Vertex Pharmaceuticals Reviews | Glassdoor

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Reviews

Updated February 12, 2019
272 reviews

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3.7
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Vertex Pharmaceuticals President and CEO Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D
Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D
117 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Hard to maintain work/life balance at time" (in 16 reviews)

  • "Furious timelines and sometimes muddled direction from senior management" (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (11)

    "An incredible company with an inspiring culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Manager in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I can honestly say this is one of the most incredible companies to work for. The energy is palpable. The people are collaborative and motivated to bring medicines and hope to patients. The culture is heavily science-oriented, but everyone feels like part of the mission, even those who are not necessarily scientists or physicians. Very strong leadership team. Amazing performance as a company. Opportunities abound to make an impact, and grow.

    Cons

    Still maturing as a company from a small biotech to the global biopharma leader we are today....some processes need to be optimized. This requires everyone, at every level, to be "in the weeds" from time to time, but not overly burdensome.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing; keep offering people the opportunity to contribute their expertise to the strategic goals; keep up the open dialogue with employees; keep recognizing employees for their accomplishments.


  2. "Energetic, innovative and rewarding"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The culture is incredibly cross-functional, which is made enjoyable by having some of the most talented, hardworking, kind employees in the industry. The projects move at a very fast pace, but hearing regularly from patient speakers/visitors makes it easy to stay motivated and connected to the mission of helping those with serious diseases. The benefits are awesome (ample vacation time, flexible hours, great cafeteria/beer hour +more), and there are a lot of fun internal events that help connect employees on a personal level as well as connect them to the business and values.

    Cons

    The pace can be overwhelming, but the team atmosphere and promising science/strategy make each milestone that much more rewarding.

    Advice to Management

    -Continue to recognize employees (at any level) for their hard work
    -Stay transparent with your management strategy and keep an open mind to employee feedback

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals Response

    Jan 23, 2019 – Talent Acquisition

    Thank you very much for your thoughtful review. We are happy to hear you not only enjoy your work and who you work with but that you also feel connected to our mission.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "No chance of growth no matter how hard you work.."

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

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

    Pros

    Good salary and compensation
    Good work life balance and beer hour

    Cons

    No chance of growth unless you are white. The place is full of politics and nepotism. I was surprised in my early days when people would just randomly leave. Soon I discovered that you can get all the awards and appreciation but your career will not advance. If you keep promoting only certain people without any talent while keeping people of color at the same position (no matter how hard and productive they are) than one day you will be left with no talent. I have seen really smart people leave Vertex just because they were tired of politics. This is the reason that Boston site could not produce any molecules in past few years. I really liked the science and the research, but I could not deal with politics and just wait for your shares to vest without any actual growth.

    Advice to Management

    Stop spending time and money on diversity propaganda and rather do something in the organization for actually supporting people of color. People who bring new disease area never gets any actual appreciation while someone who cannot calculate pH and solubility gets platinum and palladium VOCAPs. Focus on talented people and advance them so they can stay.

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals Response

    Feb 8, 2019 – Talent Acquisition

    Thank you for your review. We will pass your comments on to the appropriate people.


  4. Helpful (8)

    ""Organizational Announcement" of the week"

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

    I have been working at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    • Good salary and compensation
    • Beautiful office building in Boston Seaport

    Cons

    Vertex has an “Organizational Announcement” once a week where they are terminating people at the leadership level or promoting people based on politics. Each new leader needs to reorganize and rename the department into something else and then let people go or put them in a corner. This is the most expensive and demoralizing way to run a company. Employees are constantly being fired, terminated when highly qualified. Employees walk on eggshells as you wait for the current announcement. The worst departments are under GMDA, which starts at the top and is rapid within the Sr. Director/VP level. The leadership in this part of the company is being dominated by players transplanted from Amgen who want to take what was an incredibly nibble and creative company and flip it upside down and transformed into “big pharma”.

    • Negative, high school environment, with lack of professionalism.
    • People are given jobs as favors vs. qualifications
    • The place is full of politics. Senior leaders take advantage of their positions and push the wrong people up the ladder.
    • Promotions are often NOT merit based- people promoted with no leadership skills or records of success.
    • If you worked at Amgen; you are “godlike” and untouchable. Free reign to do anything.
    • Upper management uses bully tactics and there is no accountability.
    • Everyone is viewed as a replaceable commodity
    • Day of Service is done for headlines.

