Gilead Sciences Reviews | Glassdoor

Gilead Sciences Reviews

Updated January 8, 2019
665 reviews

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3.1
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Gilead Sciences President & CEO John Milligan
John Milligan
134 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great benefits, great leadership, teamwork" (in 43 reviews)

  • "Great team of people to work with, good benefits, good work-life balance" (in 17 reviews)

Cons
  • "can challenge work life balance" (in 119 reviews)

  • "No work/life balance which they are quite proud of" (in 33 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Process Safety Intern"

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

    Pros

    Bright people, great group communication

    Cons

    Seemed hard to progress through the ranks


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Senior 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

    I have been working at Gilead Sciences full-time

    Pros

    Great fast paced environment with a performance based reward culture.

    Cons

    Senior management regularly gets in the way of established business process.
    Operational decisions require high level senior management involvement which routinely slows down processes.

    Advice to Management

    Gilead has a collection of the most talented scientific minds in the pharmaceutical industry. Creating an environment that allows them to utilize their expertise and trusting them to make decisions within their wheelhouse is paramount in maintain a highly motivated workforce.

  3. Helpful (6)

    "Director, Med Affairs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Foster City, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Foster City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Gilead Sciences full-time

    Pros

    There are some brilliant people in Gilead. I cannot name names, but those familiar with clinical research and med affairs will know whom I am talking about. These are some of the trailblazers and world thought leaders in HIV - and they are actually extremely humble, collaborative, and kind people (in addition to being flat-out brilliant).

    If you come to Gilead, you will get the chance to work with great people and touch cutting-edge research.

    Also, the pay is comparatively better in my experience than the industry. Stock bonuses reach down to levels that are lower than in many other pharma industry peers, and the actual base (and bonus) compensation is considerable.

    Cons

    Management can be unhelpful - and at times actually harmful and unprofessional. If you get the wrong boss, you will be micromanaged, no matter what level you are at. And this goes all the way down to senior vice presidents arguing with you about font and colour choices in PowerPoint slides.

    This is not a joke or an exaggeration.

    Managers - especially those who have been in the company for a while - lead by fear, humiliation, and bullying. And in some cases, they "lead" by humblebragging - in the middle of presentations being led by their subordinates.

    I have been working for 25 years, and my boss (and I mean BOSS, not manager or leader) was the worst I have ever had, including when I was a minimum wage worker selling cheap suits in college.

    Gilead prides itself on being 'flexible' - work gets done quickly and without bureaucracy because there are few SOPs or explicit rules to follow, which can be good. On the other hand, this means that channels to get approval or feedback rely almost completely on precedence. So, if you're a newcomer (read: someone who has less than 5 years in), you will either simply have to guess the "right" way (which is "The Gilead Way") to get something done, or you will be at the mercy of the goodwill of someone who does.

    Finally, the internal culture is very Manichean - the "long timers" (who have 10+ years in) and everyone else. The former - leaders will say hi to you, will call you out in meetings, and in some cases invite you to "in group" events at their homes. The latter - leaders will walk by you in the hall way and not even smile at you.

    Advice to Management

    You have hired some brilliant people - STOP MICROMANAGING THEM. Way too much time is spent "fine tuning" PowerPoint slides, which is frankly a waste of time. Recognize that it's not 1987, and not every great idea is going to come from someone who appeared in the photo in a short-sleeve shirt and tie standing in front of the low-rise building that was the initial HQ.

    Show your employees that you actually value them, and they will stop answer calls from head hunters.


  4. Helpful (8)

    "Corporate Despotism at its Finest"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    In spite of the title, I gave the company 3 stars because a new CEO starts March 1st, 2019. The primary fault of the previous CEO was his tolerance for the despotic behavior of certain members of senior management, and its negative impact on company culture, retention, and performance. The Board’s decision to replace the CEO was a necessary step that is likely to have immediate impact by requiring the bad actors of senior management to shape up or get left behind, as the new CEO seems to have an ethical and moral framework that won’t tolerate the despotic culture that certain members of senior management have used to hold back and discourage entire portions of their own sections of the of the organization

    Cons

    Certain members of senior management have tyrannically enforced a culture whereby the company’s positive value of following the science is warped to the despotic behavior of excluding those not in a scientist role whenever and wherever possible, by promoting their friends into roles that they are unqualified for, micromanaging project execution, and the ruthless holding back those deserving of promotions in apparent spite. These member of senior management have a plethora of HR complaints against them yet refuse to change their behavior in a meaningful way, apparently because they actually believe they are doing nothing wrong and are very happy with the despot that they’ve created for themselves.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - QA Associate in Foster City, CA
    Current Employee - QA Associate in Foster City, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Good work-life balance
    - Good 401K match

    Cons

    Low salary, not competitive with cost of living

    Advice to Management

    Make salary more competitive in relation to cost of living.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Stay away unless you are desperate for a job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Quality in Foster City, CA
    Former Employee - Quality in Foster City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Gilead Sciences (More than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits, salary is competitive, nice campus, employee perks like bus service, free fruit

    Cons

    Upper management has been around for too long trying to run the company the same as when there were just a handful of people. This leads to micromanagement. A lot of your time will go towards creating presentations to provide info to upper management. They want to be involved in every little thing. Unheard of for a company of its size. Resistant to fresh ideas and changing their way of doing things. No work/life balance which they are quite proud of. Overall culture is terrible. It is extremely hard to get promoted which they are also proud of. Lots of arrogant people especially those who have been there a long time.

    Advice to Management

    Manage the company like it has 10k people and not 30.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Used to be great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • 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 Gilead Sciences full-time

    Pros

    at least you have a job

    Cons

    no respect, only look out for higher grade levels, not good at inclusion

    Advice to Management

    work on making people at lower grades feel respected, stop only giving perks that only help higher grades

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Very good experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    I like to work in Pharmaceutical business

    Cons

    Long hours, integrity, details, good co workers, honesty

    Advice to Management

    Regular


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Clinical Program Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Clinical Program Manager in Foster City, CA
    Current Employee - Clinical Program Manager in Foster City, CA

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

    Pros

    Benefits, opportunity, challenge, growth, prioritization

    Cons

    Extremely lean, political, favoritism, work life balance is nonexistent


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Potential does not equal execution"

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

    I have been working at Gilead Sciences full-time

    Pros

    Well funded
    Great facilities to work in (modern)
    Competitive salaries
    Good benefits

    Cons

    Overly bureaucratic
    Too many levels to engage to get projects started
    Poor planning
    Firefighting mentality

    Advice to Management

    The business model would be more effectively executed if any planning were instituted. I have yet to see a 1,3,5 year plan at this company over the past 5 years