Illumina Reviews | Glassdoor

Illumina Reviews

Updated July 20, 2017
55 reviews

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Illumina President & CEO Francis deSouza
Francis deSouza
6 Ratings

55 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Pretty good flexibility in our work helps with work life balance (in 23 reviews)

  • Innovative and fast paced environment (in 49 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is always a concern (in 51 reviews)

  • Illumina is fast-paced and there are many days with long hours (in 22 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Customer Support Specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in San Diego, CA
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Illumina as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Large company, great benefits if you are full time

    Cons

    Too many employees and not enough managers

    Advice to Management

    Be approachable


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Great company & great culture but watch out of bad manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Illumina's going to change the world, and to an extent it already is. It's an amazing company to work for, competitive pay, beautiful campus, lots of events and activities to keep you engaged and motivated. It has very comprehensive and thorough new employee onboarding programs so it was a breeze to go through. People in general are very smart and nice to work with.

    Cons

    Lots of change which is common for companies this size, and with pressure from stock holders. There is, however, a lot of gaps within certain sales and marketing groups and if you fall into one of these gaps, you are in the abyss and no one will help you. Illumina has a competitive environment and everyone is constantly busy and overworked. It's got a strong everyone for themselves kind of vibe. I never really got the feeling people are there to support you and to encourage your growth.

    In the first 5 months I was there I did not meet my manager's manager a single time and met my manager maybe 5 times. It just wasn't a thing to see your immediate management above your own manager.

    They also decided to put someone with no managerial savviness OR experience to manage a team of 5 people. Someone on that management team is either desperate our simply in over their head.

    Advice to Management

    Hire the right managers. People quit their managers, not the job. And when you're Illumina, the manager has to be EXTRA terrible for someone to quit. And it happened... I feel bad for everyone else that has to stay on that team.

  3. Helpful (10)

    "Great Technology but......"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Consultant in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Consultant in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great technology. They are the self proclaimed leader in NGS technology.
    Incredibly Smart People
    The SD headquarters campus is world class. Awesome amenities

    Cons

    Toxic environment and very politically charged
    A Cabal of elitists. Some really smart , humble people here-then you have people who just think they're smarter than everyone else, so don't even think about asking a stupid question. I've had people laugh at me for asking questions outside of my knowledge-base. Yeah, don't do that. Don't be lazy-just do your own research. Don't dare ask anyone.
    Main focus is to push products out the door-forget about Quality!!!!
    If you don't do the following things, you won't likely be successful here:
    -walk around with your chest out
    -Be everyone's friend. Play the political angle
    -Speak up in meetings, even if you don't have anything to add-just agree or something...say something and say it confidently

    Advice to Management

    Don't know-all the ones I know all left....

    Illumina Response

    Feb 27, 2017 – HR

    Thank you for taking the time to provide your honest feedback, and we’re sorry that your Illumina experience is so inconsistent with our culture and values. Our employees and our culture is what... More


  4. Helpful (8)

    "Nice Campus - Immature Leadership"

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

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

    Pros

    Beautiful Campus with outdoor activities available
    Gym with amenities

    Cons

    Fast paced environment with constant changing of directions on priorities
    Immature Leadership at the line manager level; immature leaders placed in high leadership roles with no training.
    Political and silo'd organization - people will turn on you in an instance
    Low pay for demanding workload

    Advice to Management

    You are now a medium sized company start acting like one and train your leaders on people management. Don't put people in leadership roles managing managers with no experience which sets us all up to fail.


  5. "Used to be really good company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Account Manager in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -The technology
    -This company used to be really good place to work
    -I can't add anything else ...

    Cons

    -The culture is become really measerable
    -The upper management talking about bright future for the company but what about your employees????

    -The middle management doesn't know what to do and how to run the bussines
    -Many local managers simply killing this company
    -Many great leaders left this organization

    Advice to Management

    -The recommendation is to the upper management(Sr.Directors and upper) -Take a look what is happining in a field
    -The local field management -will kill this company


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Values are nothing but words"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Once upon a time great ace to work. Fair pay and bonus package when available. Good use of technology

    Cons

    Mid level management buddy hires ruined company. Company values are nothing but words. Autocratic mid management, too much politics, favoritism, poor people skills and lack of care of employees poor work life balance. Poor example setting and buddy system from I'd level management. Lot of good people leaving

    Advice to Management

    Upper management and HR need tonrepond to employee complains and look into morale issue before it's too late. Your most valuable resource is your people


  7. "Good company but has poor management style"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    The company has good benefits, perks, smart people, some friendly people, recognitions, good location, cafe, Starbucks, team building, lots of work.

    Cons

    Although the company is good with the above benefits and perks, there are dysfunctional teams within their own team. The teams are political, favoritism, and management are not professional - your private businesses between you and your managers are out and heard by others. Had to leave to keep my sanity!

    Advice to Management

    Improve the cons mentioned above.

  8. Helpful (13)

    "Total compensation is highly variable"

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

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

    Pros

    The best thing about working at Illumina is the people. I have the opportunity to work with the best engineers, biochemists, assay developers, and software developers. In addition, the technology development continues to be cutting edge and the people are committed to building great products.

    Cons

    The biggest con is that total compensation is highly variable, so be careful of how employment offers appear. Stock compensation is good, but when senior management misses 3 out of the 4 last quarterly revenue forecasts, that stock is not as valuable (the latest announcement led to a 25% decrease in stock price). Also, there is an annual bonus but funding of that is subject to meeting a minimum revenue expectation, which the company will likely miss this year. On the surface, total compensation will look great, but when senior management misses revenue projections, it won't be as compelling relative to other companies.

    Advice to Management

    Senior management should accept that 10% year over year growth is excellent and they should make revenue projections in line with that growth. They should stop trying so hard to define the culture and values and just let that evolve from the people working there and doing the hiring. Finally, they should consider cutting 5-10% of the work force to reduce expenses.


  9. "Company growing faster than they can handle"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Technical Writer in San Diego, CA
    Former Contractor - Technical Writer in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Illumina as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You can work through your lunch break making your work day shorter. Managers walk around like prison guards trying to prove themselves instead of interacting with lowly staff or contractors, so at least you'll get your privacy (that's a pro).
    Also, if you're a professional at socializing, you can spend the whole day in the icafe networking instead of real working.

    Cons

    I was the only worker in my department who didn't have 'manager' in my title and I was only a freelancer so that tells you a lot about the company culture. They recruit contractors instead of employees when they actually need to get work done because contractors are disposable and not a threat to management. I even overheard a Director referencing an interview, "Let's bring her on as a contractor to test her out and see if we like her." My advice to contractors - take the offer but keep looking for something better and pull out when you can.
    All the reviews about contractors being treated as second rate are true. This company has no integrity or accountability because they are growing faster than they can handle. There's a good reason why Illumina was voted one of the smartest companies in the nation, yet doesn't land on the best places to work list.
    I've freelanced and worked for many of San Diego's largest companies, and this was by far my worst experience.

    Advice to Management

    There's too many managers and too many contractors. Don't want to hire a contractor on as a FT benefited employee? That's ok, managers can still be nice and give a welcoming impression.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Extremely Poor Leadership in Hayward"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Hayward, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in Hayward, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Illumina full-time

    Pros

    -Bright young techs and engineers
    -Great new CEO

    Cons

    Hayward location-Dirty management, incompetent Directors who will fire Employees with a single mistake or disagreements, offer no genuine mentoring, Directors and VP with old relationships who have no clue what Design Controls and Process Controls are, Rotten culture of passing the buck

    Advice to Management

    Hayward leadership needs to be changed to gather any meaningful transformation!


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