BioMarin Pharmaceutical Reviews | Glassdoor

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Reviews

Updated January 15, 2018
44 reviews

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3.0
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BioMarin Pharmaceutical Chief Executive Officer Jean-Jacques Bienaimé
Jean-Jacques Bienaimé
21 Ratings

44 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance is the worst I've seen in the industry; everyone walks around stressed and constantly overworked (in 17 reviews)

  • Large company feel with multiple levels for lower to senior management (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Not that great a place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 BioMarin Pharmaceutical full-time

    Pros

    Products help children that would otherwise have no hope. Nice, friendly people, good benefits.

    Cons

    Commute to Marin County, disparate working relationships, Executive Management doesn't get it, seems to be a good ole boys network.

    Advice to Management

    Perform 360 performance reviews on your management teams, take a walk around and talk to your employees to see what is going on.


  2. "Mixed bag"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Medical Affairs
    Former Employee - Medical Affairs
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    People overall are nice but conventional, which isn't unexpected for industry. Worthwhile development targets. Decent pay. Respect for family life for the most part. Remote work flexibility.

    Cons

    Disarray, management backbiting and backstabbing in front of staff, unprofessional behavior by many in upper management.

    Advice to Management

    Get some SOPs in place; ensure compliance with laws; expect and require professional behavior, from the top; clean out inept placeholders.

  3. "Good science - innovation lacking in other departments"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at BioMarin Pharmaceutical full-time

    Pros

    Good salary, good benefits, opportunity to really help people

    Cons

    Few perks compared to other Bay Area companies, commute is bad

    Advice to Management

    Strive for innovation in all groups and hire competent people


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Nice job while it lasts"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at BioMarin Pharmaceutical as a contractor

    Pros

    Large enough to have perks and support, still small enough that you feel like you're doing something important

    Cons

    Heavily overworked. Contractors never know long they'll stay but more senior management gets hired all the time.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Good pay, Poor Management"

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

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

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits. Free water.

    Cons

    Horrible communication between everyone, known problems with processes and equipment don't get fixed, very immature and lazy coworkers. Its not what you know, its who's butt you kiss. They used to hire well, now all it takes is a pulse.

    Advice to Management

    Increase hiring standards, communicate better, fix the problems with processes and equipment.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Manufacturing Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Rafael, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Rafael, CA
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Job is straight forward reliable and easy to grasp

    Cons

    Minimal room for growth. Disorganized management.

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring associates out of two-year programs.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "@ a tipping point (Tech Ops)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mid-Level Manager in Novato, CA
    Current Employee - Mid-Level Manager in Novato, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Working at BioMarin gives me a chance to have a real positive impact on the lives our patients and future patients as we provide and develop life saving therapies. I'm proud of the work I do and the mission of the company.
    The company has grown so fast that there is a culture of 'just get it done no matter the cost' which is great at first but now every department & subgroup has poorly thought out bureaucracies and processes that feed discord rather than collaboration and teamwork. Many folks complain about the work life balance. In my opinion it is time for BioMarin to put on her big girl pants and invest in streamlining tech-ops processes and management practice.
    *New training from HR for mid level managers has started to improve the day to day culture in the trenches
    * 401K match has increased
    *Pay is competitive (although living close to work is not feasible for entry to mid level employees so think about that commute!)
    *IT Department has done a complete 360 and is fantastic. I hope the rest of the company follows.
    *HR has made great improvements to the employee coaching and assessment process
    * (if you get a good manager) There is a chance to have a real impact on the process and growth of the company
    *If you are assertive and creative with the support of a good manager then there are allot of career opportunities

