Amyris

www.amyris.com
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Amyris Reviews

Updated 25 February 2015
Updated 25 February 2015
24 Reviews
3.1
24 Reviews
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John Melo
9 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    chaotic

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Amyris full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    passionate people, good science, lots of potential, co-workers are great, great culture - lots of intersting ideas floating around

    Cons

    bad execution, some senior managers tend to micro-manage, wrong people in top positions, lots of energy wasted over office politics, company struggling to define itself as a manufacturing entity, process development headed by incompetent people who have to scale up experience

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    hire right people in the right places - people without proper experience in top position leads to botched up execution

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    High quality science, long painful route to profitability

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA (US)

    I have been working at Amyris full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    High integrity around the quality of science. Open environment - nice people, good communication.

    Cons

    Financial plans don't always live up to the quality expected of the technical work. Good to be a little optimistic, but a bit more realism would make the long term planning much more credible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look at parts of the company that are running smoothly and take some lessons from those areas and apply to more rocky parts.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Meaningful work with down-to-earth and competent coworkers makes work very satisfying.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Amyris full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Ambitious company with visionary goals that have impact makes work satisfying if you are within the research branch (my perspective).
    - Company is extremely transparent about goals. Information flows freely and is not silo-ed.
    - Company is full of coworkers who are nice, down to earth and competent. Many become your friends.
    - Management can be very supportive with your own career development.

    Cons

    - Company is not profitable yet at the time of writing so company has to do a lot of things in a scrappy way.
    - Company and management continuously need to learn to better plan interdepartmental projects. It's a learning organization still.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Amazing science hamstrung by politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Amyris

    Pros

    The science at Amyris is absolutely top-notch, and the people are largely fantastic. R+D is certainly a shining star in terms of performance. The salary was near the top of the spectrum for my role (however, I know others to have complained about their situation, so that may vary). The happy hours are a lot of fun, and they provide lunch 3 days a week and snacks all the time.

    Cons

    The number one problem at Amyris is the political landscape - there was too much focus on strategy and not enough on just getting work done. Soft skills get touted over technical skills at the expense of project. And there is a significant amount of territorial behavior that overshadowed functional work completion.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    GE Oil & Gas Service Engimeer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Turbo Machinery Service Engineer - Control and E&I in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
    Current Employee - Turbo Machinery Service Engineer - Control and E&I in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

    I have been working at Amyris full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good training provided. Overtime and bonus are part of salary scheme.
    Very challenging job. Career growth chances good.

    Cons

    Heavy travel for non office based employee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Company with great potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Amyris full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, amyrous culture (open, fun, friendly), good recognition and promotion potential if you are under the right manager.

    Cons

    Top heavy. There are more directors than employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Talk less and deliver

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    High Turnovers = Low Employee Morale

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Research Associate in Emeryville, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Research Associate in Emeryville, CA (US)

    I worked at Amyris full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Some fun employee events, like Top Dog day, Happy Hours, softball teams, kegs, subsidized lunches, etc. Might be a good starter job or a short-term position for those fresh out of college since there is a lot to learn from your peers and mentors, across other departments.

    Cons

    As mentioned in previous reviews, the company had become increasingly top-heavy, especially after layoffs of people who do the wet work in labs, and hiring of upper level management...BUT productivity expected to be the same, with unrealistic deadlines.

    Management had lost the trust of their employees (and never regained it back after all these years), which have led to mass exoduses and low morale for those who remain. Managers, company-wide, have systematically undervalued their people. They're all replaceable cogs in their machinery. The paranoia/lack of trust was so bad that most people don't even trust surveys to be anonymous because their HR has an untrustworthy reputation, which is uncharacteristic of such a department. Those are signs of a toxic work environment. It was a mental challenge to work there day in and day out. I was lucky to get out when I did. Looks like nothing has improved since, according to my old colleagues, who are actively seeking employment elsewhere. Good luck to them.

    There was a lot of competition between and within departments. It fosters unhealthy working relationships -- cutthroat at times. People tell me that opportunities to move to different departments no longer happen as frequently as their glory years, which was one of its selling points.

    My years there were very mentally-exhaustive and detrimental to your emotional well-being. Other people have observed how working there have changed them for the worse. Once trusting and naive college graduates transformed into downtrodden cynics.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    For the biotech industry, the company has unusually high turnover for the past several years. In order for the company to keep some of the greatest, creative, scientific minds, management and HR MUST value the employees as assets and treat them with respect and appreciation. Happy employees make for happy hard-working, loyal workers. It's not that hard...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Top heavy, redundant positions

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Scientist II in Emeryville, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Associate Scientist II in Emeryville, CA (US)

    I have been working at Amyris full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people - in a short time period you will find yourself referring to them as your friends and not your coworkers
    Great benefits - amazing health coverage, really hard to beat
    Relaxed atmosphere - HR probably has a hard time handling that one, but it definitely makes for a fun work day

    Cons

    Depending on your department and line management you can be in for a very promising or very frustrating portion of your career. Some directors and managers value each new hire and each current employee as an opportunity to better the company, while others just keep going with whatever flow is going on - even if it's a flow of employees leaving for better work. There are quite a few managers that have a strong background in technical knowledge, but are not well equipped to manage a team nor find the value in increasing their management skills to do so.

    There are a lot of overpaid, overpromoted individuals that are not capable of performing the duties required for their role. This devalues the promotion and pay increase of individuals that are highly deserving. These individuals often will speak about a lack of motivation to perform above and beyond since other colleagues will gain the same promotion for minimal work. There are also quite a few redundant positions. This group of paid personnel that questionably provides value to the company could be used to benefit the company by providing their services to high impact departmental support roles if pushed in that direction, but the lack of insight from management prevents that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look for ways to restructure personnel organization. Just because it worked when the company was <100 people doesn't mean it will work forever. The company changes rapidly, so should the methods of management. Support lower level employees from within the company, there are a lot of bright minds capable of a lot more than Amyris is offering them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Great science and lots of work to do and to learn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Scientist I in Emeryville, CA (US)
    Former Contractor - Scientist I in Emeryville, CA (US)

    I worked at Amyris as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    I had to know great people who are doing great science. Amyris is something between industry and academia. Since most people over there, have their first job after the postdoc or grad school, the learning culture is in the air.
    People work long sometimes but it is not crazy.

    They have 3 days free lunch, Friday happy hour and Monday breakfast.

    Cons

    As a contractor, I had issues with how the company decided to renew my contract and the end to end my contract. Till the last minute, nothing was really clear.
    At the time I was there, we had to write monthly report every month as well as weekly update which I found it too much!
    There are many meeting sometimes that can affect how things can be done.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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