Gilead Sciences Reviews | Glassdoor

Gilead Sciences Reviews

Updated February 18, 2017
453 reviews

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

453 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great benefits and innovative science (in 34 reviews)

  • The company is fast paced, but it's rewarding (in 24 reviews)

Cons
  • work life balance low among teams (in 81 reviews)

  • There is no work life balance at all this is that old way of thinking mandated by the CEO (in 24 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Clinical Trial Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    challenging, dedicated to the patients

    Cons

    hectic, work life balance is lacking


  2. "Great place if you can keep up"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    I have been working at Gilead Sciences full-time

    Pros

    The level of commitment of the company to solving hard problems that affect millions of people is incredible.

    Cons

    With the growth during the last couple of years the vetting of candidates might have got a little lax and below average people had to be hired. Fortunately many of them have left as they could not keep up.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Finance"

    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
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Gilead Sciences full-time

    Pros

    Company has a great mission to find treatments to people with unmet medical needs.

    Cons

    Toxic work culture of shame and blame.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Aggressive culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    Job stability, and a good environment for the "lone wolf"

    Cons

    I interacted with so many departments at Gilead, and very few people were happy. Several departments silo contributors, making them feel alone and overwhelmed. Upper management is not afraid to intimidate and yell at people during meetings, which creates tension and causes everyone to complain all the time.


  6. "Programmer"

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

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

    Pros

    fast paced work efficient friendly

    Cons

    work life balance low among teams


  7. Helpful (1)

    "research associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate (Medicinal Chemistry) in Foster City, CA
    Current Employee - Research Associate (Medicinal Chemistry) in Foster City, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Gilead Sciences full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very exciting, engaging, fast pace. I feel like I can, and do, make an impact. I often have a large degree of freedom in what I work on day to day.

    Cons

    Stock price only seems to be heading down lately.
    Can be extremely fast paced at times.
    Base compensation lower than most others.


  8. Helpful (8)

    "Working here is good in theory..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    The benefits are good. There are some great people working here.

    Cons

    The work load will burn you out quickly. Changes happen quickly, and with no warning, and it appears with no forethought from Sr management. And this company rewards bullies. I've seen people taking credit for other's work and men speak over women, then take credit for their ideas. That behavior is accepted and rewarded.

    Advice to Management

    Hire enough staff to handle the workload so you aren't burning out good employees. Give them at least a cost of living increase each year. When a company is earning billions each quarter, paying the executives millions per year, but normal employees have to take a financial hit year after year, you won't keep good staff, or get referrals from your current employees.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Medical Writing Associate (Editor)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Medical Writing Associate in Foster City, CA
    Former Employee - Medical Writing Associate in Foster City, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The company has a worthwhile mission and strives to meet it. It's exciting to work on truly life-saving therapies. The researchers are topnotch. I worked with extremely competent coworkers, who were helpful and friendly.

    Cons

    Compensation was less than average compensation. The company has workers from alo over the world but it's recruitment of American minority professionals is very low. Contractors are required onsite even when work can be done remotely. I had a long commute but no access to workout classes or equipment.

    Advice to Management

    Flatten the management hierarchy, which seems extremely top heavy. Every administrative decision seems to have to go through at least 5 levels of management.


  10. Helpful (29)

    "Good Short Term Job -- Getting Experience"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Gilead Sciences full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    They get to the point at Gilead and avoid the fluff. It is a place run by scientists. Imagine everyone working like they are a post-doc.

    Large company with established HR and supporting administration roles. The reimbursement for professional education (certificates/master's degree) is good. The matching retirement with immediate retirement vest is nice. The employee stock purchase plan is now basically worthless, only a 6 month look back when it used to be a 2 year look back.

    Like everyone says, you will learn a lot if you want to at Gilead. You can be given extremely critical tasks with thin staffing. Everyone needs to work hard and long hours. You meet a lot of people with much industry experience and it definitely helps build your network.

    Cons

    The starting pay is below other major companies. The chance for advancement with the company is slim. At Gilead, doing high quality work and meeting goals does NOT mean you will advance. You will know within 2 years if you have a chance at advancement. They only pick a few people to advance up the ranks and these few are the ones they want to develop and promote within the company. If you get no promotion within 2 years. It means it is time to move on.

    It is extremely difficult to get management approvals since most everything needs to be approved by your dept. VP. The middle managers have very little control over any decisions or any of the budget. Also, the managers are working managers yet they are in meetings 6-8 hours a day. That means it is hard to make progress since the people actually doing work are always in meetings and near unavailable.

    Gilead employees have a lot of fear. If they make a mistake and own it, then that will kill their career since mistakes are unacceptable. This makes accountability a core value unpromoted within the company. A culture of owning a mistake and making it right is critical to having character and trust within an organization. Otherwise, blame is just passed since staff are in fear for their jobs.

    Since pay is below prevailing wages it is difficult to recruit and retain talented people. It puts an enormous burden on the few employees pulling the brunt of the weight.

    It is common to be working all nighters until 5 AM, sleeping a couple of hours and then working a full work day starting at 9 AM the same day.

    Advice to Management

    Re-envision the way the company operates. With the stock price in free fall and the company at its peak, you can no longer expect employees to stay for the big stock windfall. Gilead is no longer like a startup company with giant upside on stock. It is a mature company that needs stability in it's work force by paying fair base industry salaries to recruit great employees.


  11. Helpful (11)

    "Gilead has a long way to go.."

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Gilead Sciences (More than a year)

    Pros

    Gilead is lean - which has pros and cons. The scope of work here may be much broader than other large companies. The work is fast-paced, and decisions are made quickly. Cross-functional teams are small, and we quickly develop strong networks throughout the company. We may work across several TAs and products. We gain a valuable breadth of experience which may not be possible at other, more siloed companies. We work with industry leading products.

    Cons

    The Gilead experience varies by group. But the overarching theme is dissatisfaction. The company struggles to retain talent as many employees leave within a few years. They struggle to attract talent given their reputation as a workplace and below-market compensation. Career advancement is very slow, and lateral moves are not always supported (varies by team). Your colleagues will openly talk about leaving the company.

    Advice to Management

    Retaining your employees will take a huge effort to address many systemic issues at Gilead. It will take addressing compensation (Gilead can't afford not to pay best in class salaries to current and incoming talent), career development, encouraging vertical/ horizontal/ diagonal career moves within groups, training your people managers, investing in headcount to balance workload and drive greater depth/ sophistication, among many other changes. Until management prioritizes these changes, people will keep leaving Gilead - and the company will keep losing institutional history and have to start over again and again.



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