Illumina Reviews

Updated 14 May 2021

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4.0
75%
Recommend to a Friend
93%
Approve of CEO
Illumina President & CEO Francis deSouza
Francis deSouza
589 Ratings
Pros
  • "The work is fast paced and always changing depending on evolving needs(in 89 reviews)

  • "The company encourages a healthy work life balance(in 88 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Work-life balance could be better(in 74 reviews)

  • "It is fast paced and can be crazy(in 67 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year
      Featured Review

      Amazing!

      25 Nov 2020 - Software Engineer in San Diego, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - benefits are top notch: flexible time off and company wide shutdowns around holidays twice a year is better than any other place I’ve worked - career progression opportunities and a focus on growth of employees - great people that seem to love what they do and love working here - the mission makes the work feel important and interesting - for software engineering specifically: working with new tech and lots of interesting problems to solve

      Cons

      None - love working here so far.

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    2. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Good

      5 Aug 2020 - Business Process Analyst 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good working environment Good working environment

      Cons

      no cons observed no cons observed

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    3. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Very toxic environment

      9 Sep 2020 - Senior Engineer in Noklak Hq
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Can't say enough about the potential of the technology Illumina makes. Cool campus and they do try to make it a fun environment. Room for advancement.

      Cons

      Middle management is abysmal. They constantly and constantly ignore the technical experts and do whatever they think will make them look good. They never give push back to upper management which wastes time and money on projects that make no sense. Time of service somehow qualifies people to be managers. This leads to incompetent managers who are completely innefective and are unable to help their direct reports. The company moves too fast for their own good. Everything gets half done then projects are handed over over to set up the next team for failure. That next team then takes all the blame for the the people who originally ruined the project. I wouldn't suggest working there unless you have loose morals and a desire to get ahead at any cost.

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      6 people found this review helpful
    4. 3.0
      Current Employee

      Intersting latest innovative work, bogged down by office politics

      7 Nov 2020 - Accountant 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Friendly work environment, interesting and innovative work

      Cons

      Disparity in working hours for males and females, salary is completely dependent on the log in and log out times, Bad HR policies

      2 people found this review helpful
    5. 4.0
      Former Employee

      Good product very low pay

      12 Mar 2021 -  
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good product but as is obvious company is no longer innovating in core technology. Every product is just a rehash of the next one while trying to acquire competing companies. Still is the leader in short read but incremental progress. Needs to get pacbio or grail to grow. Covid care was good.

      Cons

      Significantly low pay compared to other companies specially if you are competing with tech companies and not just pharma. Hr initial offer is so low that it is insulting. For starters where San Diego semi giant staff pays 165 k base 55k stocks and 35 k bonus...illumina senior staff is 155k base 12 percent bonus which is not paid most years or just a fraction and a stock of 50k. People are leaving for element and other places for 35 percent higher pay but Illumina responds with 3% raise. It is pathetic and I moved to a more expensive place with almost 75 percent raise if i include stocks. Should have gone much earlier.

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      14 people found this review helpful
    6. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Great place to work

      14 May 2021 - Senior Financial Analyst in San Diego, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The company offers good compensation

      Cons

      A lot of executive turn around.

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    7. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 10 years

      Great company,

      20 Apr 2021 - Field Manager 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good package and benefits, company cares about employees' well-being especially during global pandemic, great work environment, innovative and stimulating. Has steadily grown year on year. Safe, stable employment. Amazing industry entry point for career.

      Cons

      Very fast paced, know what you want to do/where you want to go, don't always recognize and promote right talent from within. It's who you know and your network not work hard and feel valued. Higher management aware, but slow to make improvements, and losing established talent to competitors. A lot of management layers prevent people above from staying in touch with those on the ground.