    Advice to Management

    • Stop spending time and money “Diversity & Inclusion“ propaganda. People see right through this facade if it is for headlines only.
    • Stop reorganizing, renaming and fixing something that wasn’t broken every 5 minutes
    • There are multiple levels of management and bureaucracy and bullying styles both encouraged and rewarded. Hold your leadership accountable.


  5. Helpful (13)

    "Taking a turn for the worst..."

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

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

    Pros

    -Benefits
    -No set hours
    -Friday beer hour with food
    -Location in Boston Seaport
    -Career development and career opportunity if you go after it and have a good manager advocating on your behalf
    -People doing the lab work/middle management helpful and well-intended

    Cons

    -Zero prioritization of projects, "everything is priority"
    -Solution to support all projects is fresh college grad contractors instead of more FTEs and/or to work extreme hours (see below)
    -Very negative, "high school" environment, with lack of professionalism
    -High stress environment among CMC departments with laboratory staff and managers working late nights, weekends, holidays, or even while on vacation...driven to burn out
    -Reckless pursuit to meet timeline, sacrificing quality of work
    -Indirect, inferred pressure to work late nights, holidays, and weekends
    -Results of the above cause mistakes at all levels, requiring more effort and energy to fix issues
    -High turnover

    Advice to Management

    You're going to drive away all of your talent and have major difficulty recruiting with how fast people get burned out and leave (2-3 years max). Employees who can have lives at home will produce more quality work and be more efficient. Burnt out employees leave and make mistakes.

    Hire more full-time, mid-level CMC associates/sci Is with applicable experience to help push all projects of interest forward within your extremely aggressive timelines, realize some timelines are unreasonable with current staff and slow them down, or indicate which projects are truly priority/put others on hold.

    Leadership made it clear that this pace will not slow down, so those who know better and want a life outside of work will leave to seek it.

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals Response

    Jan 2, 2019 – Talent Acquisition

    Thank you for taking the time to leave this detailed review. We will be sure to pass along these comments to the proper departments.


  6. "Good benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Good products, great benefits, nice office

    Cons

    Politics could be challenging at times but overall a good company

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals Response

    Jan 17, 2019 – Talent Acquisition

    Thank you for your review.


  7. "Favorable corporate culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Clinical Account Specialist
    Former Employee - Clinical Account Specialist
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    high caliber sales colleagues, autonomy, work/life balance

    Cons

    product became obsolete once new drug class was approved

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals Response

    Jan 7, 2019 – Talent Acquisition

    Thank you for your review.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Great results, still learning how to get them"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals full-time

    Pros

    Working on life changing products

    Cons

    Inefficient, bloated governance structure impedes progress and improvement

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals Response

    Dec 7, 2018 – Talent Acquisition

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Internship
    Former Employee - Internship
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing people, collaborative people, strong mission driven and visionary management

    Cons

    Company is transitioning from small biotech to mid-sized pharma, and it's a good mix between both right now.

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals Response

    Oct 25, 2018 – Talent Acquisition

    Thank you for your review.


  10. Helpful (18)

    "When there's smoke..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Working at Vertex means being part of a transformation in medical care for patients with CF, which is something most people spend a career in biotech/pharma without experiencing. There are some really special and talented people at Vertex as well, who got in early and were part of that story.

    Cons

    No checks and balances for incompetence; as long as you have an MD, you are allowed to do anything, even if you do it badly. Other "D" degrees can take a seat, or be support staff.

    Advice to Management

    Hey, you know the hemorrhage of employees out of GMDA? Pay attention. It's real, it's serious, and it's a warning. There is a reason talented people who were at the company for MANY years are leaving; look at your functional management. If you keep chasing degrees, process, and structure while ignoring your people and foregoing the deep historical knowledge they have of the company and the therapeutic area, you're going to make Vertex like every other pharma company out there (maybe that's the goal, but it's terribly sad). You're moving towards being out of touch with the CF community, and that's not how a patient-focused company should be. Consider that what new management from big pharma views as amateur is actually what's made Vertex successful to this point. You're not adding value, you're adding barriers.

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals Response

    Oct 10, 2018 – Talent Acquisition

    Thanks so much for your review and we agree, there are some extremely talented employees at Vertex. We will be sure to pass on your comments to the proper departments.