Synthetic Genomics Reviews

Updated Jan 12, 2021

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3.0
41%
Recommend to a Friend
57%
Approve of CEO
Synthetic Genomics Chief Executive Officer Oliver Fetzer, Ph.D  (no image)
Oliver Fetzer, Ph.D
20 Ratings
Pros
  • "all the exciting cutting edge research in the field of algae and biofuels(in 4 reviews)

  • "the great people here, genuinely great team of people to be around everyday(in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • "Like all biotech companies programs come and go, but SGI is in a good place now(in 4 reviews)

  • "Company is losing good employees because of upper management issues, HR could care less(in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
  1. "Good"

    5.0
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Boise, ID

    I have been working at Synthetic Genomics full-time

    Pros

    Good work life balance in general

    Cons

    None. As long as you have job

  2. "Decent place"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analytical Chemist II in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Synthetic Genomics full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Nice laboratory. Clean areas. Snacks.

    Cons

    Missed markers for bonuses multiple years. Have to fight for competitive annual increase. High turn-over. Resource competition between groups.


  3. "Great opportunity and experience"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - N/A 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Synthetic Genomics full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    My two main reasons for staying here are 1. the great people here, genuinely great team of people to be around everyday. 2. all the exciting cutting edge research in the field of algae and biofuels. love being part of passionate team that wants to solve real world issues.

    Cons

    Like all biotech companies programs come and go, but SGI is in a good place now.

  4. Helpful (4)

    "Systematic Gross Incompetence"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Synthetic Genomics

    Pros

    Those with a passion for teaching will find ample opportunity to educate PhD scientists and engineering mangers on the finer points of high school-level mathematics and basic tenants of the scientific method. The SGI team was able to deliver on the noble goal of aiding the founder with shameless self-promotion in the media.

    Cons

    If you're looking for a blueprint on how to milk 100s of millions of dollars from investors and collaboative partners without a solid technical foundation or capable leadership, Theranos might be the first company to cross your mind. But, the bait and switch approach employed by SGI was far superior. Continuously jumping from one failed, non-sensical project to the next for 15 years running gives a company the appearance of a 10-ring circus rather than a fraud machine. I can agree with other reviewers on the premise that the management team is completely useless, but suggestions that the company was once great or that a bunch of incompetent leaders somehow managed to assemble a large team of talented scientists and engineers are laughable at best. All things SGI-DNA and Instrumentation & Enigineering were especially frustrating to deal with since the people were unable to grasp the difference between proof of concept and "manufacturing" phases of product development.

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  5. Helpful (5)

    "Poor executive decisions leads to many rounds of layoffs"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Scientist 
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Synthetic Genomics full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The people I worked with were great, of course they're all gone now.

    Cons

    Huge hiring push last year only to discover the company had no money to pay for the new program, and failed miserably at raising new funds. Lots of people left good jobs to join SGI, only to be laid off a year later.

  6. "Great place to get some experience"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in La Jolla, CA
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Synthetic Genomics full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great co-workers, cool science and great benefits.

    Cons

    Upper-Management is out of touch with the day-to-day operations

  7. Helpful (5)

    "Once was a great place to work"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Synthetic Genomics full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Not many at this point

    Cons

    Looks like the company is going down. People are leaving and not being replaced.

  8. "Lab tec"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lab Technician and Maintenance Laborer in Calipatria, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Synthetic Genomics full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    It's challenging, but at the same time you get to learn things that are gratifying.

    Cons

    There was little to none ,structure by staff I mean supervisors they seemed like they were not happy with their job, I did pretty much whatever I wanted to do there, but I tried to help the company with a lot of thier problems that they were having on the site, but too many chiefs ,and not enough indians

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  9. Helpful (3)

    "Not a place you want to be"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Synthetic Genomics full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Smart scientists with an interesting vision for future

    Cons

    Poor organization. Negative environment and unhappy people in rank and file. No clear path to creating a profitable company with a future. Too many senior managers that are not making decisions to move the company forward.

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  10. Helpful (2)

    "Talent present, mgmt training and integrity needed"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Synthetic Genomics full-time

    Pros

    Exciting projects, great and smart people. You feel you are working on groundbreaking science

    Cons

    Be aware of what’s happening on the ground. Leadership is immature, favoritism rampant and integrity in collaborations is questionable. No real sign of merit based promotions and has led to many people leaving as well. Disappointing since it pits otherwise strong talent against each other in trying to stand out to leadership.

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