NGM Biopharmaceuticals Reviews | Glassdoor

NGM Biopharmaceuticals Reviews

Updated September 6, 2017
16 reviews

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3.7
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NGM Biopharmaceuticals CEO William J. Rieflin
William J. Rieflin
11 Ratings

16 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to work"

    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 NGM Biopharmaceuticals full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people are great; all my co-workers are engaged, enthusiastic scientists who are truly great to work with. It's a very collaborative, supportive atmosphere. The culture here is truly special.

    There are many active areas of early discovery research. Because the company is so small, scientists have the chance to be involved in many phases of the drug development process, from early discovery and target validation through pre-clinical and translational work. Teams are diverse but small enough that everyone can make an impact.

    Cons

    Opportunities for career advancement are limited. There are very few "rungs" on the career ladder, so people with a huge spectrum of experience end up all lumped in together at the same level. A scientist with a post-doc and 5+ years of industry experience may have the same title as someone who just finished their post-doc. An offshoot of that is that someone can work here for many years before being granted a promotion, even with stellar performance reviews and a track record of success.

    Advice to Management

    We understand that leadership opportunities (and what we do with them) are more important for our career development than our titles, but it still stings when our titles don't match our experience or our contributions. It's a bit depressing to see colleagues kill it year after year with no advancement. A real effort needs to be made to ensure that everyone's title is commensurate with their experience and with their role.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Fantastic people and Target Discovery!"

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

    I have been working at NGM Biopharmaceuticals full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - People are top notch, with diverse experiences and backgrounds.
    - People are incredibly friendly and happy to help others.
    - New target discovery is rare in biotech/pharma and is possible at NGM.
    - Dynamic environment, with several clinical candidates and many early-stage projects.
    - Relatively small, so you can get to know everyone on a personal level if you make an effort.

    Cons

    - As in most places, some managers are fantastic and some are micro-managers. Make sure you're in a group with a manager that fits your style.
    - Company is in currently expanding quickly, with many new faces every day.
    - The "con" to having such diverse sets of targets and therapeutic areas is that the efforts can be divided and disparate and it can be hard to make significant progress or have a competitive advantage on each one.

    Advice to Management

    Although we really appreciate the great health insurance options, stock options, lunches and snacks, the average-to-low base salaries could be improved. It will help with retaining folks, especially scientists and RAs.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "A good place to see in your rearview mirror"

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

    Pros

    One or two good people, but they tend to leave fast.

    Cons

    Dysfunctional organization and management and below average salaries. Questionable science. Lack of advancement opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    All should go take some classes to learn how to treat people.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Review"

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

    Pros

    Great community of people for the most part able to get many things done.

    Cons

    Way to many company politics between the employees & upper management doesn't care to stop the employee politics.

    Advice to Management

    Cleaning the house of the lazy people would make this company great.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Innovative company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist II in South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Scientist II in South San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NGM Biopharmaceuticals full-time

    Pros

    NGM Bio has strong and innovative research efforts. A place where people have high ambitions to make discoveries leading to novel therapies. A lot of great energy and very nice colleagues.

    Cons

    NGM Bio is still a growing company, you needs to be flexible to meet challenges as the company is growing and changing.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great people, strong science."

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

    I have been working at NGM Biopharmaceuticals full-time

    Pros

    It's kind of a cliche to talk about people giving 110%, but I see that here. People are hard-working, focused, and passionate.

    There is great communication and transparency across the organization. The managers respect and trust their reports' experience (no micromanaging). Upper management seeks input and ideas from people at all levels, meaning we all have the opportunity to directly affect the course of a project.

    A strong effort is made to hire people who are a good cultural fit. I guess every company has at least one "bad egg," but I haven't found ours yet.

    Cons

    Compensation could be a wee bit better (it's good but not great) but the culture more than makes up for it. It's been a very positive experience.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Culture and science first"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    NGM has great management and culture. The small feel of a growing company is something that I will cherish. A lot of improvements and changes are being made to incorporate the growing size of the company. Like many successful companies, NGM believes that science should put first. I saw this first hand, as we worked on projects that were extremley difficult and complex. Our science is first class. Our business/management/G&A is top notch.

    At the end of the day, it's about the people you work with. NGM does a good job screening out the people that wont fit with the culture. NGM is a great family to be a part of.

    Cons

    career trajectory is a little grey. Pay may be competitive, but not stellar.

    Advice to Management

    Continue making the effort to make the employees happy. As the company grows, the culture will change. Even if things don't change dramatically, the employees see the effort, which is extremely important as well.

  8. Helpful (9)

    "promising and risky company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist in South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Scientist in South San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at NGM Biopharmaceuticals full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The company is financially safe for a few years. However, risk exists if there is nothing comes out within a few years. Good for now, risky for future.

    Cons

    Science is bad, politics is strong. With more people coming, the fight between departments and groups will get heated. People can do real job were shoveled out. People still there, either are their favorites or are thinking leaving or waiting for IPO then leaving. The management is a big mess due to micromanagement, political fighting, etc. The management is very Chinese style. If you don't know Mao's governance and want to feel it, this the right place for you.
    They usually give you very good feeling when you just joined in. It will totally gone or goes to the opposite within three months. No praise, no appreciation, only criticism, doesn't matter whether you did excellent job or not. Although they are excited with you job, they will never show it. Instead, they will say that we couldn't give one people the credit, we have to dilute it. The reality is they never give people credit. The credit goes to their favorite finally. They have one thousand ways to do that. For example, forcing you leave, changing you to another project, asking more people to be involved, etc. They steal or rob in a seemingly polite way.
    Most projects are wasting. Many people know it. But no one wants to or dare speak out. They don't trust the data, they trust people, depending on who you are. I am confused why Merck invests to this kind of company.
    No career plan for you, you are on your own. People work hard will not be promoted. Those with high visibility to leaders get promoted.

    Advice to Management

    No micromanagement. More trust.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Smart People, Dysfunctional Organization"

    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

    Pros

    Therapeutics in development have huge potential to help patients
    Very well funded
    Some wonderful individuals who can tolerate all the “Cons”
    They’re always hiring...

    Cons

    Top-down management style
    Unrealistic timelines & budgets overshadow sound decision-making
    Extremely tight “purse-strings”, despite ample funding
    Difficult for bench scientists to obtain adequate equipment
    Low pay, no bonuses, small option grants, laughably small 401k match
    Understaffing, long hours, no respect for work/life boundaries
    Very high employee turnover

    Advice to Management

    Accept and respect input from all levels. Acknowledge and actively manage the ‘turnover’ problem by addressing the "Cons" above. Happier employees are more creative, more productive, and less likely to disrupt your projects by leaving.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great People, Growing Company, Minimal opportunities for career advancement"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in South San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NGM Biopharmaceuticals full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Growing pipeline. Many smart and hard working researchers. Merck Deal helps to cover most R&D expenses. The CEO & President are very honest people and I believe them when they say that they really want to make the company a great place. I trust them to help grow value creation. Truly believe that one day our pipeline might actually make a difference in the lives of patients.

    The social interactions within my department are the best part of the work week!

    Cons

    Been at NGM for a couple of years. Continually observed, year after year, coworkers outperform their goals with no true recognition of achievements. Career advancement (i.e. promotions) is/are minimal to non-existence in the current structure. Easy to get lost in the sea of new mid-level managers that seem to arrive on a weekly basis.

    Many employees work way more than 40hrs/week. The specific productivity will be difficult to maintain long term without burnouts or attrition.

    Advice to Management

    Tighter adherence to the core values and mission on the company.

    Your employees are your greatest natural resource. Work harder on recognizing individual and team achievements.


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