Dolby Reviews

Updated August 11, 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

38 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (10)

    Great Brand, but not so great strategy, or managers.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING MANAGER in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING MANAGER in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Dolby (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing brand to have on your resume of course. Potrero office (soon to remodel) is a cool building with amazing history and vibe. Some amazing products that could (do) change the world if they were marketed well. People would be asking for Dolby products in droves instead of 4K TVs.

    Cons

    The new building on Market is cool, but workspaces are cramped and there aren't any of the typical "tech corridor" perks in sight except for some light snacks. The company has undergone an overhaul of sorts and it's clear who has fresh ideas and who is dragging their feet. Every other Friday off is great, but not really 'off' - You need to work 9 hours every other day and then most people end up working part of the Friday Day off. Have found management to be stifling. There is an expectation of doing things "The Dolby Way" which is fine, but there's really no patience for interest or questions and no direction or documentation on what that Dolby way is... So watch out when you don't do it as expected. Was referred in, and then last-minute the position was changed to contract instead of FTE and had to go through management agency with a TON of paperwork and slow processes... 4-weeks in and the job suddenly appears re-posted. NO discussion or addressing from management, HR, or agency... poor taste and somewhat rude behavior. There's no experience in Experiential Marketing here... Lots of "shove this peg thru this hole - fast' mentality. Executions are not cohesive or thoughtful.

    Advice to Management

    You hire people for their expertise, so let them be experts (and if they blow it, then deal)... Don't treat employees like children and dictate every single email or process that could be improved upon. Yes, life moves fast, but work smart - not just hard. Let people bring more to the table. If you want to be a fresh, cool company, then there are lots of amazing ways to engage the market. Slapping up a booth at a show that has little thought about messaging or experience isn't going to move the needle. Those of us that are asking questions are doing so to understand and further the brand and the product. Just because there's a gathering of people doesn't make it an 'event', much less an experiential event.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Average

    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    9/80 work week, results in lots of time off.

    Cons

    Commute to SF from south bay takes a very long time. Decisions are made slowly - so slow that sometimes the market has past the want. Indecision because of consensus building takes so long.

    Advice to Management

    Focus actual delivery of a usable product and not the next new thing


  3. Helpful (3)

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    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.


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  5. 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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    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.


  6. Helpful (8)

    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
    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.


  7. Helpful (5)

    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
    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


  8. Helpful (6)

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Dolby full-time

    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.


  9. Helpful (6)

    Great engineers, terrible management.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    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.


  10. Helpful (3)

    Disorganized Department

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Dolby full-time

    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 !


  11. Helpful (8)

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    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.



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