    Cons

    *Upper Tech-Ops management has hired some former Genentech buddies for Sr. level positions who don't have leadership skills, and are not qualified/capable. When Sr. level management who perform poorly are finally exposed they are generally coddled, and transferred to continue to cause discord and wast time/$.
    * Extremely fast growth has led to lots of silos of poorly thought out bureaucracies
    *lack of innovation from mid level management, and lack of commitment from Sr. leadership to streamline and fix broken bureaucracies so that the worker bees are left in emergency/panic mode all the time often affecting work/life balance.
    *Culture in some areas like QA is punitive, leading to risk adverse employees who are not empowered to innovate or apply good risk management strategies
    *Culture in QC does not foster accountability, is gossipy and passive aggressive. Moreover the Sr. leader often publicly shouts at and belittles workers
    * Manufacturing has some 'Tough guy' managers that use bullying tactics although there are some really good innovative leaders in that group too.
    * There are several Directors in a sudo-IT group in Tech Ops who do as little as possible and cost the company hundreds of K dollars in lost productivity and stupid mistakes.
    *There is a constant onslaught of new IT applications with little focus on user experience. The IT dept seems to be addressing this but there is much work still to do.

    Advice to Management

    *Keep focusing on the managing for performance training. Realize that the higher a bad manager is the more damage they to the company for a longer period
    * HR could consider training classes on how to hire for and develop a high performing TEAM. Maybe recognize existing managers who do this and have them mentor
    * HR Consider mandatory 1on1 mentoring of Director level and above. (you know where the problems are from the exit interviews)
    * * Executive Leadership needs to really listen to the worker bees and stop promoting engineers/scientists into supervisory positions when they lack even the basic personality skills needed to innovate and lead people
    *IT needs to think about the user experience and long term ROI.

  8. "San Rafael"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

    I worked at BioMarin Pharmaceutical as a contractor

    Pros

    Exciting work, good co-workers, nice facility

    Cons

    A lot of temporary employees

    Advice to Management

    none


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Potential to be great, but some glaring flaws"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    It's rewarding to contribute to life-changing/life-saving drug therapies for unmet needs. Multiple filings/launches within the last couple years and some innovative technologies, which is pretty good for a mid-size biotech company
    Salary and benefits can be competitive (recruiting and retention is a challenge).
    Most colleagues are friendly and collaborative, genuinely care about helping patients and want to do the right thing.

    Cons

    The most top-heavy organization I've ever seen, and some reporting structures make no sense (e.g., qualified individuals reporting to someone vastly less qualified). Lack of transparency in titles and promotions. Employees get frustrated seeing someone 2-3 levels above them despite comparable responsibility level, work experience, education credentials, etc.
    VPs want to call the shots on issues that they are frankly out of touch with, and make little attempt to fully understand the situation. Subject matter experts who voice concerns are patronized or bullied. I quickly learned to just keep my head down and brace myself for the next fallout due poor management decisions. Then I end up working 14 hour days and weekends to help clean up a mess that could have easily been prevented.
    A lot of individual contributors are overworked, with few professional development opportunities. There aren't many internal promotions. The former Genentech old boys club prefers to tap their friends for these opportunities instead.
    Company is fragmented geographically, which results in silos between teams/departments. This is exacerbated by having fewer company social events like lunches, coolers, etc. where people used be able to network.

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring your buddies from Genentech who aren't right for the job.
    If you're going to have inflated titles, you need to inflate them for everyone.
    If you're going to pay top dollar to recruit talent, then it's worth listening to the expertise you hired them for. You also need to provide professional development opportunities if you want to retain good employees.
    Listen to the subject matter experts, who are closer to the challenges on hand. VPs don't need to make every single little decision... BioMarin isn't a startup anymore.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Specialist"

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

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

    Pros

    Overall the people are what make Biomarin a great place to work. Lots of exciting projects being worked on and good networking opportunities.

    Cons

    Poorly defined promotion timelines and structure. People from other big pharmaceutical companies (think Roche, Genentech and Gilead) have brought in their "throw you under the bus mentality." Supervisors in various Manufacturing plants can be incredibly unprofessional towards their employees and other groups, with no noticeable consequences. Loss of free lunches and the holiday party was not a good idea either! Toxic areas full of gossip are really affecting various departments!

    Advice to Management

    Promote the right people not just the ones that strut around talking a good game but have substance and are dedicated to their teams. You're quickly losing talent due to all the unfortunate changes!


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