Varian Medical Systems Reviews | Glassdoor

Varian Medical Systems Reviews

Updated July 11, 2017
46 reviews

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Varian Medical Systems President & CEO Dow R. Wilson
Dow R. Wilson
16 Ratings

46 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great work-life balance; Appreciative environment for your work (in 31 reviews)

  • Great benefits and a healthy work environment (in 21 reviews)

Cons
  • They talk a lot about work-life balance, but salaried employees are "expected" to be available 24/7 (in 15 reviews)

  • Upper management seems to put little to no "value" into your experience with the company or otherwise (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Corporate Culture V's Curing Cancer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Varian Medical Systems (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people and and good cause (to cure cancer).

    Their product line is solid and they are leaders in their field with their current product platform.

    Cons

    An aging workforce with an ingrained old-school culture make it difficult to compete with Silicon Valley's standard of living, flexible work-schedules, and innovation mindset.

    Busy is encouraged more than results. (Back-to-back meetings, excessive travel for upper management...)

    Bonuses are non-existent for individual contributors, and the company has a large middle management layer that seems to prefer working in silos even within their own departments.

    Decisions are often made behind closed doors by upper and middle management, and information is offered to employees on a "need to know" basis.

    This autocratic leadership style with no accountability has given middle managers free reign, and ideas are often met with "that's not how we do things here".

    Younger employees, <40, often struggle with inconsistent work policies, lack of growth opportunities, average salaries, and capped raises.

    Sadly, curing cancer is sometimes not enough to surpass this stifled corporate culture.

    Advice to Management

    "Customer's First" should apply to your employees as well; show that they're valued for what they do, not for "how busy" they are.

    Help middle management become better leaders, and foster growth within the company for "younger" employees.

    Encourage collaborative leadership styles and less silos, and more transparency throughout the company.

    Trust your employees, hold managers accountable, and support your teams.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Good company but out of touch"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Management in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Management in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Varian Medical Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Varian is an old school medical capital equipment company. Old school can be a good thing and Varian has some truly wonderful people working at the company. In general, Varian employees are smart, dedicated, work with a purpose (curing cancer), are genuine, honest and pleasant to be around.

    Varian's products and services are a crucial part of the oncology ecosystem and impact cancer patients around the globe. Fidelity 401k services are solid and the company offers a match.

    The company has a very good cafeteria and also offers a nice on-campus gym. Large campus in the heart of Palo Alto.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, Varian seems to be firmly out of touch with its Silicon Valley environs. To start, infrastructure around the campus (from hardware to software) harken back decades and modernization does not seem to be a priority. Company practices and corporate systems are archaic and not up-to-date with industry standards which is very frustrating. Varian almost seems to embrace its disinterest in being current and this attitude affects the culture, employee attraction and employee retention.

    Compensation is also very out of touch especially for a company operating in the heart of Silicon Valley. Many employees question the compensation structure at Varian but management has never taken any action. Good employees will leave Varian because compensation restructuring is not addressed. I learned that the company targets the 50% percentile when it comes to compensation; not exactly forward thinking. Also, Varian does not offer bonuses or stock grants which are standard offerings at other medical device companies in the area.

    Advice to Management

    Management at Varian needs to decide to become current with the times and it needs to take action sooner rather than later. Employees should be properly valued and compensated or else the organization will drift into an anemic state. If changes are not made soon, I worry that the current 'future' of Varian will leave.

    Also, there are numerous groups and programs that do not add value to the company and most employees agree. Within these groups and programs are employees who have fundamentally checked out and treat the company and their job as a retirement exercise. If employees are not adding value to the company, they need to be moved out. Allowing non-performers to remain at the company for years and years is damaging to the organizational culture.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Toxic"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Varian Medical Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    none, i have lost my confidence in leadership and have given my notice

    Cons

    Old boy's "medical device market", recognition and advancement to favorites only


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Physicist"

    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

    I worked at Varian Medical Systems full-time

    Pros

    There are very good benefits

    Cons

    mediocre salary for physicists; chronieism ; nepositm; bullying ; corporate fascism runs unabated

    Advice to Management

    Drop Dead!


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Incompetent Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Varian Medical Systems full-time

    Pros

    Job security and slow paced.

    Cons

    Many of the incompetent managers or leads in the Palo Alto site have been with the company for years. Hence, they know the rules of the game quite well. Often time, they are known to take credits but not responsibilities. Occasionally, they like to point fingers at other teams and refused to work together to solve the issues on hand.

    No punishment for missing deadlines and it has become a trend.

    Little or no rewards for for hard work, which discourage to other employees that try to contribute more.

    Advice to Management

    Needs a system that would allow employees to voice their feedback about their managers.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Imcapable middle level management--lead or manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Varian Medical Systems (More than a year)

    Pros

    Varian Medical Systems has lots of experience hard workers and top management seems to be also doing ok.

    Cons

    The problems are in the middle level of leaders or managers. The have their own small group in a group and it is hard to work together. Many times some leaders are not taking responsibilities but only take credit. The communication channel seems to be blocked because the top management is hard to hear the bottom voices.

    Advice to Management

    Bottom up feedback channel is blocked. Some leads or managers are not a good fit. HR needs to do a better job for getting bottom up feedback from employees.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "FOA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - FOA in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - FOA in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Varian Medical Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people are awesome. You won't find a better group of people to work with.

    Cons

    The management team needs a overhaul. Senior management hiring kin and promoting them without the proper experience and education required.

    Advice to Management

    Stick to the company core values and policies.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Slow Growth and Slower Decision Making"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Varian Medical Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It's like a government job...you can't get fired from there and people stay forever, many stay too long

    Cons

    Slow decision making. Below Market Pay. Low Growth. Low Opportunity

    Advice to Management

    Invigorate your executive team with some fresh new leaders to change the status quo.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Compensation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Team Member in North Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Team Member in North Charleston, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Time off, Flexibility and Benefits

    Cons

    Hours and lack of compensation. NO room for advancement

    Advice to Management

    Better communication and fair compensation


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Company Culture has Changed!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Varian Medical Systems full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The company has great work benefits. They match more than a standard company for the 401K. Annual bonus.

    Cons

    The company culture has changed. They took care of the people, and the people took care of the customers and products, which made everyone happy. Now it's all about the bottom line. The company is hiring too many senior managers and reorganizing the current senior managers. New senior managers don't know and don't understand the business.

    Advice to Management

    New management needs to give more than a year to know the people and product lines.


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