Illumina Reviews

Updated 25 August 2014
Updated 25 August 2014
232 Reviews

3.9
232 Reviews
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Illumina CEO Jay Flatley
Jay Flatley
174 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You get to work with a lot of smart people, and the amenities of the new campus are great (in 11 reviews)

  • cutting-edge research organisation, very nice work culture with decent socialising events for employees (in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • The worst middle management I've ever had in my professional career, the work life balance (in 18 reviews)

  • No work life balance, getting more bureaucratic (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    It doesn't get better than this--- great company, great products, great people!

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

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

    Pros

    Wow- where to begin..... this is an amazing company- filled with dedicated and genuine people. My colleagues are here because we are changing healthcare in our lifetime. Coworkers are earnest, driven and real. Very low ego company.....it's not about the politics, it's about the people whose lives are changed using our technology.

    I've been at Illumina for three years- yes, it has a few growing pains. All companies do. The difference is that management here genuinely cares and tries to remedy pain points.

    How many companies do you know that take time out for a competitive dodgeball tournament, concerts in the amphitheater, the occasional happy hour, and gives employees a paid week off before July 4th (in addition to the paid company shutdown in December).

    Yes we work hard- but we are doing really important work....and I know that the work done will at some point, change the course of a family member's illness or treatment in the future. No complaints from me.

    Cons

    None- beautiful campus, competitive pay and beneftis, challenging but rewarding work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Innovative, Smart, Driven and Passionate. What more could you ask for?

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

    I have been working at Illumina full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    If you are passionate about what you do, hard working, like to be challenged, and aren't intimidated by working with a bunch of people smarter than you, then you will likely love working at Illumina. The consistent growth at Illumina provides tremendous learning and opportunities for growth. In addition, sr. management really listens to their employee and customer feedback and implements real programs to address concerns.

    Cons

    Illumina is not for everyone. It is predominantly Type A, driven personalities that typically thrive in a start-up, low structure, high-paced environment. The sense of urgency is always high, and so are the demands on high quality work. This permeates the culture so if this doesn't describe your personality, you are probably better elsewhere. Other than match, the other challenge is that Illumina is no longer a start-up, and now must prove it can succeed as a larger organization with more complexity, increased processes, etc. This will not be an easy process, and some may not be up for the challenge.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great work, stay close to the business, and keep listening.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Company that is changing the world and lets you keep your personal life

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

    I have been working at Illumina full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Very open environment, upper management is approachable and friendly
    - Lots of opportunities to stay physically and mentally fit while at work (pickup soccer games at lunch, mindfulness class, organization sports tournaments)
    - Great pay and stock options are very lucrative as the company continues to grow
    - Company is making a major difference in how healthcare will evolve over the next decade, it feels great to be a part of a company that is truly changing the world

    Cons

    - Many business process are still in start up mode and need to mature (this is being addressed by an internal program, but progress is slow)
    - Some expectation of constant availability

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have a larger vision of where we are taking our information systems and how we can utilize this amazing data we have

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great work environment with incredible people!

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

    I have been working at Illumina full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The culture at Illumina is one of a kind. The company really embraces core values such as innovation and collaboration, allowing them to be extremely agile and move quickly to position themselves as leaders in the market.

    This creates an energetic and motivated environment. There are high performance expectations, but with that comes the reward of working in such a positive, exciting atmosphere with INCREDIBLE people.

    The leadership additionally, does a great job at recognizing and rewarding employee contribution- both at the management and senior leadership level.

    Cons

    With extreme growth definitely comes challenge- the organization moves VERY quickly and sets high performance expectations. People who don't thrive in a high-change, fast-paced environment will likely not enjoy it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're doing.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Best company to work for in San Diego

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

    I have been working at Illumina full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Exciting culture of innovation, rapid growth. Focused efforts on improving employee satisfaction. Passionate, smart people will change human health.

    Cons

    Long hours, some work/life balance challenges, management practices somewhat outdated, few women in senior leadership roles

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to seek opportunities to communicate with employees in relatable ways, take feedback seriously, and be good role models.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great team dynamic and company culture!

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

    I have been working at Illumina as an intern

    Pros

    Illumina's open and collaborative culture makes work enjoyable. I can see huge strides in promoting work life balance and more structure. Overall just a great experience and the company just keeps on growing!

    Cons

    The fast growth needs to be paralleled with established process and structure.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Treat Employees Poorly

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Production Supervisor  in  San Diego, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Production Supervisor in San Diego, CA (US)

    I worked at Illumina full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Illumina's stock price has been rapidly increasing the last ten years. They are well placed in the sequencing market and have an opportunity to lead the diagnostic sequencing market for years to come.

    Cons

    Illumina asks a lot from employees and offers very little in return. Illumina's stock price has done very well over the past few years which allows management to neglect all other aspects of compensation. As long as the stock price continues to rise upper management will be able to get away with mistreating their employees. A lot of good people have recently left.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not everyone cares about stock options.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Along for the ride

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

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

    Pros

    * Market leader in a hot field in science.
    * Work-life balance really isn't that bad in the grand scheme of things (as another poster pointed out, the parking lot is nearly empty after 6:30pm).
    * Because of the appreciating stock, the equity grant and employee stock purchase plan (15% discount) become very lucrative rather quickly.
    * Campus is beautiful and centrally located. Very nice gym.

    Cons

    * Base pay and bonus are a bit low (which is mostly offset by a generous equity component).
    * Leadership is entrenched, and most senior leaders are more interested in keeping favor with Jay (the CEO) than actually doing a good job. The new President seems to lack any real authority.
    * The organization is a bit top-heavy, with limited opportunities to rise out of middle management.
    * The culture is chaotic, in part because management is too short-term focused. Get used to arbitrary and completely unrealistic timelines, all for the sake of pleasing Jay. Putting out fires becomes a daily activity.
    * The company's push into the clinical/diagnostic markets is unstructured and poorly executed.
    * Reorgs every 12-18 months can make or break your career. In the four+ years that I have been at Illumina, we have reorged three times - mostly for the worse. The company can't figure out how to align itself to push into critical new markets.
    * The company lacks even basic processes to operate like a grown-up company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to delegate (especially at the senior executive level). Create more opportunities for young talent to rise into leadership positions. Listen to your employees (I mean, take off your rose-colored glasses and really dig into the employee surveys).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Front line Soldier

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

    I have been working at Illumina full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Amazing Technology, Innovator, Market Disruptor, Great San Diego campus

    Cons

    Just read the Glassdoor criticisms -- they are mostly legitimate. But Illumina is still a young company and is going through expected growing pains.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire the best and let your employees take you to the next level. Matt is the real leader of the future. Most want to work for him because he hires the best, lets them do their jobs, and provides the vision and support they need. Too many executives are obsessed with not losing their jobs and pleasing Jay. Start promoting more of us into senior management and move over.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Unfair treatment to contractors

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

    I have been working at Illumina as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Comparatively, Contractor gets good hourly pay.

    Cons

    Contractor is not allowed to use the gym and not the shower room. So they say company gym cannot cover contractor safety. BS! We can just sign the wavier. However, permanent employees need to sign the wavier, too. So if you normally exercise in the morning, or after work, contractor position at illumina will just make you feel miserably unfair.
    The whole company setting limits the networking and feeling equality for contractors. Being a contractor feel sucks! You will hear, "I'm sorry, you are not allowed to (gym/meeting/etc.)..., since you are a contractor" a lot. It just feels horrible. NOT feel like a part of the company at all.

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