Vertex Pharmaceuticals Reviews in Boston, MA | Glassdoor

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Boston Reviews

Updated September 7, 2016
18 reviews

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Boston, MA Area

1.0
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Vertex Pharmaceuticals President and CEO Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D
Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D
10 Ratings

18 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • The company does actively promote that employees maintain a work-life balance (in 12 reviews)

  • I do have one recommendation to upper management, which I will enter in the next section (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (12)

    "Coordinator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Quincy, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Quincy, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Benefits, pay , weekly beer hour , new building . Some good people if you have good intuition on who you can trust.

    Cons

    working at Vertex was THE biggest mistake . The only pro I can think of is that it led me to a much better job . HR is a complete and utter joke . Management entertains and promotes the lazy brown nosers and the actual hard workers are reprimanded for not being like them . This causes the trouble makers to be in charge making incredible salaries and that what makes up 80% of Vertex. Literally it's a bunch of wanna be cool , ignorant , very unintelligent and insecure people running the departments .

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to speak English first of all. Many cannot which is why the disconnect . Learn how to compose emails ( it's amazing the senior level managers who cannot even tell you the difference between your and you're ) and learn how to be a manager and understand the basic principles of your own job . Realize that there are most likely 2 or 3 people on your team who will outstandingly do a much better job at managing your own team than you ever will in 10 lifetimes; but because you promote drama and BS Vertex will continue to promote you ... so good job Vertex for allowing yourself to let go of very talented people .


  2. Helpful (5)

    "disfunctional and inconsistant management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    not many- I do not recommend this organization. great office location.

    Cons

    poor management, very poor communications, never know when they will have another reduction in staff. One product company- very risky


  3. Helpful (10)

    "The Funkiest Place I've Ever Worked..."

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

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

    Pros

    Good people who are dedicated and driven to perform well under terribly increased workloads, ever-changing directives, and useless management decisions.

    Cons

    When you treat people like they make a difference, they will. (J.Goodnight). Unless you have a competent manager, you won't be treated right. Many good people are overlooked. Too many bad people are promoted or not moved along. The Peter Principal wholly applies here.

    Advice to Management

    Find management who understands the relationship between good people, good work and good quality results. Management is a revolving door of quasi-nepotism.


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  5. Helpful (15)

    "Vertex - Great pay/benefits, decent science, awful management."

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

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

    Pros

    Compensation is good. My benefits/ salary/ retirement were good as a junior scientist (<5 years experience) with a PhD. The work spaces were very nice in downtown Boston. The science was in general good (orkambi, kalydeco) to not-so-good (incivek).

    Cons

    Many decisions were based on non-scientific considerations; I once presented data to a VP in my area and he effectively ignored the science and told my boss and I that's not how he was going to present it to the (then) CSO, which I believe was due to impending bonuses based off of internal metrics. The integrity of management was suspect to say the least, as I witnessed scary inquiries by the US SEC (google "Vertex COO and SEC" if you don't believe it) and massive issues in the DMPK group regarding data integrity which resulted in effectively dissolving the internal group in favor of outsourcing all the work. Middle-management was constantly competing with other groups in the company for clout/ political turf, which made working at the team level very difficult as folks were often getting thrown under the bus. Vertex was/ is in the habit of making announcements through the press, which is certainly a double-edged sword and in my mind bad practice. Additionally, HR is nothing more than a hire/ fire department; many times I brought up inconsistencies with management and in one instance how an internal survey conducted indicated there needed more management engagement with "lower" employees, but in discussion with HR there wasn't going to be any transparency regarding the metrics of the survey because ultimately management didn't want to accept long-term culpability. Lastly employee turnover is incredibly high, read between the lines.

    Advice to Management

    Get in the trenches, understand what is in front of you, engage your employees, and do what needs to be done for the benefit of employees and patients and not stock value. If you cannot do this, leave.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Not a happy place"

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

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time

    Pros

    pros: benefits, vacation, salary

    Cons

    cons: ignorant self-centered managers, scared staff, negative work environment, brown nosing, huge, unrealistic workload

    Advice to Management

    whatever


  7. Helpful (8)

    "Scientific Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Scientific Associate in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Scientific Associate in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    I did work with some great people, I even had a good boss for a while. These were the exception, not the norm. We did get pretty good benefits: 5 weeks of vacation, ESPP, good insurance. But not worth my sanity.

