Biogen Reviews | Glassdoor

Biogen Reviews

Updated August 19, 2017
89 reviews

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Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos
Michel Vounatsos
6 Ratings

89 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (23)

    "Cultural rot from layoffs and re-orgs"

    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 Biogen full-time

    Pros

    Good Benefits, although they are scaling some back quietly since the start of this year.

    Cons

    The culture has changed for the worse over the last 2.5-3 years, with now being the worst I have ever seen it. The amount of re-orgs in such a short period of time has left everyone feeling exhausted and burnt out. Every 2-3 months it is a constant drumbeat of actual layoffs, rumors of layoffs, restructurings or management openly talking about consulting firms reviewing our processes & streamlining in a condescending manner. It leaves the employees who have stayed and hung on over the last few years looking over their shoulder and playing politics for survival than actually working to advance the company forward.

    Biogen has greatly shifted towards an endless game of ruthless politics. Politics is the number 1 thing for many areas of the company. Those who are highly skilled and good workers that produce are often marginalized, taken advantage of and passed over. A co-worker who is a high performer was told by their manager last month that he cannot advance up a level in 2018 /2019 because he does not "sell himself" enough (politicking) and focuses too much on his work product speaking for itself. Honestly, I thought he does a solid job playing politics when needed. But to management, its not enough. But doesn't that speak volumes of cultural rot?

    Other comments about it being a ghost town in the summer nailed it. Taking it one step further.. Friday's all year round , the office is empty and most sign-off by noon/1pm. Its a joke.

    The work culture is very odd. As mentioned above, all year round, there is really only 4 working days each week at Biogen. In the summer, Mondays and Fridays are dead, so it becomes really 3 days. Then you have the mid-September to thanksgiving rush to get all the team's goals completed. December becomes a wash and the new year starts with a fresh set of rumors and Jan-May is spent with people/teams reacting as such by playing politics and sizing up what strategic projects will save them.

    Advice to Management

    After this re-org is complete, please take a breather on cuts and communicate it as such. You have no idea how many of your star employees are ready to jump ship and how many external prospects refuse to apply due to severe uncertainties.

    Also, can you be please be a little less smug in the town halls and talking down to us like we're a bunch of unaccomplished slobs? This attitude among the newer executives that we're all a bunch of backwards rubes and they're now here to show us how its done, is not going over too well with the masses. Especially since we all know most of you came in with little competition.


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Things have definitely changed over the last couple of years"

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible work hours, summer hours, Thursday happy hour, enough money (generally) to purchase equipment, average pay + bonuses

    Cons

    There is a general problem with management - they don't/won't/can't manage! Little interest in people's career development, advancement, or dealing with issues. There's a 'go along to get along' mentality among the management teams. Always a reorg coming around the corner and people scrambling for cover. Managers are unable/unwilling to articulate their vision, if it even exists.

    Morale issues in Technical Development - people lie/cheat/steal to get ahead and this is encouraged by the current administration. People steal the work of others and claim it as their own while management refuses to address the issue even when provided with overwhelming evidence.

    Company takes surveys and then ignores the results/comments. VP's don't want to hear anything negative and the line management refuses to communicate issues upwards as it might reflect poorly on them.

    Numerous groups don't believe in cultural/ethnic diversity and these managers use this to their advantage to bully and intimidate subordinates. These managers won't delegate any responsibility to their team then complain about how busy they are, won't reply to emails, or VM's. They also refuse to take accountability when deliverables are late or just plain wrong.

    Some dept heads won't hire the best candidates if they feel like 'threatened' (i.e, 'I am incompetent and they might take my job') by the skills/talents/experience of a prospective employee. Thus you're left dealing with people who can't execute, which leads to a variety of issues.

    Wasn't always like this but the culture has changed following numerous reorganizations, which often don't make any sense. Place is like a ghost town in the summer - people have checked out and often 'work from home'.

    Advice to Management

    Get out of your offices and talk to the people actually doing the work. Hold people accountable when there are actionable issues. Listen to your employees.

  3. Helpful (7)

    "It's been a rough few years. Too many layoffs and good people gone."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist I in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Scientist I in Cambridge, MA
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great co-workers. Exciting science. Great chance to learn new skills and collaborate with others. Salary is nice. Great benefits. Flexible hours.

    Cons

    Management doesn't know what they're doing. Typical corporate BS. Lots of captains. Not enough soldiers. They always complain that not enough is developed in house, but then they lay off a bunch of people and wonder why.

    Advice to Management

    We could do fine with half of you gone.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Career for scientist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    Well located at Cambridge

    Cons

    Mid-level managers have favorites and thus performance ratings are biased. More work assignments , less career growth.


  5. "Fading from glory, but looking for redemption"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Associate
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Biogen full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits and people. Good culture at face value if only everyone lived it. Could be good again, the potential is still there. Very green and environmentally conscious company

    Cons

    Leadership, lack of global harmonization, people, systems becoming antiquated, its not what you know its who you know, what have you done for lately

    Advice to Management

    People are listed as both a pro and a con in my review. Take that to heart and weed out the bad eggs. You have a great company but there are too many hangers on and people operating above their knowledge and experience level. Time for new blood that shares the company's ambition and goals!


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Come to ride it out before retirement"

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

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

    Pros

    Starting salary, work life balance, benefits, vacation and sabbatical program

    Cons

    Advancement is slow in the junior scientific positions (min 2 years), not meritocratic but based on seniority, many senior leadership come here when they are ready to stop advancing, IT is awful - very advanced in science, limited by IT, HR has antiquated policies that make top talent leave rather than develop internally, job titles are meaningless - range for someone with 2-4 years experience could go from entry level on the science side to manager in a commercial area (get this - pay ranges are the same)

    Advice to Management

    Fix HR so that the employees who want to advance (and most of the value) don't have to leave to get what they want. This leaves just the complacent there for the long term.

    Either decide that IT should be internal or outsourced. The time it takes to use the software and computers we have for science literally takes up 50% of people's time. The people in IT are just documenting things all the time and not delivering any value. Most of the increases in efficiency could come from moderate spend, but IT is unwilling to acknowledge sunk cost of legacy platforms. Our software is 15 years behind our science.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Continues to Slide"

    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 Biogen full-time

    Pros

    Benefits and salary are good

    Cons

    The culture has really gone downhill with a flood of good talent exiting in the last year.

    Advice to Management

    Stop the constant change management and get a plan in place.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Fear"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Biogen full-time

    Pros

    Decent benefits, pay and BEER!!

    Cons

    The culture is the culture of fear-fear of being fired. No use signing up for anything like tuition reimbursement. Women who have babies are automatically mommy tracked. Many senior level management are "kids" who think they are on a reality tv show instead of a real company.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to who you put in management!


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Lots to learn"

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

    I worked at Biogen (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Fellow staff member were easy to get on with and welcomed me with open arms. Line manager was easy to get to know and point me in the right direction.

    Cons

    So many Cons to list, trainning was totaly bizzare and never come across this ever in a Pharma company! I was expected to read 125 SOPs before I could start any hands on operations. And the standared answer was well now you should know because you read the SOP!!!

    Advice to Management

    The management need correct trainning as well as an official trainning partner. To many fingers in to many pies....


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Layoffs"

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits and work life balance

    Cons

    Layoffs and constant restructuring, non-collaborative environment


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