FivePrime Therapeutics Reviews | Glassdoor

FivePrime Therapeutics Reviews

Updated October 19, 2017
21 reviews

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2.8
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FivePrime Therapeutics President and CEO Lewis T. Rusty Williams
Lewis T. Rusty Williams
13 Ratings

21 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Growing innovative company with a strong multi-product pipeline"

    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

    The discovery platform is state of the art, people are super smart and driven to discover next generation of protein therapeutics. Multiple product products in the pipeline. Great people.

    Cons

    Going through it's adolescent stage as a company so they don't have everything figured out yet. Need to start thinking like a clinical stage company. Technology is behind in some areas.

    Advice to Management

    Take time to listen to the teams doing the work. Communicate company strategy beyond the boardroom. Focus on improving culture and recognition programs.


  2. "Dedicated people; Growing organization with tremendous potential"

    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 (More than a year)

    Pros

    Exciting place to work with sound leadership, industry-leading science and a patient-focused culture. Visitors can immediately appreciate the passion employees have for the organization and what the company is striving for.

    Cons

    Senior leadership can get distracted and over-focus on the details. Typical growing pains for an organization moving closer to commercialization of its lead products.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to empower teams to make key decisions. Continue to maintain the high level of transparency in corporate decision-making through monthly all employee meetings and other forums.

  3. "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.


  4. "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.


  5. "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.


  6. "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


  7. Helpful (4)

    "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.

  8. 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.


  9. 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.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Great CEO"

    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 FivePrime Therapeutics full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Nice friendly culture; Good science for the most part; CEO is inspiring, friendly and a good scientist

    Cons

    I agree with the other reviewer that there is little emphasis on team effort and a lot more on individual stars, which in turn leads to spotlighting a select few individuals and not major achievement by teams which had solid but quiet performers. And such spotlighting quickly becomes detrimental to morale instead of inspiring.
    Real tussle for power by upper/ middle management. Good place for you if are loud but not necessarily talented which in turn leads to misplaced efforts and not enough emphasis on scientific integrity and curiosity.

    Advice to Management

    Promote more of a team culture, it will be more productive for the company and lead to better work relationships.


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