Dolby Reviews

Updated May 7, 2015
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Dolby President and CEO Kevin J. Yeaman
Kevin J. Yeaman
22 Ratings

Pros
  • 9/80 schedule (every other Friday off) (in 36 reviews)

  • Strong work life balance, (9/80) (in 17 reviews)

Cons
  • Really bad management; no work life balance, too many consultants and marketing is the worst on the planet (in 6 reviews)

  • Collaborative decision making - slows the process down (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

25 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (7)

    Hostile Work Environment WARNING!!!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Dolby

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Competitive Salary. Every other Friday off.

    Cons

    Company is on a downward spiral at an exponential rate. Technically incompetent managers who micromanage, intimidate, and sabotage work efforts of subordinates. Overly political work environment. Dysfunctional team dynamic. No direction. Unreasonable expectations from managers. Mixed directives from managers. Contradictory direction and advisement from managers. Agile Scrum focus is upon meeting deadlines, not ensuring quality products. Sweatshop environment. Company is located in epicenter of one of San Francisco's most dangerous drug districts. Perimeter of building smells of human urine. Don't be fooled by the 4 day work week or the name. Dolby is just a brand. It's technology is primarily obsolete in today's "on demand" entertainment industry . Dolby is in no way one of the best companies to work for. It's never fun working on a sinking vessel. Hardly worth even a 30 minute commute. Beware!!!

    Advice to Management

    Fire all middle management or hire technically competent mentors who can facilitate process improvements. Downsize, or put up a for sale sign out front.


  2. Helpful (3)

    Terrible lack of respect for the individual by the leadership.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Dolby full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Some very good, cooperative people - mostly those that had been there under the former management (pre-Kevin Yaemon)

    Cons

    Inability to trust management at most levels. Short-term, finance driven planning by the CEO - exactly the opposite of what Ray Dolby did to build their success.

    Advice to Management

    Reboot the Senior Management with someone who understands technology strategy. Clean house


  3. Helpful (2)

    I worked in Dolby as a Broadcast Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Broadcast Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Broadcast Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Dolby

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There is no any good reason to work in Dolby La. Very bad company, Baddest Management, Baddest colleague, Baddest environment:

    Cons

    1. Engineer in Dolby Lab very busy in Meeting. from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and then they leave every rush to take Bart or Train to go home
    2. Engineer in Dolby Lab tell new comer everything have to ask s'one will help and they don't want you to ask, very conflict.
    3. As I know every Laptop in Dolby Lab has the 'Watching' software. They can know what you are doing in real time
    4. Some Manager using Meter Watch to monitor what you are doing and how long you working
    5. Teaching very poor and want you to finish project in next two hours
    6. Don't go to Dolby Lab - worst Management team

    Advice to Management

    Don't go to Dolby Lab - worst Management team


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Dolby Hates Families.

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

    I worked at Dolby

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are no pros for the maternity/paternity leave whatsoever. Mother or Father receives 5 days .
    "Regular full-time employees and regular part-time employees may take 5 days off with pay to care for or bond with their child after the child's birth"

    Cons

    It is a complete misnomer that Dolby is part of the forward thinking tech companies in the Bay Area. They do not match salaries in the Bay Area but under pay their employees and expect that they work far more than 40 hours a week. They must travel and work and work in US and foreign time zones. After they return if they work through a weekend they are not given time off in lieu. Sure you see a bank of holidays build up but you are at risk of losing your job if you take those days.

    Furthermore in reference to leave after your child is born both Mother and Father are permitted the same 5 days off of work. Unlike tech companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc that try and help families by providing services like embryo freezing and extended leave with a guaranteed job after they return, Dolby believes the exact opposite. They equally force male and female employees to choose between career advancement and having a family. It is appalling that a company with so much money does not foster a better working environment for their employees.

    Advice to Management

    Extend Paid leave to 6 weeks, the natural amount of time it takes for a woman's body to heal.


  6. Helpful (3)

    Lack of vision & character permeates upper management.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Design Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Design Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Dolby full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are some smart engineers. There is usually one high profile exciting project going on - be sure to be on that project, as it's the only way to get noticed.

    Cons

    Over political.
    Low morale.
    Working with offshore teams.
    There seems to be a re-org every few months.

