GlaxoSmithKline Reviews | Glassdoor

GlaxoSmithKline Reviews

Updated June 24, 2017
1,765 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.6
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GlaxoSmithKline Chief Executive Officer Emma Walmsley
Emma Walmsley
38 Ratings

1,765 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • can have better work life balance (in 56 reviews)

  • Lack of transparency from upper management (in 44 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Bad time to get into pharma"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Pharmaceuticals Sales Representative in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Pharmaceuticals Sales Representative in Philadelphia, PA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    GSK is a well-respected, forward thinking, global leader in the healthcare industry. Salaries are fair, and as a sales rep, I can say that I am not micro-managed. This is a good company to work for, but I would not recommend joining us on the pharma side -- try vaccines, HIV, consumer health, etc.

    Cons

    Because of the economic situation nationally, this is a bad time to get into pharma sales. I've had multiple managers in a very short time frame, experienced two recent lay-offs, and am certain another is looming. Bonus is almost impossible to make at this point, as well.

    Advice to Management

    Morale is very, very low. Reps do not have the tools to be successful. There is a point at which too much change can be so unsettling that it leads to general paranoia and unproductivity -- I know many reps, myself included, who are in this boat.


  2. "Research & Development Co-Op"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Co-Op in Collegeville, PA
    Current Employee - Co-Op in Collegeville, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    GlaxoSmithKline is one of the biggest Pharma companies world-wide, so the name recognition stands out on a resume.
    Because of the large amount of money in big pharma, the technology here is superior to what you might find at a smaller company.

    Cons

    NO job security.
    No feedback, advice, encouragement, or even any communication with supervisors and upper management.
    No sense of direction or work importance.
    No hope for being hired full-time after completion of co-op.

    Advice to Management

    Talk to your employees. Let them know how their work is important and provide feedback so they can adjust their work to meet expectations.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Death Spiral"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Above-average compensation and benefits pkg. Depending upon the area of business, telecommuting is encouraged.

    Cons

    Communication is poor. Sr. mgmt ignores workers in the trenches. Many of the fringe benefits--e.g. childcare subsidy; quality cafeteria/fitness centers--have been taken away completely or are of exceptionally poor quality. Work/life balance is constantly talked about, but not actually encouraged (i.e. ongoing layoffs have resulted in fewer people doing more work and, thus, working long hours, including many weekends).

    Advice to Management

    Take more risks. Invest more in developing people--stop talking about it and actually DO it. And for heaven's sake, invest in IT. The future of the industry depends not just on R&D but also on being an innovative player technologically.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Not positive in the end"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Representative in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Sales Representative in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    work life balance is good for most people
    salary is good
    manager is awesome person

    Cons

    the leadership stinks, no idea where they want to go


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Horrible company that won't survive long"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Former Employee - Director in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people below the VP level - that is about it. The older executives that have been "real" GSK folks generally care about people and have interest in others developing and the greater good of the patient.

    Cons

    The new executives (VP+) moving in (mostly from Lilly) are motivated by power and carnage without any concern for employees, selling drugs or helping patients.
    Too many people for the number of products.
    Focus is on checking boxes rather than innovation
    Legal oversight has paralyzed the employee
    Have to get everyone's approval before you go to the bathroom - too much micro-management. Sucks the life out of innovation!
    Negative culture with everyone unhappy

    Advice to Management

    Empower people
    Lay off 50% of work force because Advair is not going to keep 80,000 people employed
    Stop inhibiting employees today for what bad employees did 10 years ago and get rid of the employees who appear to be like the bad employees - you have several executives that are going to make you go through the same thing in 10 years. The problem is not at the indiviudal contributor level it is at the VP and up level.
    What happened to the old GSK with nobelaureats and a drive to help patients by developing drugs that save lives? That culture is completely gone and needs to be reinvented. The company is no longer a R&D or science company but rather a sales and marketing machine of whatever you can sell - what a horrible position in the market easily stumped by smaller biotechs and big pharma recreating themselves focused on innovation.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "USED to be a great place to work..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - R&D Commercialization in King of Prussia, PA
    Former Employee - R&D Commercialization in King of Prussia, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Ability to apply for jobs in other departments. Good health insurance and retirement benefits.

