Cree Reviews | Glassdoor

Cree Reviews

Updated February 6, 2017
289 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.6
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Cree Chairman, President, and CEO Chuck Swoboda
Chuck Swoboda
164 Ratings

289 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The reason I liked working for this company was good people to work for, good benefits and there was plenty room to advance to (in 19 reviews)

  • Great people that work along side you (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • It's up to you to define work life balance, if you don't you won't have any (in 48 reviews)

  • too many overworked people, no work-life balance, not much development of their emplyees (in 19 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Do your homework"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Product innovation and technology
    Hands-on culture where everyone can work on a challenge.

    Cons

    Excessive employee turnover, particularly senior management.
    Not profitable for the last 2+ years.

    Advice to Management

    The Board of Directors should Seek new CEO and CFO. Get leaders who know how to run and transform a large corporation.

    Cree Response

    Feb 7, 2017 – Human Resources

    Thanks for your review. It is great to get honest perspectives from former employees. Our senior management team has done a great job developing and nurturing a culture that leads to innovation. We ... More


  2. "Alright"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assembly Line Worker in Racine, WI
    Former Employee - Assembly Line Worker in Racine, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people are nice there.

    Cons

    The software you have to use on the computer is hard to navigate and could be made a lot simpler


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Equipment Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Equipment Engineer in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Equipment Engineer in Durham, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cree full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Company is certainly able to think outside the box. Always plenty of interesting things to work on. Good medical benefits which are very affordable compared to other company's equivalent benefits. Some departments have a great work environment and professional relationships which are good as any I have seen. This company does a lot of cutting edge work and can be exciting, security is high. If you are a problem solver, there is plenty to do.

    Cons

    At times company shows a complete inability to think within the box when appropriate. Some departments have no interest in incorporating outside knowledge, expertise, and ideas. interdepartmental collaboration is terrible at times. There are a ton of problem finders (people and departments) within the company and relatively few problem solvers(people and departments)...Usually, the problem finders happen to be the ones steering the ship.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to give credit to people who deserve it. It really isn't difficult or expensive to express that people are valued and it goes a long way in boosting morale. Do something to improve interdepartmental communication and cooperation. Finally, stop hiring temps to run your operation.

    Cree Response

    Jan 11, 2017 – Human Resources

    We appreciate your feedback and are actively reading and responding to reviews posted on Glassdoor. We are certainly an innovative company that likes to think outside the box when it comes to ... More


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  5. Helpful (7)

    "Perfect... If you enjoy being just a number!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Applications Engineer in Racine, WI
    Former Employee - Applications Engineer in Racine, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cree full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    After ten years of employment with Cree, I would say the only true benefit I earned was overall experience in the lighting industry. The department in charge of office employee training in Racine, did an excellent job training the science of lighting and products.

    Cons

    Open door policy is a complete joke, along with the humorous "Cree Way" values. "See something stupid, fix it", "Sand bagging will not be tolerated", and "The companies goals are more important than personal goals" are a couple I remember. The others are all based around share holders and failing fast. There is absolutely nothing embracing the employees and customer satisfaction. That is probably why employee moral is at a all time low at Cree, why you can't walk to the restroom without overhearing a negative conversation about the company, or why more and more employees are jumping a sinking ship.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the good, dedicated, and experienced employees you have left; before they are gone and it becomes too late. Quit worrying about being the most innovative lighting manufacture and focus on fixing the problems senior management has created within the walls of Cree. However kepp true to what Cree is known for, by remaining innovative in LED technology and semiconductor research.Take part of the $7.5 million CEO Chuck Swabota pocketed last year and put it into employee relations and focus on employee growth. Develop systems that allow customers to actually know where their orders are and how far into the shipping process their order is. If other companies can stock and locate millions of SKU's in thousands of locations, ship items in stock within days of purchase, provide emails regarding progress, and have a customer based web site allowing customers to track progress on their own. Cree should be able to at least let a customer know if a order is going to be late, shipment is delayed for any reason, or their order was damaged in freight and has been re-manufactured. If Cree were to just take 25% of the effort they put into innovation and use that effort for customer service, amazing things would happen for their customer base. It wouldn't be shrinking nearly as quick as it is!!! Managers need to quick walking around like they know everything and there is no other way to do things. Upper management is why this company is failing, shares are low, and future narrows for all the good people that ACTUALLY DO WORK at Cree. My favorite is how Cree makes numbers at the end of each month by splitting orders to push all finished product out the door, in turn making the numbers look good in the books. However, splitting a order for a customer generally turns out bad for the customer. In short, to make numbers Cree will ship items assembled and ready to ship, while other parts of the order are still waiting to be assembled. Nothing like getting poles with no light fixtures, or maybe receiving the entire order with no mounting brackets. So my advice is not to ship the car without tires, it is completely pointless and inconvenient for all parties.

    Cree Response

    Feb 7, 2017 – Human Resources

    Thank you for your feedback and perspective. Our company values have propelled us to being an industry leader in LED lighting technology and we believe they will allow us to maintain that position ... More


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Cree Review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Color Research Scientist in Goleta, CA
    Current Employee - Color Research Scientist in Goleta, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Cree (More than a year)

    Pros

    Knowledgeable technical people and good products.

