Amyris Reviews

Updated 23 August, 2014
Updated 23 August, 2014
18 Reviews

3.0
18 Reviews
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John Melo
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    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 for 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.  

    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 for 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
  3.  

    Great science and lots of work to do and to learn

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

    I worked at Amyris as a contractor for 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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  5.  

    Pushing innovation beyond science.

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

    I worked at Amyris as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Startup environment. Provide sustainable solutions to areas where the current solutions are not sustainable. Great place to work. Great staff.

    Cons

    Company still in development stage although had an IPO 3y ago.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    A confused place to work. Too many products, too many goals. No set direction/path.

    • 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 for less than a year

    Pros

    Some people are nice to work with. Great perks for employees.

    Cons

    I have never seen any Company except Amyris that has so many Managers and Directors, and most of these people are not even appropriate for the roles. Management lacks communication, projects lack execution. Unnecessary tight deadlines, and inefficiency created by the management, requires people to work long hours, holidays and weekend. Poor and sad place to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Higher managers is not the solution to every problem. The key is to retain staff, and people hard working people happy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great people but VC-led with no market experience

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

    I worked at Amyris full-time

    Pros

    Culture and people are awesome. Great perks and supportive colleagues that you can talk turkey with and have a few beers

    Cons

    Classic example of VC-led company. Low in operations experience/execution and understanding of product verticals. Some people are VERY political

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management has already been shaken up a bunch. VCs (John Doerr) are trying to maintain their reputation so I presume they'll just keep financing their way to a John Doerr exit that's not too much of a blemish

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    was better

    • 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

    Pros

    people, the science, opportunities to work in different department if you have the time

    Cons

    management was poor and not honest about the status of the company

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

    Difficult Industry Creates Difficult Environment

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

    I worked at Amyris full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    They take care of their employees with good benefits, perks, and very nice facilities. For certain roles in R&D, there are plenty of exciting challenges to work on.

    Cons

    The culture has suffered from lots of turnover and and slow and painful "growing up" phase of the company since its arguably premature IPO. The culture that was a major selling point has disappeared with the departure of the founders. Sales, marketing, and G&A roles face challenges with constantly changing priorities and lots of politics as talented people try to protect their turf.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Passionate people

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Emeryville, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA (US)

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

    Pros

    People here really care about making a difference in the world. There are a lot of smart people that are genuinely fun to work with.

    Cons

    Management does not provide enough leadership or have enough technical expertise in the relevant areas.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great science, very poor management, too top heavy

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

    I worked at Amyris

    Pros

    Coworkers are top notch. The Associate Scientists/RAs are all hard-working and fun to be around. The lab scientists and project leaders are some of the most intelligent, creative, and hard-working people I've met. Just brilliant. Benefits are decent, trying to stay on par with many other tech startups in the area.

    Cons

    The company retains way too many managers. Many high-level employees are bad at their jobs, many are quite unproductive, and some positions are even redundant. They command large salaries for being good at snaking up the ladder and not advocate for their workers. When layoffs happen, it is almost all salary-cheap, diligent RAs/lab scientists that are forced to leave. The ratio at one point was practically 2 managers to every 1 lab employee. The company shows no loyalty to those who have saved the business through innovation before. Prepare for the pharma treatment.
    Upper management is completely disconnected from the science. There is large amounts of politics and dishonesty involved in major decisions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you are going to trim the fat, start higher up the chain. Most importantly, stop selecting for dishonest, selfish, overly-aggressive yes-men/yes-women to be promoted to directors and such. Look for those who have strong technical understanding of the science, advocates his/her employees, gains the trust of those they work with, and develops the talent of the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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