XOMA Reviews in Berkeley, CA | Glassdoor

XOMA Berkeley Reviews

11 reviews

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Berkeley, CA

3.0
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XOMA CEO John Varian
John Varian
2 Ratings

11 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Clinical Operations"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    In the beginning of my time there, excellent pay, room to grow and training for staff. And it was easy to work with most of the staff.

    Cons

    Lack of communication from upper management. As others have mentioned, it was a sinking ship and I'm not sure how much longer it will exist.

    Advice to Management

    Talk to your staff more frequently.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Slowly sinking ship"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - MFG Technician in Berkeley, CA
    Former Employee - MFG Technician in Berkeley, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Was generous with salary on hire. Very proactive in their recruiting activities at other companies (back in 2006 ....highly doubt that now) Even had a $2500 referral bonus. Chill managers (in mfg anyway). Kickback work environment most of the time....taking fermenter readings every 2 hours...go back and watch youtube. Learned a lot because of the "multi hat environment". Saw a lot of stuff you would probably never would have seen or got to play with at big places like Amgen or GENE.COM Gossip about the fine girls in QC haha. Now for the bad....

    Cons

    Mass exodus of the true rainmakers came long ago. XOMA had patented their bacterial expression technologies for antibody production in their early years. They were living large with royalty checks from companies like Genentech.

    Huge fail 1: Then they gambled big on their diabetes antibody that would only require once a month injections (made it all.the way to phase 3 just to find out it didnt work....) . Last I heard they were still trying to get it approved on "orphan" status for some obscure eye disease or may have just sold the whole project. Far cry from what was advertised to us what was suppose to be a billion dollar + a year blockbuster. We were told we were all gonna be promoted to the "next level" when this one took off. A month after being told the FDA rejected it based on lack of efficasy...most of mfg was promoted out the door.

    Huge fail 2: Gambled big on a government backed anti-terrorism project to prepare for any possible attack via weaponized anthrax or botulism or something. Required a very ambitious COCKTAIL of antibodies (like 4 or more different ones if I remember correctly)...a real headache for mfg to say the least. This contract was suppose to keep us busy and rolling in cash for years since it was to stockpile
    millions of doses for the military . Stock crash of 2008 (?) lead to huge cuts in "unnecessary" defence spending. Game over..

    Huge fail 3:
    After the above stated fails, an attempt to make the mfg buliding productive came in the form of contract manufacturing for other companies. Well amazingly we must had some seriously good salesmanship because we secured contracts that was suppose to keep us busy for years. Bottom line: Contracts cancelled. I had written 2 big paragraphs of why...but I deleted cause I dont want to get sued or something. That little paper you sign at hiring came to mind. Too bad...very "interesting" incidents and fond memories in X2 (the main mfg bldg). Could write a book about that now defunct place. Heard it was sold to another contract manufacturer?

    Advice to Management

    You can only reverse stock split so many times. The lucky chosen ones enjoy the good life till the bitter end. You know who you are.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Excellent colleagues, acceptable senior management"

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

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

    Pros

    You work for the betterment of patience. You just cant beat the feeling that you make other people's life a lot better

    Cons

    The company is trying to cut cost by cutting benefit to employees. Upper echelon is immune to benefit cut. The infantry is the one who suffer the most. Sr. Management even hire a new person with the sole purpose to figure out the best way to cut benefit as much as possible.

    Advice to Management

    None - they refuse to listen to anybody outside their echo chamber


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Fast paced small biotech but opportunities for folks willing to put the effort in"

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

    I worked at XOMA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Small company so you get to know most everyone and the atmosphere is very collegial. Lots of very bright and talented people to work with. Historically they have been good about promoting from within so if you are willing to put yourself out there and do the work there are opportunities to advance and even make career changes. Salaries and benefits good for a company of their size. Many employees are able to have flexibility in hours or even telecommute some days.

    Cons

    Resources are limited so there are not as many opportunities to go to conferences or get cutting edge software or equipment like there are at larger companies. Interdepartmental communications could be better considering the size of the organization.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Good Company but lacking resources"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Supervisor in Berkeley, CA
    Former Employee - Supervisor in Berkeley, CA
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    Feel like you're part of a family, relax atmosphere! Lots of learning opportunities.

    Cons

    Overworked and underpaid. They really tried to stretch the resurces


  6. "It is a good experience working here."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist I in Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Scientist I in Berkeley, CA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    People generally are nice. We mostly know each other well.
    Employer offers onsite career training, from leadership, communication, to computer skills.

    Cons

    Company experienced several expension and contractions.
    Some people have experienced being laid off twice, it would be difficult to ask them to come back.

    Advice to Management

    It would be better for senior managment to put more amphasis on longterm growth, rather than short time gains. It would also help if the senior managment be more transparent about ongoing activities.


  7. "Lot of opportunities to grow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Quality Engineer in Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Quality Engineer in Berkeley, CA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    small, and able to wear many hats.

    Cons

    Company has not been doing well since i been working here.

    Advice to Management

    have more visible weekly metrics tied into the company goals.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "A 30-year-old start-up"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Berkeley, CA
    Former Employee - Engineer in Berkeley, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    There's a feeling that you're in on the beginning of something that could be big, with a lot of potential.

    Cons

    Potential remains unrealized after many years. They have some income from contract manufacturing and patents, but no successful product or their own. Consistent failure to become profitable

    Advice to Management

    Evaluate what the company is good at and build on it. Don't try to become the next big biotech sensation in a rented plant.


  9. "For the most part, not bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    incredibly talented scientists and inventors. Everyone seems to be driven to achieve getting a product on the market, and everyone is really hard working. It's nice to be surrounded with people who have a good work ethic. Good benefits.

    Cons

    Depending on your department, there may not be a great deal of flexibility in relation to your schedule. Stock prices.

    Advice to Management

    Provide more options for career advancement and promotions for your employees. Some managers need to recognize their employees more for "jobs well done."


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Don't go into operations (manufacturing, PD, analytics). R&D is better."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Process Development Associate II in Berkeley, CA
    Former Employee - Process Development Associate II in Berkeley, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Somehow even though this company is on the verge of running out of money, management always finds a way to come up with financing through share dilution.

    If you're one of the lucky ones they don't layoff, you can bet XOMA will be around for a long time.

    Cons

    Management always plays politics. If you're not on the inside, do not expect to get a good merit increase or promotion.

    Senior management is untruthful about collaborative deals in terms of time frames and dollar amount.

    2 mass layoffs in the history of the company.

    They will hire people just to have an extra pair of hands around, and not hire people on their passion or knowledge about their job responsibilities.

    Advice to Management

    Redo the entire HR process. Design a system that brings on people who are passionate about what they do to improve company moral and productivity.

    Reward people based on their behavior and work ethic and not the outcomes of specific projects. This may help people feel like politics aren't the basis for promotion.

    If you are truly trying to cut spending, stop employee 401K match and A's games.


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