SunPower Reviews | Glassdoor

SunPower Reviews

Updated March 10, 2017
37 reviews

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SunPower CEO and Director Tom Werner
Tom Werner
19 Ratings

37 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Everyone is truly passionate about the goal of the company to change the way our world is powered (in 12 reviews)

  • A great company with a good work life balance (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance is still hard, I work 50 hour weeks fairly regularly (in 15 reviews)

  • Upper management is good ol' boys club (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "SunPower"

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

    Pros

    Individuals that work for SunPower are awesome

    Cons

    Leadership is lacking and reactive rather than proactive

    Advice to Management

    Be honest and engaged


  2. Helpful (1)

    "SunPower ocean"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Administrator in Anaheim, CA
    Current Employee - Project Administrator in Anaheim, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good time off, ok pay for the work I was doing. Very knowledgeable individuals. They had overall very decent benefits.

    Cons

    No accountability. SunPower is so big even Managers get lost in the ocean that it is. Sometimes higher ups are too set in their ways of how things should work.

    Advice to Management

    Put structures in place that will make your employees want to work for you instead of having to swim against the current to get their work done. Not a pleasant environment.


  3. Helpful (6)

    "Good mission, good people, leadership's values ring hollow"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SunPower full-time

    Pros

    The people are great. The product and mission are great.

    Cons

    The work environment has soured significantly since a 15% layoff. There is little opportunity for mobility or career advancement. The executive staff is constantly focusing on employee engagement and commitment, but it seems to be a one way street that is only lip service.

    Advice to Management

    Drop the BS--if you can't walk the talk, better to shut up.


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  5. Helpful (16)

    "Crushing Disappointment"

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

    Pros

    On the right side of history, great compensation package (bonus + stock), great benefits, lots of paid holidays.

    Cons

    Just a terrible working environment--from the non-existent new employee orientation to the constant push to do more with less to the ludicrous "key initiative" program which ensures you're working on some customer unfriendly project to enrich executives. The company likes to think it is innovative, but really it's just a bunch of disorganized self-styled visionaries running from one fire drill to another--always faster, never smarter.

    Advice to Management

    Adjust your expectations down to a level commensurate with the budgets you're willing to commit to. And stop taking both your customers and your employees for granted.


  6. Helpful (11)

    "Disjointed, highly political firm"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Cupertino, CA
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Cupertino, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    -SunPower has the best product on the market--there's no denying that.

    -It is a giant in the solar industry, and it's well-positioned to grow and dominate in the very long term (think 10-20 years)

    -I've worked with some really great, humorous, smart people here, but they're the minority at this company

    Cons

    -Executives don't listen to employee concerns, and people are often punished for raising legitimate issues--e.g., a project is going way off track. Executives are quite disconnected from on-the-ground reality of projects, and they don't want to hear bad news.

    -Management is extremely slow in making decisions. When management makes a mistake, they need to take responsibility, hold people accountable, and fix things. But this doesn't happen.

    -When decisions do get made, they are made without consulting other parts of the organization, such that (when it's time to implement), everyone gets screwed over.

    -Highly political environment. If you want to get recognized and promoted, you have to know the right people, scratch the right backs, and brown-nose a great deal.

    -The culture is such that the operations and back-office teams (those who do the most work) don't get credit or get promoted.

    -Salaries are a bit below market. Equity compensation is emphasized, but often doesn't vest because people leave out of frustration.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to line-level employees. Listen to what they say about project statuses. Don't turn a blind eye to red flags that employees raise. They know the truth of what's happening on the ground. Take your news from them--not from the brown-nosing middle managers who paint overly-rosy pictures. Did I mention listen?


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Mixed bag: Great mission, internal churn"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineering Program Manager in Albany, CA
    Current Employee - Engineering Program Manager in Albany, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Mission: We change the way our world is powered! Hard to beat that.
    - People (except under stress): Lots of dedicated, wonderful people that have joined the green energy world, many that have been die-hards. Others converts.
    - Solar!!!

