XOMA Reviews in Berkeley, CA | Glassdoor

XOMA Berkeley Reviews

2 reviews

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Berkeley, CA

2.0
Star Star Star Star Star
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XOMA CEO John Varian
John Varian
1 Rating

2 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Slowly sinking ship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  2. Helpful (1)

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

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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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