems and just use doublespeak to explain why "low morale" is just caused by the average employee being "confused" and "not understanding" the business

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    Algenol Biofuels2015-09-12
  7. Helpful (12)

    "Algenot!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Staff in Fort Myers, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Algenol Biofuels full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good industry experience for entry level science or engineering associates to gain exposure to industrial biotech then move on. Access to quality scientific instruments and equipment.

    Cons

    Poor location for collaborations with other local industrial biotech, university, or algae companies. If you're looking for this type of environment, consider companies based in San Diego or San Francisco. Company is very isolated geographically, so if you don't like the culture and still want to contribute technically, be prepared to move. Key is to rent, not buy with this company! They claim to be a "Start-Up", however they have been in this mode going on ~10 years now with no significant product to sell yet. This should tell you, the technology has major issues. After working on biology/engineering efforts for 6 months, I could tell this concept was not going to scale-up cost effectively. The technical staff are all pretty solid, but there has been a bit of brain drain from this place recently, so beware! CEO is very intrusive on engineering meetings and was observed on multiple occasions to verbally berate scientists and engineers at all levels including PhDs. Definitely an awkward company leader who has a record of alienating a lot of people including employees, local and federal government officials- read the local news articles, other algae companies, and potential investors. HR tries to sustain a fun culture for employees, but difficult to keep up employee morale when they leave too.

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    Algenol Biofuels2015-09-03
  8. "Good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Algenol Biofuels

    Pros

    Good place to work with

    Cons

    hot weather as always summer

    Algenol Biofuels2015-03-24
Found 28 reviews