FivePrime Therapeutics Reviews | Glassdoor

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FivePrime Therapeutics Reviews

Updated November 2, 2017
22 reviews

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3.0
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FivePrime Therapeutics CEO Aron Knickerbocker
Aron Knickerbocker
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22 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great company to work for!"

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

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

    Pros

    Executive team has very high integrity; pay and benefits are great; culture is friendly and warm; not a lot of politics; lots of very smart people to work with; minimal red tape to get things done; frequent happy hours & other fun company events

    Cons

    The company has had some growing pains: lots of new employees, some IT systems are out-dated; HR & finance processes are manual; but improvements are underway. "Kitchen" supplies are less than you'd expect for a Bay Area tech company - no sodas, no snacks

    Advice to Management

    Invest more $$ in infrastructure


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Mid-sized company with big-company problems"

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

    I have been working at FivePrime Therapeutics full-time

    Pros

    Staff at the RA-Scientist level are bright, dedicated, and truly a pleasure to work with. Benefits are good. Top notch science.

    Cons

    As you move up to and above the Director level, it becomes a mixed bag of amazing and abysmal people. This company has become top-heavy as it has grown, and there has been a corresponding shift in culture. More finger-pointing and shifting blame, more obstacles to making decisions due to middle-upper management applying short-sighted organizational practices or simply avoiding accountability. There is very little transparency, which conveniently makes it easy for management to back away when things go wrong and step forward when there's credit to be taken. When problems arise, people panic and address the symptoms but not the actual cause (some of the obviously fake reviews here are an example of this). This would be an unacceptable approach to treat diseases, so why are we acting like it's a viable way to treat issues within the company?

    Hard work is acknowledged but does not translate to actual appreciation in the form of compensation or career development. Despite the good benefits, employees feel underappreciated across the board because the company fails to recognize those who drive projects forward. Even us managers are often powerless to promote our direct reports because in the end, the decisions that count are being made by upper-level personnel who are too disconnected to know or care.

    Advice to Management

    Glassdoor is currently the only forum in which employees can provide honest feedback, and that's a sad state of affairs. Take these reviews seriously and recognize the patterns here. Do what is difficult but necessary for the long-term health of the company. Fancy vending machines and a new building are fine, but it's time to step up and solve the real problems in this company.

  3. "Great CEO"

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

    I have been working at FivePrime Therapeutics full-time

    Pros

    Great CEO! Rusty is down to earth and cares about the company and employees. Friendly atmosphere.

    Cons

    Office politics. Too much meetings.

    Advice to Management

    Managers need to appreciate the hard workers and only promote the ones that really deserves it.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Toxic work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist in South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Scientist in South San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at FivePrime Therapeutics full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Colleagues at the scientist and associate levels are great, salary is in line with average bay area salaries, benefits are good. Location is good.

    Cons

    Toxic work culture, scientists doing the work never get any credit, no transparency. HR does not stand up for anyone below director level. Management never listens to opinions of the scientists doing the work which leads to poor decisions regarding the science of the drugs. Inter and intra department fighting and too many egos. The upper management is inflated and too hierarchical, but the lower levels are fighting to get noticed and promoted. Unrealistic expectation of work to be done leads to over working of employees and no gratitude when it gets done.

    Advice to Management

    Start listening to the scientists doing the work, cut the upper management levels and promote those that do good work, not those that have the loud voices.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Top heavy"

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

    Pros

    Some good people
    Exciting science
    ^insert pro comment here to meet minimum word count

    Cons

    Top heavy
    "Can do" attitude expected from the bottom, "someone else can do" attitude from the top
    Little teamwork
    Toxic culture

    Advice to Management

    Make managers work, employee retention is a problem because managers are a problem. People will stay for good managers.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Things have changed"

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

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

    Pros

    Some great people...across the board. Great scientists and RA's. In the early days, people worked long hours and it was an exciting time...the days would fly by. The CEO is both inspiring and respected.

    Cons

    Politics, accountability issues, lack of transparency, and loss of trust. Standards are set then not adhered to. Like a previous reviewer mentioned, good work often goes unnoticed and unacknowledged. Very difficult to have open conversations about career/growth opportunities. No real sense of being on a team anymore.

    Advice to Management

    Thank people publicly and often, do not wait 6+ months to acknowledge good work. A simple thanks at an all hands meeting costs nothing to say, and often is as valuable as a spot bonus.


  7. "Best company I have ever worked at"

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

    I have been working at FivePrime Therapeutics full-time

    Pros

    Supportive work environment. All opinions welcome. Minimal politics.

    Cons

    Some growing pains as the company is expanding into more clinical research

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Managers with no management or biotech experience"

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

    I have been working at FivePrime Therapeutics full-time

    Pros

    Small company, clinical phase so they offer perks so employees don't leave but....

    Cons

    I agree with many of the reviewers. This is not a team environment. As others have stated, if you "align" with the right people and advertise your efforts, you may have no experience or deserve a promotion, but you'll get it. Politics, politics, politics. Culture is terrible.

    Advice to Management

    Put people in management, at all levels, that actually have work and management experience. Check your ego at the door and provide training, before promoting someone to manage people. Catering to certain higher ups shouldn't be the basis for promotion.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Manager"

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

    Pros

    I have to be honest I have only been working here for a short time but have a great amount of pharmaceutical, biotech, academic and CRO experience in all areas of the drug development business. This company is on track in the same way that all drug companies are and those who complain may not fully understand how companies bring drugs to market. Anywhere that you work there are politics so either you learn the game, find allies or stay out of the way. The important thing is that you do best you can at your job and think of work as a contribution to the success of the company. You will be rewarded in the long run and it takes time, it's a growing company. Maybe I am just used to seeing the process work, but this process to get a drug into the clinic is no different than any other company. People who don't believe in FivePrime will move on others will stay. I'm here for the long haul because I see a future and will take my chances and think management will reward those who stay.

    The things in other posts, no benefits, company events etc...I have been at other companies where you would never see the CEO, VP and I mean never. No company monthly parties, no summer events, no sharing of ideas, no meeting with your Department Leaders. Consider yourselves lucky you can talk with Rusty, Bob or Aaron.

    Cons

    Not many cons, it's a growing company and thing are changing all the time.

    Advice to Management

    Expand the activities with the middle management and scientist levels to increase the positive attitudes.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Good CEO, Middle management not so great"

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

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

    Pros

    Science Driven
    CEO has a good vision and is willing to listen

    Cons

    Middle management plays a lot of politics in project decisions
    Undue focus and reward on the loudest individuals/ employees not necessarily the most consistent, quiet or best team players.
    Wage disparity.

    Advice to Management

    Should enable more visibility into how rewards, bonus and promotions are decided. And reward the low key employees who really make a difference without necessarily trying to grab attention all the time.


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