Spansion Reviews | Glassdoor

Spansion Reviews

Updated May 4, 2017
142 reviews

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Pros
  • Good place to work with lots of good people; laid back as most places in Austin are (in 11 reviews)

  • Middle management very positive (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • In bankruptcy the executive team was replaced with great motivated members (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Once great company battered by tough industry, dismal economy, weak leadership, and unassertive negotiators."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I loved the people I worked with at Spansion. They tended to be very bright and hard working problem solvers. Spansion permitted its employees to take calculated risks within the manufacturing environment. For instance, we were permitted to continuously refine our processes, introduce new consumables, and collaborate with vendors. Had its business model not been horribly flawed I would have liked to work there my entire life.

    Cons

    Spansion's economic model was flawed. For a very long time, AMD and Intel were locked into a price war in flash memory that caused both companies to sell below cost year after year. For Intel, this was a calculated, logical approach. 90% of its revenue came from the highly profitable CPU segment and only 10% from Flash. AMD was split 50/50. By creating severe pricing problems in the NOR flash market, Intel could hamper AMD's growth. When AMD jettisoned the flash business as its own company, Spansion - that was an important step to reducing excessive competitive rivalry. For several years, Spansion operated independently losing $75 to $150 M. Eventually Intel management tired of trying to destroy Spansion and destroying enormous value for its shareholders. I had hoped that when Intel and ST Microelectronics finally spun off and merged their NOR businesses (Numonyx) that there would be finally much needed peace and reasonable pricing. Yet this never came to fruition. Neither company's leadership made any moves to wave the white flag and so both companies continue to suffer. To Intel's credit, many years ago the company attempted to raise all flash prices by 15%. To AMD's discredit, they maintained their artificially low prices. Had I been running the company, I would have thanked Intel by raising our flash prices by 17 or 18% to make the NOR industry more attractive.

    Another major factor in Spansion's decline was the NAND flash glut. I read some iSuppli reports indicating that NAND coupled with DRAM could achieve similar performance to NOR at lower cost. iSuppli predicted that NOR would continue to lose market share for mobile phone to NAND. The mobile phone manufacturers constantly put pressure on NOR providers to lower costs. I can't understand how sales would tolerate reservation pricing 15% below cost but they seemed to do it year after year. Another report I read indicated software was a major barrier to entry for NAND. Unfortunately, I never had access to the upper echelons of sales and strategy at Spansion - I would have loved to understand the rationale for their business thinking. In the end, I believe Spansion and Numonyx have both capitulated declaring they don't want to supply mobile phone makers anymore than demanding they pay a reasonable price for these chips is mind-blowing. That is an amazing declaration! To chose to simply refuse business rather than first saying, "Hey, how about you pay cost plus some profit for these parts! Considering I've been subsidizing your profit margin by selling below my total production costs for 5 to 10 years - YOU OWE ME!"

    I believe the new Spansion under Kispert's leadership has made the tough, yet inevitable decisions that Management should have made many years ago. Spansion could not afford the high fixed costs of operating a R&D facility in Silicon Valley. The plan to build a tiny 300 mm factory in Japan was a total blunder. If I had been CEO, I would offered a relocation package for the R&D folks to move to Austin and I would have concentrated all production (and only profitable production there). The most dedicated could have left over-priced and bankrupt California, sold their over-priced homes in the central San Jose area, and lived like kings and queens in the low-cost, highly desirable Austin area. All effort should have been focused on exploiting the talent within FAB25 and coming up with creative solutions to boost capacity by eliminating bottlenecks in the factory. The management now has pretty much done what should have been done years ago except now they have eliminated a lot of good engineers and destroyed morale and wiped out $1.2 B in investor cash and confidence. Year after year Spansion was loved by its suppliers - it has received award after award for best supplier including perhaps ironically even several awards from Samsung's mobile phone division which one might assume would naturally favor its own internal semiconductor division. Spansion created considerable value for its customers yet continuously failed to capture that value in profits. I would have made whatever legally permitted gestures to Intel/ST Microelectronics/Numonyx to diffuse the price war and get mobile phone pricing back to reasonable levels. Market share is meaningless if it is achieved unprofitably.

    Advice to Management

    Rebuild Austin manufacturing. Hire some better negotiators. Get back in the mobile phone business as long as you can negotiate proper pricing (i.e. full cost of chips plus profit). Build chips that can be customized through software rather than 10's of different hardware designs. Require upfront payment for specialty chip design work. Seek out new business opportunities such as biomedical and environmentally sensor chips. Offer a foundry service for the numerous semiconductor startups in Austin offering quicker development turns and tight collaboration. Reinvigorate the EcoRAM initiative based on customer feedback. Most importantly treat your former employees and current ones with the respect they deserve - cutting 3,000 jobs with no severance was obscene. SVTC looks like it is pioneering some interesting new markets - perhaps Spansion could bring particular profitable business in using its very low cost per wafer manufacturing cost. Continue to invest in BIST and other cost savings techniques for packaging and electrical test.


