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ICON Aircraft Reviews

Updated January 16, 2018
31 reviews

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3.3
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ICON Aircraft Founder and CEO Kirk Hawkins
Kirk Hawkins
18 Ratings

31 Employee Reviews

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  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (11)

    "A wild ride and a hugely informative learning opportunity, if you have the right attitude"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vacaville, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vacaville, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at ICON Aircraft full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I’ve worked at ICON in various roles for nearly 6 years, and over that time, things have changed a lot. When I started, there were 17 employees and we would have a meeting every Monday morning in which every person at the company would discuss their to-do list for the week.

    Today, the company has more than 160 employees, plus a significant direct labor force at the composites manufacturing facility in Baja California. We’ve transitioned from a development/R&D-focused company to a production-focused one and entire departments exist that didn’t before.

    Production is a particularly hot topic at the moment, as the company gears up to start increase production rates from one a month (currently) to ten a month (by the end of 2017), and, potentially quite a lot more than that. The difference in production readiness now compared to a year ago before the production delay announcement is very stark. The new facility is nearly complete, and there is strong momentum as the production organization continues to hit the milestones along the path to its 2017 production target rates.

    The comments below reflect my personal experience, working primarily in the marketing organization, and with executives. There are entire portions of the organization in which I haven’t worked and on which I cannot credibly comment as a result.

    What ICON is:
    1) Still a startup. The airplane is new, the company is new; and we don’t always know what we’re doing or how to do it. Sometimes we get things right, sometimes we don’t. It makes things exciting and interesting, but can be frustrating. Therefore, having a tolerance of ambiguity is critical. Information or decisions are often missing; being able to operate in uncertainty, and coming to peace with that, makes working at ICON much better. Our strategies and priorities shift over time, and a certain about of flexibility and zen is required to succeed at ICON. The organization is also quite lean. I’ve had to wear many hats, step up and take responsibility for things that don’t fit my job description because they needed to get done. Being independent is a must; there isn’t a formal professional development/mentorship structure because every individual is so absorbed in all the tasks they have at hand. If you want help, chances are you’ll have to ask for it. I’ve gotten it when I’ve asked, but generally, it’s not part of the company culture to ask if anyone needs help. That responsibility lies on the person who needs help to ask for it.
    2) A learning opportunity for you, if you have the right attitude. You must be confident and willing to challenge at ICON, but not for the sake of challenge. Instead, your idea and perspective must be underpinned by sound, intelligent reasoning that you can articulate and defend. In my experience, building your credibility, demonstrating your competence, and earning the trust of those around you will ultimately cause others to treat you as an indispensable team member whose input is highly-valued, regardless of your age, sexual orientation, or background. The company has evolved and grown so much that I’ve learned a ton, not just about the operations, but how to interact with others.
    3) Mission-focused. ICON’s mission is daring, infectious, and innovative, and that’s reflected in the product and the culture. The mission inspires passion in those who subscribe to it, and oftentimes people who leave end up returning because the company gets under your skin. ICON inspires a sensation of family (with accompanying highs and lows). There’s an implicit understanding that success isn’t guaranteed and that it’s important to work together to try and get there. Having a thick skin helps: at every turn, there have been people, both inside and outside the company, who don’t believe we can get there. But we wouldn’t be here doing it if we didn’t believe success were possible.

    Cons

    What ICON isn’t:
    ICON is not fully developed, nor is it in a steady, efficient state. This means that things change, and it’s a struggle for those who are entitled, those who expect a welfare state, those who expect things to go perfectly on the first try, or those who expect perfection from management. Being able to roll up your sleeves, step up, and pitch in is very important at ICON. You must be willing to do something outside your job description; you can’t be someone who says “that’s not my job because it’s not in my job description.” ICON could not be farther from boring. Because the company is thinly staffed, sometimes tasks like team/morale-building activities or internal communication are not urgent enough to be prioritized.

    Advice to Management

    Try to get out of the reactive mode; I know it's tough because the org is so thinly staffed. Seems like there's a sentiment that executives are insular: try to break that barrier down.


