Dolby Reviews

Updated July 1, 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

36 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Dolby on downward spiral

    • 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 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Good pay, some very dedicated engineers and lots of ideas

    Cons

    ideas hampered by micromanagers (many of whom micromanage through their butts), that's to say a simple email request or statement by a manager is blown out to three pages of hyperbole and BS over trite things. This reflects on how disparate managers are from engineers/QA/technical writers

    Advice to Management

    Sack a bunch of middle managers, retain your engineers with mor eincentive to innovate (IdeaQuest is fine) but many great ideas get stomped on by managers who only have short term focus and reliance on legacy technologies far being outstripped by competitors. Some bullying of staff, particularly by middle managers in Brannan. This has to stop. Dolby is a great worldwide company but you can tell where the nest of egos are, in San Francisco. One particular div head sees himself in the pilot's chair and it shows and this attitude is not a good thing for any company.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Seasoned professional

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

    I worked at Dolby full-time (More than a year)

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great products, great company, international impact

    Cons

    Marketing Leadership needs to make and support decisions that are made

    Advice to Management

    Marketing VPs need to provide more hands on leadership and less talk about it.


  3. Helpful (7)

    A wide spectrum mixed bag, extreme experiences on both the positives and negatives. Reflects an internal cultural battle

    • 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

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

    Pros

    Many well-intentioned, good-hearted people. A small family business feel where its easy to quickly make connections and navigate organization. Dolby trying hard to reinvent itself in digital era and making investments in new hires and technology. Some great leaders at the helm.

    Cons

    Very political. The internet era skipped by Dolby so it feels like the 1970s. Large cultural tensions at play as old timers and new employees often at odds.Incredible resistance to change or improvement. Lack of cultural issue ownership means problems linger forever, even ones that are easy to solve. Decision making is slow and often by hard to achieve consensus, so things move really slow or not at all.

    Advice to Management

    Rampant politics steal productivity from a company and destroys morale. If it is made clear that it is not the way to get things done, then a meritocracy culture based on innovation can begin to take flight. Innovation will arise as the dominate cultural theme if it is communicated and shown to be the highest valued attribute.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Dolby's Ongoig Struggle With Marketing

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

    I worked at Dolby

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

    Pros

    - Great Technology - Great Position in Cinema and Broadcast - Great Technical Employee Base

    Cons

    - Weak Management - Semi-Retired Sales Leadership (lacking leadership acumen) - No Appreciation of the Power and Importance of Marketing

    Advice to Management

    Open Your Eyes and Make Decisions


  6. Helpful (5)

    Fun at times but bad execs, constantly changing priorities and politics are ruining this industry-icon

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

    I worked at Dolby full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    9/80 schedule, brilliant co-workers, culture of excellence, and annual IdeaQuest design contest are really outstanding.

    Cons

    Politics, shifting priorities and constant re-orgs make it a risky place for career and skill development. Influx of bad execs eroding the culture. Poor stock compensation for engineers. Bad place to develop new skills as the company is pretty old-school.

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring executives who nearly ruined other companies. Address the issues with Marketing Also kick some stock or options over to the engineers.


  7. Helpful (5)

    Great engineers, terrible management.

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

    I worked at Dolby full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    None really, patents running out, new projects that have no compelling attributes or future, and a management that is promoting cutthroat behaviors across the board.

    Cons

    Ray Dolby would be terribly unhappy with what has become of his legacy.

    Advice to Management

    I would begin with a top down overhaul of the company, looking at the misaligned goals generated by upper management with respect to the area of expertise of the company and the engineers. Already, a good amount of talent has left or has been forced to leave due to this decision making as well as the hostile environment particularly created by the middle to lower management.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Disorganized Department

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

    I worked at Dolby full-time

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

    Pros

    Like the 9/80 schedule . Some people are nice and friendly. Compensation was good compare to other companies.

    Cons

    too political I might say! If you are not the favorite person within that department good luck to you. Department that I used to worked is sooo disorganized ,management don't know what they are doing.

    Advice to Management

    think very carefully before making a drastic decision not everything is possible !


  9. Helpful (7)

    Once Great Company, Losing Relevance

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

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

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

    Pros

    - Every other Friday off - Good core technologies - Strong engineering talent

    Cons

    - Lack of vision - No clear strategy - Poor leadership - Conflict between business groups - Declining market share in core business - No real traction in new business areas - Constant talent churn

    Advice to Management

    - It's time for new leadership - Define a strategic vision for the future, and stick to it - Quit the politics and get down to business Dolby is a company in decline. Core technology patents are expiring, and new technologies are not being effectively brought to market. The segregated structure between business units creates lack of cooperation, and creates barriers for success. Ineffective leadership at the top is leading to chaos and confusion. The vision is lacking and strategy changes every six months. This has led to a lack of credibility, both inside and outside of the company. Marketing is in disarray. Talented employees with lots to contribute have been cast aside in a political struggle that is creating a middle layer of followers, not leaders. Senior leaders seem held to a different standard than general staff, leading to a lack of respect among their reports. It is time for the board to act and return this company to greatness.


  10. Helpful (4)

    Great People, ADD Management, Changing Culture

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

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

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

    Pros

    9/80 Work schedule, San Francisco Location, good salary and benefits, interesting work.

    Cons

    Excessive feudalism amongst upper management, systematic dismantling the "old guard" and corporate culture that made Dolby successful, WAY TO MANY V.P.s/ Decision Makers. Excessive Political Favoritism, Attempts to reinvent the company without understanding the long-term implications.

    Advice to Management

    Senior V.P.s should not be allowed excessive autonomy. Every team in every business unit should be judged on how well they execute their plans and meet their commitments to schedule and product. Favorite projects and teams have carte blanche to spend and dawdle, while other teams are starved of money, resources and support. This company could use an actual board of directors rather than a bunch of passive retirees.


  11. Helpful (4)

    Inertia at the top

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

    I worked at Dolby full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    off fridays; generous 401K match; future mid market office; nice colleagues

    Cons

    exec team doesn't inspire much confidence - seem to be B players. feels like we are forever in limbo on just about everything. management team is really slow to make decisions and makes you wonder about their ability. general communication is absent within the company despite having a PR department, HR department and an exec team that should be communicating.

    Advice to Management

    stop being so shy and passive.



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