    Advice to Management

    It may be time to relocate, you can't compete with your neighbors for real talent.


  7. Helpful (3)

    This company has lost its way

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Research Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Dolby full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    980 Friday's
    Engineers treated very well -we're very much a family - honored to work with so many talented people

    Cons

    Administrative CEO - no vision - poor manager of people
    Marketing just baffles me. Why can't you fix the dysfunction?

    Advice to Management

    Senior Management has no vision.
    Engineers work hard but given little direction.
    Ray Dolby would be very disappointed - quite sad what they have done to his company.
    CFO makes discriminatory comments about minorities (yes, people can hear you behind closed doors and they tell others).
    Nice job on new building!


  8. Helpful (6)

    Do something smart: Fire the CEO!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Vice President in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Dolby full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits
    Great 9/80 schedule
    Many talented colleagues

    Cons

    Mediocre executive team
    No vision
    See Dolby as a cash cow (which is probably what the Dolby family wants)
    Poor track records regarding acquisitions
    Patent portfolio expiring soon
    Expensive and completely inefficient move to SAP

    Advice to Management

    Everything starts from the CEO. This one is weak, has no vision and no charisma. The quarterly employee meetings are pathetic. Many employees no longer want to attend these meetings: It's total waste of time.
    There is no vision. There are a lot of plans and ideas. It's the "menu du jour" with new directions every quarter, then nothing…

    This CEO should go and be replaced with someone who understands the new economy and how consumer electronics is shifting toward the internet of things. The current CEO is still trying to understand how Windows works. it's that bad!


  9. Helpful (6)

    Very sad

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Dolby full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Every other Friday off and benefits

    Cons

    This reflects only my experience in the Sales and Marketing organization - poor middle/upper management and poor choices in consultants and outside agencies.

    Advice to Management

    Maybe do an Undercover Boss to get a good look at what the company is up to at the ground level and start recognizing stellar employees.


  10. Helpful (6)

    Has Been

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Workerbee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Workerbee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Dolby full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    9/80 work schedule
    Knowledgable coworkers who have great ideas for innovation

    Cons

    Big ego senior management and corporate politics have destroyed this company. A whole bunch of good talent got laid off. Many with over 20 years experience. Call them old guard, dead wood or whatever you want, but they hold the keys to why the company was so successful for so long. Instead of bringing those people up to the new ideas and business thinking, consultants and management pushed a large number of people out the door.
    The company is reactionary. Even their huge success with Dolby Digital was a reaction to outside companies making products to compete with Dolby.
    The general feeling from licensees is that Dolby is there to collect royalties with little effort to earn them.
    The management also believes that the world will bow to their whims because they are Dolby. Sorry, that may have worked in 1975, but not now. Your competition is eating you alive.

    Advice to Management

    Quit kidding yourselves. Your stuff stinks just like everyone. Your customers despise you for the most part. Your employees are unhappy unless they are part of your upper circle of highly compensated management.
    You tossed out some of your best resources as you ousted the person who lived on reorg after reorg with little result. You should have gotten those people to join you in moving into the next phase of business practices, given them the resources and relied on their experiences to further the company goals. Instead you hired incompetent clueless consultants to run the show into the ground.
    There are a lot of common comments here about what the real issues are. You have fallen into the instant gratification trap. Guess what? The instant is over and the long term is suffering because of it. Now the long term is here and you can't fix it. It is time to pay up.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Needs some tough love.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Dolby full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    It's in San Francisco.
    9/80 is great for long weekends.

    Cons

    - Overly corporate.
    - Some really terrible middle managers - control freaks to be sure. Maybe just too young and trigger happy. However this is causing employees to leave at a steady rate.
    - Somehow not a good culture for innovation, which is not good for a company that depends on it more than most.

    Advice to Management

    - Act boldly - it's sad when you cant do basic things your competitors are doing.
    - There are better management candidates amongst your current employees. Being a good manager is more than telling people what do do and making lots of noise.
    - Also replace employees who leave, or try and improve retention.
    - These corporate re-org's which just re-arrange a few things don't ever seem to have the desired effect. Some real restructuring to a much flatter system might be useful. Does Dolby really need assigned parking?



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