    Cons

    Favoritism, whining and backstabbing were normal acceptable behavior. Management is a good 'ole boys club. Overtime was not rewarded for those that work every weekend for months on end. Managers support the analyst who whine the loudest, not those that are scientifically sound. And you practically need to document when and how long you go to the bathroom.

    Advice to Management

    Be good to your people. Support those who give their heart and soul.


  8. Helpful (4)

    "Worst Company..Underpaying than peers"

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

    I have been working at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time

    Pros

    Benefits
    Vacation
    Insurance, Stocks, Flexible work schedule
    Good colleagues

    Cons

    Exploiting few employees by paying far less than their peers
    Favortism
    Politics
    No worklife balance

    Advice to Management

    I would recommend CEO to fire everyone in HR and put a new set of people. Shame on HR for paying some employees far less than their peers. You better fire some department heads to safeguard the vertex culture.


  9. Helpful (12)

    "An abysmal company that reads a reset..."

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

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

    Pros

    I've worked in two separate R&D groups while at Vertex. There are few "pros" to working for this company. The benefits are decent. The medical coverage is slightly above industry average, legal insurance is offered and there are several other types of insurance which is offered (i.e. pet).
    A second "pro" is if you take the MBTA, your commute into south Boston is tolerable. If you drive, good luck. The rate of commercial/residential development in south Boston is astounding, which is slowly making the commute via personal transportation impossible. The new location is pretty.
    Third, some of your immediate co-workers are great although the environment is very cliquey.
    Some of the benefits, the commute/company location and some co-workers is really it.

    Cons

    There is absolutely no career development. None. Your day to day work is extremely niched. Once you have been at the company for a short bit, you simply become a technician that follows poorly written protocols and SOPs. Trying to break out of this niched work to professionally grow is tiresome and you will eventually be labeled as problematic. Your talents, professional interests and previous work experience really don't mean anything.

    Inept middle and upper management with no sense of professionalism. It is encouraged to "listen hard and debate hard". However, if you "debate hard" and work to come to a resolution that isn't part of your management's vision, you are talked down to and marginalized out of the work. The company's core values are rarely and selectively followed. Very little accountability and consistency amongst the management with concern to following the corporate values and the treatment of staff. The focus and direction of the workflows change on a weekly basis due to poor decision making and lack of accountability. This inept (current and former) management has lead to compliance issues within the company.

    Profitability and company sustainability. The company has been around for over a quarter century and profits are still not in the black. The product "pipeline" is referred to internally as more of a "trickling garden hose". It's great that CF is the company's primary focus, but there are no other therapeutic areas that are being focused on. The focus with projects in other (potential) therapeutic areas is erratic, poorly organized and extremely political. This leads to very high levels of stress, irrelevantly long days and staff burn out.

    Do your due diligence before applying here. There is an exodus with the staff due to the abysmal environment here. Firings, some seemingly random, are very common. Smart, independent and creative thinkers will eventually be viewed as non-compliant and will be dealt with accordingly. Be wary of the brief 5 star company reviews with this company as well. There is definitely some internal/external "reputation management" going on. It's a very small world in pharma here in Boston. Dig and ask around before applying for any R&D based position at Vertex. HR, the recruiters and the interviewers will make Vertex sound like utopia while it's just the opposite.

    Advice to Management

    Company needs an overhaul. People are leaving with every chance they get. The growth of staff has stalled with the firings and high number of resignations. The perception and illusion of progress and innovation is old and the staff aren't buying it.

    “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” ~ Ben Franklin


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Management disrespectful to employees"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Employee benefits are good - the stock awards are why people are hesitant to leave, vacation / time off at year end

    Cons

    Micromanagement, politics, devaluing employees, corporate greed, lying to employees, no training for new people without experience, two faced (corporate values sound good but they aren't lived)

    Advice to Management

    They've gotten all the feedback from employee surveys but don't care - just cash in on their stock and bonuses without regard to how to treat people


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Frantic, disorganized upper management ruined the company"

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

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

    Pros

    People were motivated to help the patients. Workers through middle management hard working, smart, and caring.

    Cons

    Upper management had no game plan - priorities and goals shifted daily, even hourly.



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