    Cons

    The senior-level and mid-level managers who once made this company great are all gone. GSK today is a company run by fear and suboptimal managers. The previous focus on sales and marketing is gone. What drives most decisions now is fear of legal action. The lawyers essentially run the company because they so significantly impact key decisions. Marketing and Sales have little say in key decisions anymore, and R&D has turned into a joke, with very little marketing/commercial input . R&D is wrought with number fudging and reluctance to terminate assets despite poor trial results. There is a systematic effort to make it appear there is a robust pipeline, when in fact, half the assets are seriously troubled. Short-term shareholders and legal fears are what drives the decision making at GSK. In addition, the company is pennywise and pound foolish, and many operations decisions are vehemently opposed by staff, which has destroyed morale. Outsourcing is rampant and many managers in the US now have their admin assistants located in India. Yes, seriously. The fear of layoffs is pervasive and the stress levels are high. With so many layoffs and good people jumping ship, the morale has declined over the past 5-7 years. No one smiles, no one jokes around or has fun working. Unlike years past, it is now a miserable, depressing place to work. Stock options are worthless, promotions rarely occur, and the continuing a career at GSK has lost its appeal. The most highly regarded managers have been plucked away by other companies and only the bottom of the barrel remain. So much intellectual capital has been lost. It is a shame to have witnessed a once-great company slide so far downhill.

    Advice to Management

    Something has GOT to be done to improve morale at this company. It has become a workplace full of strangers, with no one talking to one another. You can go days or weeks without seeing someone smile or hearing someone laugh. The incentive of upward mobility is all but gone. The company now touts lateral moves as the only opportunity for career changes. It is well-known that one must leave GSK in order to advance once's career. So the complacent folks stay and the driven people leave. And, dear senior execs, please stop letting fear of legal action and the greed of short-term profits drive your key decisions. It is truly a poor way to achieve long-term success, which is why the stock price has been flat for so many years. The company is ripe for a take-over.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Do not work here"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Disposable Contractor in All, MO
    Former Employee - Disposable Contractor in All, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at GlaxoSmithKline full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Given 1 year notice when fired.

    Cons

    Everyone gets fired because you are replaced by Indians

    Advice to Management

    Stop firing people

  8. Helpful (1)

    "No Career Advancement Opportunities"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

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

    Pros

    Really great work-life balance. Most salaried employees within R&D are only required to work 35 hours per week. Also, flexible work schedules are a nice bonus.

    Cons

    Compensation is low compared to the industry. There is no room for career advancement. Many of the internal programs within R&D to promote top talent are advertised at a management level which is too high above those that are early on in their career (5-10 yrs in). Trying to move around within the organization is tough too. Management doesn't value their internal employees as much as they do external job applicants. The fact that middle managers within GSK have no confidence in their own workforce and would rather hire external pretty much sums up how they treat their employees once you get a job there.

    Advice to Management

    No matter what form of communication comes from senior leadership, middle managers continue to promote their self serving behavior and twist any form of communication in their favor. My advice to senior leadership would be to pinpoint the top heavy R&D organization and overhaul the "grandfathered-in" middle managers that are halting the companies growth and start investing in younger human capital. It's not the '90's anymore. It's time to start investing in talented employees that have a fresh perspective on the industry.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "They'll suck out a part of your soul spit it out like dirt"

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

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

    Pros

    Experience with corporate company. You get treated the best when you get laid off. They set you up with an outside company who helps you get back on the market.

    Cons

    Most never feel secure there but if you've been there for a few years you stick around for the "package"

    Advice to Management

    I would not even know where to start.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Pick your own poison"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investigator in Collegeville, PA
    Former Employee - Investigator in Collegeville, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    training campus for new graduates

    Cons

    bullet-proof glass ceiling, very political environment


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