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      1 person found this review helpful
    8. 4.0
      Former Employee

      Lots of Brilliant Fish Swimming in a Muddled Pond

      26 Mar 2021 - Engineer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Illumina has very very good at externally marketing itself as an employer. Media publications, in particular, tend to herald it as the "Google of biotech" and for better or for worse the recruiting team tries to play up this image. A couple pros I found: - Brilliant people. Like, really really smart. A lot of PhDs, MDs, dual MBA/MS degrees walking around. A lot of folks with very in depth knowledge about a relatively novel and admittedly complicated field. I was particularly impressed by the bioinformatics folks as well as some of the more seasoned process engineers. - Beautiful campus. Lots of well-designed buildings, coffee bars, koi ponds, an onsite gym. This was very much a pre-COVID perk, but for aspiring applicants it should be open as time goes on. - If you're in HQ, then you can live in San Diego. People really like to ham this up when getting folks to join. It's true, San Diego is very nice, but the location can be a double edged sword. More on this later. - Working for a "winner". Remember that board game you played as a kid, the one with Boardwalk and Park Place? Yeah, that's Illumina's market share in the industry. It's not a surefire protector against layoffs and the like, but it does help a bit with job stability and gives you a "brand name". - Vacation benefits. I have some issues with the entire comp/benefits package (more on that below) but the vacation benefits are amazing. 2 mandated shutdowns a year + FTO. FTO is also a double edged sword as that depends a lot on your management/org structure, but I was fortunate enough in my Illumina experience to have management that was supportive of vacation and wellness.

      Cons

      A lot of my downsides aren't new: they have been expressed in multiple reviews here and both in internal employee surveys. - Lower velocity & higher bureaucracy: The company is growing, and with that comes layers upon layers of bureaucracy, multiple reorgs, and a lack of clear vision from upper management. Everyone is trying to do everything at once, there's not enough high visibility projects to go around, and everyone wants a piece of the pie. - When Everything's on Fire, Nothing Is: This has been mentioned in previous reviews, but there definitely is a culture in the GQO org of "I need this, and I need this now." Priority is not assigned, and if it is then it is always at the highest priority. Not only is it exhausting and a lead-in to burnout, it also numbs the employee to responding to an issue if it actually *is* high priority. "Oh this request is high priority? Yeah, so were the last 5. Just throw it in the back of the queue." - Meetings: Everything is a meeting, and maybe about 50% of these things need to be. Everything needs to be thrown in a PowerPoint, and maybe about 50% of these things need to be. - Compensation: I said in the Pros that vacation is nice, but compensation is anything but. I actually debated putting this one here because, if you work at Illumina and are reading this, odds are you already know that compensation is poor. And by "poor" I mean something else but I don't want this review to get banned from Glassdoor, so I'll settle with "poor". That's why you see it plastered all over these glassdoor reviews. I know this, you know this, honestly HR probably know this. This is the thing: I'm not really sure if it will change. You know what I said about Illumina's recruiting being good at marketing? Yeah. Why compensate your folks more if you're "the Google of genomics" and people are clamoring to get in?

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      21 people found this review helpful
    9. 2.0
      Current Employee

      Great mission and company purpose - toxic leadership

      28 Mar 2021 - Associate Director in Hayward, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The company develops and manufactures great products that help improve the lives of people all over the world. It is a fulfilling mission and many of the people that join because of this. There are many smart and talented people at the company and it's great to be in a company that is really making a difference in the world. The potential for the company is incredible.

      Cons

      politics. The interactions between the executives is just awful and it has led to many good executives leaving. Over the last year or more we have lost so many good people, multiple SVP's, VP', senior directors and more. The main reason these people are leaving is because of the actions of the CEO. He says people are leaving for the money but most of them are not, they are leaving because he doesn't let his team lead without coming in and directing people without many times have the informtation needed to make a good decisions. He continually insults and puts people down. He is always changing things an we hear in the company survey how people complain about the lack of focus and prioritizaiton and the start and stopping of project which are most a result of the CEO not focusing and being all over the map.

      8 people found this review helpful
    10. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Great company to work for

      7 May 2021 - Senior Process Development Engineer in San Diego, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The company looks to ensure employees will fit within the culture. Coworkers are very inclusive and generally good people. The product vision/impact is meaningful.

      Cons

      Not as competitive pay. Sometimes too fast paced. Certain areas lack program/project manager roles and therefore a lot of logistics fall on regular engineers to manage.

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