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Amyris Reviews

12 reviews

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John Melo
7 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • People are nice, very glad to help (in 4 reviews)

  • Great science and R&D organization (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Unnecessary tight deadlines, and inefficiency created by the management, requires people to work long hours, holidays and weekend (in 3 reviews)

  • Too many managers, and scientists out of the lab (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (9)

    "Great technology- poor management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Scientist in Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Associate Scientist in Emeryville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Amyris full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The technology is really great and the work is always interesting. Free lunch 3 days a week, nice collaborative environment, nice location, really great health care benefits.

    Cons

    Always stressful. things are constantly changing and employees are always expected to just get with the program and perform at their best. There is little training to managers so they are not able to help other employees below them. Your experience at Amyris will largely depend on who your manager is and how much they want you to succeed or not succeed. relationships with line managers feel like high school type of relationships , and because of lack training and many other things, a lot of managers are pretty terrible at their jobs - at all levels. I have met some incredible people at Amyris - I have also met really despicable individuals. We all come to Amyris for the science and we all leave because of management.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more on employee growth and retention, be more supportive of employees at lower levels - they are the ones who actually get work done. Stop promoting bad managers.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "All that glitters is not gold"

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

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

    Pros

    I have met some great people at Amyris and made many friends. Generally relaxed culture, depending on where you work. Free snacks, some lunches, free beer. Top notch science - industry leaders in biosynthetic engineering

    Cons

    I have met some pretty despicable people at Amyris. The promise of a socially responsible company doing great science for humankind is a misleading picture that serves to bring young idealistic youth to the company. The hope of a future career is dashed when the business reality is understood by all but the completely naive, and then cynicism, self-interest, favoritism take over. Management ranges from incompetent to benign to malevolently controlling and territorial.

    Advice to Management

    Develop a fair and equitable system of compensation for lower level employees. Stop applying favoritism in promotions. Get rid of abusive and incompetent managers. Just treat people right and they will do right by you.


  3. Helpful (8)

    "High Turnovers = Low Employee Morale"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Research Associate in Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Research Associate in Emeryville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Some fun employee events, like Top Dog day, Happy Hours, softball teams, kegs, subsidized lunches, etc. Might be a good starter job or a short-term position for those fresh out of college since there is a lot to learn from your peers and mentors, across other departments.

    Cons

    As mentioned in previous reviews, the company had become increasingly top-heavy, especially after layoffs of people who do the wet work in labs, and hiring of upper level management...BUT productivity expected to be the same, with unrealistic deadlines.

    Management had lost the trust of their employees (and never regained it back after all these years), which have led to mass exoduses and low morale for those who remain. Managers, company-wide, have systematically undervalued their people. They're all replaceable cogs in their machinery. The paranoia/lack of trust was so bad that most people don't even trust surveys to be anonymous because their HR has an untrustworthy reputation, which is uncharacteristic of such a department. Those are signs of a toxic work environment. It was a mental challenge to work there day in and day out. I was lucky to get out when I did. Looks like nothing has improved since, according to my old colleagues, who are actively seeking employment elsewhere. Good luck to them.

    There was a lot of competition between and within departments. It fosters unhealthy working relationships -- cutthroat at times. People tell me that opportunities to move to different departments no longer happen as frequently as their glory years, which was one of its selling points.

    My years there were very mentally-exhaustive and detrimental to your emotional well-being. Other people have observed how working there have changed them for the worse. Once trusting and naive college graduates transformed into downtrodden cynics.

    Advice to Management

    For the biotech industry, the company has unusually high turnover for the past several years. In order for the company to keep some of the greatest, creative, scientific minds, management and HR MUST value the employees as assets and treat them with respect and appreciation. Happy employees make for happy hard-working, loyal workers. It's not that hard...


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Top heavy, redundant positions"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Scientist II in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Associate Scientist II in Emeryville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great people - in a short time period you will find yourself referring to them as your friends and not your coworkers
    Great benefits - amazing health coverage, really hard to beat
    Relaxed atmosphere - HR probably has a hard time handling that one, but it definitely makes for a fun work day

    Cons

    Depending on your department and line management you can be in for a very promising or very frustrating portion of your career. Some directors and managers value each new hire and each current employee as an opportunity to better the company, while others just keep going with whatever flow is going on - even if it's a flow of employees leaving for better work. There are quite a few managers that have a strong background in technical knowledge, but are not well equipped to manage a team nor find the value in increasing their management skills to do so.

    There are a lot of overpaid, overpromoted individuals that are not capable of performing the duties required for their role. This devalues the promotion and pay increase of individuals that are highly deserving. These individuals often will speak about a lack of motivation to perform above and beyond since other colleagues will gain the same promotion for minimal work. There are also quite a few redundant positions. This group of paid personnel that questionably provides value to the company could be used to benefit the company by providing their services to high impact departmental support roles if pushed in that direction, but the lack of insight from management prevents that.

    Advice to Management

    Look for ways to restructure personnel organization. Just because it worked when the company was <100 people doesn't mean it will work forever. The company changes rapidly, so should the methods of management. Support lower level employees from within the company, there are a lot of bright minds capable of a lot more than Amyris is offering them.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Difficult Industry Creates Difficult Environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    They take care of their employees with good benefits, perks, and very nice facilities. For certain roles in R&D, there are plenty of exciting challenges to work on.

    Cons

    The culture has suffered from lots of turnover and and slow and painful "growing up" phase of the company since its arguably premature IPO. The culture that was a major selling point has disappeared with the departure of the founders. Sales, marketing, and G&A roles face challenges with constantly changing priorities and lots of politics as talented people try to protect their turf.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "It's like high school."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Overall, the employees are warm and friendly. There are so many personality types that you're bound to find people you identify with.

    Cons

    Amyris is overstaffed, particularly in the higher levels of the organization. The company spends frivolously while we are not profitable and have a very negative cash flow. Lastly, the managerial staff have little to no experience is supervising another person which allows for office politics to become easily involved.

    Advice to Management

    Reduce the weight of the organization but not at the expense of the folks who are truly running the science. Re-evaluate managerial positions and re-train those who need assistance.


  8. "Okay but could be better"

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

    Pros

    Free food, but they have been cutting back recently. Very laid back if that is what you want from a company. Good location good benefits. Overall an okay company, with a good atmosphere.

    Cons

    Very poor management, lots of poor spending habits, not a lot of direction, again due to management. needs good leaders, poor moral and lack of clear goals.

    Advice to Management

    get better leaders, make


  9. Helpful (3)

    "faded org"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Pros

    formerly great, currently desperate. still plenty of good folks there and excellent technology, just a bit rudderless now.

    Cons

    people are not too engaged and there is a sinking ship mentality. big hurdles to overcome but light if it gets there


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Lots of stress"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Amyris full-time

    Pros

    Paid well and the work was very interesting, lots of very smart people there.

    Cons

    Too many managers, and scientists out of the lab. Agressive deadlines that management didn't have realistic expectations for.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "was better"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Amyris full-time

    Pros

    people, the science, opportunities to work in different department if you have the time

    Cons

    management was poor and not honest about the status of the company


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