  2. "ICON review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at ICON Aircraft full-time

    Pros

    ICON is a friendly workplace with a great product and a passion for what they do

    Cons

    It is a small company which some may not like

  3. "Clueless business people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vacaville, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vacaville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Exposure to FAA rules and regs.

    Cons

    No idea how to run a business

    Advice to Management

    The board needs to hire new executive leadership, break the bro-culture.


  4. "Hired as a Temp."

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

    Pros

    There are no good reasons to work at Icon

    Cons

    No one there knows how to actually run a profitable business, let alone make airplanes that actually stay in the air.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "An interesting concept with some room for improvement."

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

    I worked at ICON Aircraft full-time

    Pros

    I LOVED working for this company. The A5 is an incredibly cool product. The airplane is beautifully engineered with a sleek appearance.
    The manual labor force is made up of intelligent individuals with great attitudes. The engineering department has fascinating and brilliant people who are diligently working on improving the product.
    The production floor is immaculate.
    There are many opportunities to move horizontally in the company.
    Overall the company appears to have a lot of potential and I hope it succeeds.

    Cons

    There is a high rate of turnover in leadership, from the c-suite to middle management. A lot of egos in leadership slow efficiency down and the once fun atmosphere has begun to slip away. There was a climate of open doors that have now been shut, creating distrust.
    While I would like the company to succeed, they are having a very difficult time meeting production goals - I hope to see that change in the near future.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees with value, and you will get valuable work from them.
    Consider 401k matching to at least 50% as opposed to zero.


  6. "The good and bad"

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

    I have been working at ICON Aircraft full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great people and free snack bar stocked with goodies. People pretty friendly across all departments

    Cons

    New company transitioning from startup to main stream can be frustrating. Lack of resources to keep up with the demand of changes. Took months just to get tools to be able to do our job.
    "Clicks" already starting to form in the company.
    Also money troubles so who knows the outlook on how this will end up just tread lightly and have a backup plan just incase

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your people already too many ego flying around on who has to be right instead of what's best when looking at the facts.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Mechanical Engineer"

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

    I have been working at ICON Aircraft full-time

    Pros

    -Great office culture. Employees tend to have positive attitudes and constant communication is to be heard throughout the day. This makes for an enjoyable atmosphere.
    -Incredible product. As neat as the plane looks, it is even more fun to fly in it.
    -Opportunity for hands on experience. As an engineer at a small company it is nice to be able to see so many different aspects and be able to be hands on with many projects.
    -Employee commitment to ICON. Everyone wants to see the company succeed and are committed to helping the company get there. There is a great deal of passion each employee shows towards the product.

    Cons

    -Below average salary for entry level positions. Based on the location you would expect a more competitive salary.
    -Office can at times feel "cliquey".
    -Lack of company investment/interest in personal career development.

    Advice to Management

    -Keep a more open communication between upper management and the rest of the company.
    -Work to create programs which drive career development.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great Culture and Team"

    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 ICON Aircraft full-time

    Pros

    international passionate team with great working environment

    Cons

    Missing key leadership functions in executive department

    Advice to Management

    Finalize the hiring of executive positions


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Hopeful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at ICON Aircraft full-time

    Pros

    Very cool airplane. Lots of fun to fly.

    Cons

    The market for the aircraft is really unknown.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Cool company, poor decisions and leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineering in Vacaville, CA
    Current Employee - Engineering in Vacaville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at ICON Aircraft full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Cool to be part of an attempt to change aviation. At times, fun work environment of you just stay out of anyone in leadership's way.

    Cons

    Too many to list honestly. They blame a "startup" mentality on the fact they continue to not listen to people who have actually done this stuff before. They genuinely think they know better than everyone else. Twisted work environment, cross the wrong old timer when you voice differing opinions or experience, you're shunned and over time find you're put on the shelve...nobody wants to really hear the truth. Cost to build is 2x the sales price, good luck ever digging out of that hole. I'd encourage you to reach out to the mass of former employees if you're interested in the real story.

    Advice to Management

    You can't run a business by bullying and arrogance. People will treat you well when watching, but you earn no real respect or trust. Loyalty is a two way street, you expect it but don't give it.


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