    Cons

    - Attrition rate
    - Difficult environment
    - Increased bureaucracy under guise of empowerment
    - Unclear salary / promotion structure
    - Distributed decision makers
    - Meetings, meetings, meetings (30 min free today)
    - Poor behavior tolerated among management
    - Few female technical staff

    Advice to Management

    - Recommit to the mission:
    - Find something other than cost reduction to inspire innovation
    - Have faith in your teams
    - Compensate employees at a level where it is truly what you would pay to keep them, instead of waiting for an employee to bring in a counter-offer


  8. Helpful (9)

    "Great purpose, horrible culture"

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

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

    Pros

    Really doing something that will help our world. Good pay and benefits. Trying to improve culture but the problem is at the top.

    Cons

    Overload employees in the name of "efficiency" while they waste man months in building power points and having endless meetings where no real decisions are made. Exec team is weak and mainly concerned with their bonus. Everything takes twice the effort necessary due to heavy overhead. Lazy top down approach to budgeting leaves massive gaps at point of execution.

    Advice to Management

    Retire please and let a new generation move the company forward


  9. Helpful (13)

    "Crazy town"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I love the idea of helping people and companies go solar. There are some good, smart people here. SunPower does a lot of donations and giving through their foundation, which is awesome. The Richmond office is in an amazing building.

    Cons

    The marketing department is the most insane that I've ever experienced in 15 years. That really is saying something. Leadership is terrible. They change direction every other minute and the CMO comes up with ideas at all hours of the night and expects you to jump on them no matter what else you are working on. She introduces prescriptive "solutions" instead of presenting a problem and letting the experts come up with a solution based on their experience.

    There's zero consideration given to actual planning and strategy. So naturally, the marketing team produces crap. Only a very select few people here get that the only thing we can produce is crap given the non-direction and the completely insane timetables. I've tried asking questions about "why does this need to go live today?" and that was frowned upon. There was no reason given. Just that the CMO wanted it done. I'm all for done is better than perfect... but producing a ton of crap isn't the answer. Everyone I work with consistently pulls 60+ hour weeks and for what? This will come to a head.

    IT is really terrible. Everyone who has a Mac has to have a Dell laptop to schedule WebEx meetings and conference rooms. The company chooses to use a lot of really dated and really unproductive tools. The process for getting software is the worst I've experienced. I've been waiting months to get really basic software installed. IT is based in the Philippines.

    Advice to Management

    Understand the power of stop. Let the experts you hire do their jobs and listen to their recommendations.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "project engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Point Richmond, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Point Richmond, CA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    great projects to work on. smart staff to learn from. vertically integrated, so able to work with racking team, PM, O&M, finance, development, land, permitting, planning, and executive teams. pt. richmond office is a truly great place to work at.

    Cons

    the contract v full-time employee ratio creates a pretty big issue for moral and i think after a certain time is illegal to not offer them full-time benefits or move on. Everyone juggles 4-6 projects, so often the timelines pop up out of no where and are unrealistic. This creates a hectic chaotic atmosphere where employees are unnecessarily stressed and put in a position to self-prioritize and work crazy long weeks on end.

    Advice to Management

    Management could do a better job helping project teams prioritize, pushing back or agreeing to realistic deliverable dates. Listen to staff feed back and observe stress levels.


  11. "Operations & Maintenance"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Operations and Management in Austin, TX
    Former Contractor - Operations and Management in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Most people are kind and fun, educated, nice activities planned.

    Cons

    There is a sexual predator in this department. Women beware!!!! Lack of focus and direction. There are not enough employees hired. They rely too much on contractors, you get to do all of the work, but reap no benefits. It is the "meeting capitol" of the universe.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention.

    SunPower Response

    May 11, 2015 – Senior HR Business Partner

    We take your comment very seriously. A situation as you outline is absolutely contrary to our policy prohibiting sexual harassment and harassment on any other basis protected by law. We are committed ... More


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