Solazyme Reviews | Glassdoor

Solazyme Reviews

Updated April 15, 2017
34 reviews

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1.9
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Solazyme CEO Jonathan S. Wolfson
Jonathan S. Wolfson
16 Ratings

34 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)

    "Could have been amazing"

    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 Solazyme full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great technology and smart colleagues

    Cons

    Constantly waffling priority changes, no structured decisions, and a horrible new CEO who doesn't care at all about his people.

    Advice to Management

    When you're getting rid of your best people and keeping poor performers, what do you think you're going to accomplish? Your people were your best asset and you've basically lost them all. Bad form, Apu.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Manufacturing Money Pit"

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

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

    Pros

    Interesting technology with a wide range of potential. Payment and benefits for employment are generous.

    Cons

    Sustainability is not what this company really is about or it would show in their manufacturing efforts. Virtually zero regard for lean manufacturing, reduced costs, or improved efficiency. Upper management does not listen to people intimately involved with the process. Only hire outside and never bring up talented workers from within. Upper management constantly lie and waste A TON of money on ridiculous band-ades for their much bigger underlying problems. It is no wonder they have hemorrhaged cash without a return. Great job on destroying a good idea and adding to the common view that biotech is a way to drain money from the government!

    Advice to Management

    Go back to school and learn how to become a profitable company. Hire employees that would actually make a difference and then progress their career accordingly. Remove the red tape. Get your communication in order. Get rid of your ego. If you are not profitable, don't act like your are! Hire people that are actually qualified for the job they are assigned. Don't take such high salaries and actually personally invest in the company.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Best work is in the past"

    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 Solazyme full-time

    Pros

    There was smart people and good science here. Many good people too.

    Cons

    Day to day can be horrible or quite good depending on division/ department/ manager

    Advice to Management

    Don't be abusive and coercive. Be reasonable, do your homework, and trust your advisors even if you don't like what they say.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Supply Chain Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA

    I worked at Solazyme (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    small company feel, creative ideas, Friday happy hours

    Cons

    poor leadership, lack of resources, constant employee turnover


  5. Helpful (7)

    "TerraVia = Solazyme 2.0 = Kosan 3.0 = do not work here"

    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

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

    Pros

    The technology is absolutely amazing. The science works, the products are (could be) great.

    Cons

    It brings great sadness to scientists and entrepreneurs everywhere to see this amazing capability be flushed down the drain by such a dictatorial and unimaginative C level. As long as Wolf ($0.4M), Lic ($0.3M), Col ($0.4M), Paint ($0.4M), and Quin ($0.3M) are remotely tied to this, the company formerly known as Solazyme will continue to hemorrhage cash and talent. How else do you turn almost $1B into <<$100M? Yeah, fear, deception, lying, bullying, and legal loopholes, that's how...Collecting aluminum cans from dumpsters is a more honorable and rewarding career (and less spirit crushing one) than working here.

    Advice to Management

    What amazing kinds of drugs allow you to sleep at night? The only people left now are those unable to find other jobs. New CEO, ha! A Wolf puppet.

    Someone will commercialize this phenomenal technology, it just won't be you!


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Research Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Research Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Research Associate in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    Learned a lot, great technology team. The technology was exciting and impressive.

    Cons

    Management both at high level and local was not great.


  7. Helpful (12)

    "A Tsunami called management"

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

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

    Pros

    Science with real potential to make good products

    Cons

    Have to follow the stupid orders of management all the time, they can't tell science from technology. Too busy to toot their own horns all the time, and to make sure they get the limelight. It's infuriating.

    Advice to Management

    Open your ears and mind at the same time. Listen to others, stop this mad race of attention grabbing and proving everyone else wrong.

  8. Helpful (11)

    "Snake has molted but it is still a snake"

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

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

    Pros

    None whatsoever. Their biggest talent and visionary - the gentleman who built the technology platform is long gone. Others are halfway through the door.

    Cons

    Like many others have said before there are many problems at this company.
    1. They know nothing about manufacturing and they are not even willing to learn.
    2. The current process and strains are too expensive for any profitable product. No breakthrough and productive strain improvement going on at Solazyme. The group mandated for strain improvement is doing everything (from molecular biology to fermentation) but strain improvement.
    3. Management especially Peter Licari is absolutely good for nothing. He cannot even differentiate between white and black. He just knows how to cash out and keep his croonies in place. He has always promoted only his own people and that too without any scientific merit. No wonder this company is in such deep trouble and no wonder their visionaries have left or are slowly leaving. Do not buy the food mumbo jumbo. They know nothing about food industry or for that matter any industry. They invested into encapso when based on global facts everyone was telling that it was a big big mistake.
    4. They sign JDAs with big name partners, get their money and then either delay, totally don't deliver, dont care or ask them to renegotiate. They have done this repeatedly in the past. At some point these companies are going to take them to task.

    Advice to Management

    Let us see how your latest re-branding goes. CEO, CTO, CFO and many SVP's and VPs need to go.


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Fermentation Tech"

    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

    Amazingly talent colleagues and wonderful people to work with. The atmosphere is easy going and friendly.

    Cons

    Terrible management with horrendous coordination among various teams. After the most recent laid off, the major cut in the company R&D departments does not hold well to a long-term perspective.

    Advice to Management

    Management need to reorganize their priorities to getting the company back on track. Also, management need to be willing to accept bad news and set priorities to correct problems early on.


  10. Helpful (10)

    "Nothing's improved apparently"

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

    Pros

    Because of its innovative technology Solazyme attracted very qualified people both on the technology and business sides - excellent academic institutions and quality companies were represented throughout the organization.

    Cons

    Reading current reviews it looks like nothing has changed. Upper management was a revolving door with VPs coming and going at a frenetic pace (I would guess the average VP lasted just over a year). It was clear that the C suite had no idea why they were hiring these people otherwise they would have been around much longer. Also, promotion through the ranks was virtually unheard of. Long serving employees were routinely passed over to bring in Directors and VPs from the outside because management liked shiny new toys.

    Advice to Management

    CEO, CFO, CTO -resign. You've made your millions and screwed over a lot of good people in the process. The least you could do is show a little shame about taking literally hundreds of millions from investors and turning it into a fraction of that.


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