    Cons

    Very little positive feedback for constructive contributions.

    Advice to Management

    None.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Nothing Different from Other Big Companies"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cree full-time

    Pros

    Like all public-owned giant flagships, Cree offers good employee benefits, like decent health insurance, stock rewards, employee stock purchase plans, etc. I used to be proud of working for Cree, for that I could be a small part of a big difference.

    Cons

    Also like other big ships, Cree had such a large crew that it was not easy to organize. Lacking of clear directions or communications across departments and teams sometimes made the work inefficient. Each division could only see a small part of the whole picture and focused on its own targets. Sometimes it was good, for that there was less distraction. Sometimes not, things could get political and dramatic.

    Cree was trying really hard to reshape and reaim herself in reaction to the changes in lighting business. However for such a giant ship, it takes time (you can see that from the stock price). She had a brilliant and cheerful crew, but after a long, tough journey, the crew became less cheerful. Rumors began to spread, an intense atmosphere was building up and would not be easy to shake off. If you want to apply for a job in Cree, you should ask yourself if you will feel happy working in such a work environment, for a relatively long period of time.

    Advice to Management

    There is really nothing unique of Cree, compared to other big companies, so there is little I can say but Good Luck.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "It is always an exciting day at Cree"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Durham, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Coming in everyday, helping a company create a product that is groundbreaking, makes this company a very exciting place to work. My experience here is that people are focused on doing a great job and making exceptional products. There is a strong culture for innovation and you will be hard pressed to meet a more passionate group of individuals.
    If you like working and getting the job done, without being micro-managed, this is also a great place to work. As long as i'm performing well I am trusted to do what needs to be done and i'm not checked up on.
    Recently there has been an increase in employee feedback avenues, and it has been terrific. I would encourage leadership to continue to expand those avenues and continue to listen. I have seen Cree change, on a dime, to fix mistakes that have been made.
    Finally the stock options are spectacular and the benefits are extremely competitive. You will be hard pressed to find better out there.

    Cons

    Cree was known for growing rapidly and for there being a lot of upward mobility. Recently the company has struggled and advancement is not as strong as it used to be. Some departments are great at internal opportunities, others still need work.
    It is often said that what got Cree to this point is not necessarily what it will take to get Cree to 3 Billion. We need to follow that example, as there are several members of the leadership team that prevent growth, mainly due to fear of losing their positions. If Cree wants to grow and compete we need to figure out that solution, and fast.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the bad eggs and bring in some good eggs. You will need to replace some of the leadership in those areas if Cree wants to stay competitive. Keep up your employee feedback avenues and continue to expand those. I love that you are taking initiative and listening to employees feedback, don't stop!


  9. Helpful (6)

    "A culture that undermine the work force."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manufacturing Operator in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Manufacturing Operator in Durham, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people to work with. People work hard and it is a great environment to learn if you have ability to self teach. Co worker are great to work with and support you if you are down. and will help you to succeed.

    Cons

    All the things I said in Pros is undermined by the upper management. I can only speak for the dept. I have worked in but it seems that it is infested with the same virus all around the company. The place is more secure than fort knox. There is no adequate training that can help a new worker. The culture is created to undermine the operators and everyone who is not a manager and as far as supervisors to some point. The management is very partial and will go to other side of the world to set things right for the people they care but at the same time ignore the hard working people. The upper management is only concern about their quarterly goals at any cost.

     Operators are treated worse than a red headed step child. Operators are to follow orders and if they have something good to say they are never heard. Management doesn't believe in training as they have no clear training matrix. There is no clear matrix to how an employee can move up. It is different for each and every employee not based on their ability to perform a task but how much the employee is liked and promoted by upper management.

    Moral is so low in the company that it can be seen throughout the company. Everyone except the upper management can see it. They can can't see it because they want to run the company from the conference rooms and via email. They play blame game than finding a solution so it doesn't happen again. The employees are way under paid and way over worked. Cree is a leader in LED but a follower when it comes time to reward the people who make the company a leader (the little people).

    Advice to Management

    Learn how the machines works in your area and appreciate people who are working for you. Operators are also people with real feelings and family, it is good to introduce yourself when walking the floor. Listen to what they have to say some of these operators are more intelligent than you give them credit for. Change starts from you, start changing for the success of the company.

    Cree Response

    Jan 26, 2017 – Human Resources

    Thank you for your review. We are actively reviewing and value the feedback received on this platform. Your input is valuable as we continually seek opportunities to improve. Our employees are indeed ... More


  10. Helpful (9)

    "The company runs like a start-up"

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

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

    Pros

    Food Court, Campus, Weather, Stock option

    Cons

    Too many......

    to list a few...

    1) work overtime all the time.
    2) senior management is not reasonable


  11. "Good manufacturing job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits, opportunity to advance, interesting work with people who mostly care about what they do, lots of time off (9 holidays plus sick time plus PTO)

    Cons

    Cleanrooms aren't for everyone, you definitely won't know everyone you work with, and the job can get repetitive if you're working the fab every day or night. 12 hour night shifts are lonnnng.

    Advice to Management

    Provide plenty of opportunities to advance, value institutional knowledge on par with associates/bachelors degrees (because classroom studies don't correspond well to the job, but doing the job does).



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