  2. "Set expectations for a short-term career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sunnyvale, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sunnyvale, CA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Pay scale competitive and management treats employees fairly and with respect. Offers a challenging and face paced work environment.

    Cons

    As a "Memory Semiconductor" company, cash and profits will always be a struggle. Set Spansion career expectations for short-term employment. Keep resume updated and active. Poor CEO/management decisions put company in bankruptcy. Many empolyee's upset about short notice layoff in early 2009, but this is part of working for a company struggling to make a profit in a very tough market environment.

    Advice to Management

    Avoid double standards with VP & Executives versus the rank and file. During the 2008/09 furlough days (and paycuts) there was a clear double standard as VP's were exempt from the paycut. Rank and file definately felt slighted and rightfully so.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work but need to be self sufficient in order to succeed."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Engineer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Engineer in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Spansion has gone through a very difficult transition. It all started with the 2009 financial crash and led to firing of almost all the senior management, restructuring, selling extra facilities, bankruptcy then re-emergence. This has all been a positive path and was critical for Spansion in order to be as successful as it is becoming. New executive management is competent and driven to succeed. In most cases you will not be micro-managed at this company. This is good if you already have experience in the field and are a self starter. Pay is good and bonus plans are fair. Work/life balance is good. People at Spansion really do care and there exists a reasonable level of comradely and teamwork.

    Cons

    Understand the history of Spansion as AMD, AMD spinoff, and then bankruptcy then new company. There are alot of legacy AMD people/ideas that carry them down with excesses baggage and bad habits form the past. Be aware: In most cases you will not be managed very closely at this company. Often times more management interaction and leadership is needed for people that require more guidance. Senior talent that is not used appropriately, to much focus on the “past” and how the “good old AMD” days used to be. Leadership is needed to get people past that.

    Advice to Management

    At Spansion there are lots of very talented resources. Not always clear concise direction on how to use those resources to better help the company. Tend to leave people alone and allow them to function at the comfort level they have managed to create around them. In some way this is de-motivating for some of those people and the people that see it. Work harder to create a more unified culture between Sunnyvale and Austin.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Test Engineer in Sunnyvale, CA
    Current Employee - Test Engineer in Sunnyvale, CA
    Recommends

    Pros

    Great opportunity to work on challenging job! I got good training in using the exiting tester and learning new technology!

    Cons

    Sometime not enough time and not enough hand to get the job done! Everyone in my team putting a lot of hour to get the work done!

    Advice to Management

    Need to expand and if it is not broken don't fix it!
    Need more equipment and existing equipment need to be working optimally 100% of the time for better results!


  5. "a chip in a wrong business"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Staff in Sunnyvale, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Staff in Sunnyvale, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    respect employee and empower employee, good benefit plan

    Cons

    average 1 lay off for every couple of year

    Advice to Management

    stable and diversify business


  6. "On a great trajectory"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Sunnyvale, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Sunnyvale, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Renewed executive management team has been in control since 2009. The company is on a growth path now and investing in new memory technology as well as entirely new product categories. The company is providing employees with new and more opportunities for professional development and training. The people here are amazing - some of the smartest and nicest people I've been around.

    Cons

    Pace of change and growth could be faster. It is not friendly environment if you like to telecommute.

    Advice to Management

    Provide employees a bit more flexibility in working, like flex schedules and telecommuting options. Company is quite behind in this respect compared to other valley companies.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "great company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Manager in Sunnyvale, CA
    Current Employee - Manager in Sunnyvale, CA

    I have been working at Spansion full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    great management team with clear mission to grow the company profitably

    Cons

    still have lots of legacy; there are lots positive changes but should move even faster.

    Advice to Management

    accelerate the change


  8. "I had fun working with the people there"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Fast Paced environment with good people

    Cons

    No room for advancement within

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your underlings more


  9. "Spansion gave me the foundation of a lifetime in Semiconductor Manufacturing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineering in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Engineering in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Management gives Engineers freedom to develop their careers in an exciting facility.

    Cons

    No longer an international experience after Fujitsu split.

    Advice to Management

    Spansion's management team is very knowledgeable.


  10. "Great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Applications Engineer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Applications Engineer in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Collaborative coworkers, good pay, reasonable expectations, excellent manager. I am allowed to do my job without much meddling from others. There is a high level of trust. Likewise, I trust my managers to do what's right.

    Cons

    Honestly, not much. I have held a number of jobs in this industry. I guess the only thing I can say is less than stellar HR, seems like it's outsourced, but the limited contact I have with HR, this is no big deal. We no longer have mandated time off and that's good.

    Advice to Management

    Keep focus on what we do well


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