Koch Industries Reviews

Updated May 27, 2015
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Koch Industries Chairman and CEO Charles G. Koch
Charles G. Koch
7 Ratings

Pros
  • t afraid to spend money to get the job done (in 3 reviews)

  • The core principles and business philosophies are sound and strongly advocated by the owner who is in his mid-70s (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance is poor, especially if you work in Atlanta (in 5 reviews)

  • A large segment of middle to upper lever managers are from other business cultures and do not fully embrace the guiding principles (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

10 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Helpful (2)

    A Miserable, Pathetic and Horrible experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Tax in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Tax in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at Koch Industries full-time

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

    Pros

    1. Decent Pay and Benefits.
    2. Some employees are smart and talented but some aren't.

    Cons

    New graduates and interns, this is a horrible place to start a career, unless it's the only job you get in the world, please leave fast. With the company's reputation it's not even a decent resume builder. Big 4's and other accounting and finance firms offer better.

    For those who have already established themselves in the tax field, it's a great stepping stone. However, if you value work-life balance and want or have a family, this is probably not the place for you. Acquisitions, liquidations, change in companies structure happens every day and you will work to death and put in hard and long hours.
    Be ready for a lot of changes, they will even change your personality.

    For minorities (internationals and other races) it's a pathetic place to work, a lot of discrimination, favoritism, retaliation, hard to get a promotion or get a bonus and there is no diversity. "You are on your own".

    The management at Koch encourages us to be vocal, to share ideas, to ask questions, to challenge them but when you actually do it, they permanently label you a troublemaker.
    You will also spend a lot of time correcting management errors and mistakes but they will act like and say you actually did it.

    Always watch your back, "play the game" and know you are under an office microscope. Very high employee turnover rate, they fire and hire people every single day.

    The company is understaffed and the offices are overcrowded (consultants are squeezed in a small, stuffy conference room).

    Almost all the tax software's and systems at the company are frustrating, slow and old fashioned.

    Lastly don't get carried away/misguided by all the media hype about the company, it's all publicity and political: Koch "sponsor the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit", "dropping criminal-history from job applications", "We are not in politics to boost our bottom line," "Donation to the negro education fund".
    Some will agree, some will not and that's okay, this is just my personal experience so far.

    Advice to Management

    1. MBM principals and framework should not be a colorful hanging on the walls. They should be implemented by all especially the managers and directors.
    2. Improve the work environment and company culture, your employees are working under a lot of fear and majority of us are unhappy.
    3. Pretty ladies don't always make good leaders and directors.
    4. Investigate and determine the real root causes of problems that are reported before giving good and competent employees matching orders.
    5. Try and be fair
    6. Train and retain employees


  2. Helpful (4)

    Worse place on earth to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Electrician in Clatskanie, OR
    Former Employee - Electrician in Clatskanie, OR

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

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

    Pros

    They pay you money and that feeds your family but you will have no self esteem

    Cons

    Very poor retirement
    Health care plan is a joke your better off on Obamacare or welfare.
    Managers are rude, selfish and dishonest

    Advice to Management

    Fire yourselves.


  3. Horrible very bad experience.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Machine Operator in Wilmington, MA
    Former Employee - Machine Operator in Wilmington, MA

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

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

    Pros

    Horrible schedule. Managers and supervisors

    Cons

    Horrible people to work with and the supervisors.


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  5. Helpful (9)

    Tax Attorney/Tax Manager/Tax Director assessment of Koch Industries

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tax Attorney/Tax Manager/Tax Director in Wichita, KS
    Former Employee - Tax Attorney/Tax Manager/Tax Director in Wichita, KS

    I worked at Koch Industries full-time

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

    Pros

    Complex and interesting work
    Libertarian politics
    Short commute time to company headquarters

    Cons

    Extremely low base salary and extremely low bonuses (if there even are any)
    No work-life balance; law firm-like work demands, but laughable and insulting compensation
    Extremely arrogant and dishonest management and leadership
    Class-like/caste system of haves and have nots
    "Good old boys" network (if you are not a perverted male or beautiful female, forget about advancement)
    People are terminated constantly for small personality clashes with their petulant supervisors
    Cult-like atmosphere

    I was recruited to work in the Koch Industries tax department many years ago. I was told that my offered base salary, despite being 50% under market, would not matter as I would receive bonuses that would equal or exceed 100% of my base salary if I met or exceeded expectations. My performance reviews indicated I met or exceeded expectations every year I was employed at Koch yet my year-end bonuses never exceeded 20% of my base salary (which itself was 50% below market). Each time I confronted my supervisor, he always had an excuse like "the company is not doing that well this year" or "management is trying to cut back." In reality, my supervisor just lied, and he and the other tax leadership gave the same line to each tax attorney who walked in the door. My situation has been repeated dozens and dozens of times over the last decade.

    Koch works its employees (especially its younger attorneys) to death, treats them like garbage, and then punishes them further at the end of each year by giving them low bonuses. It was heart-breaking to see how people really believed Koch would keep its word and then were constantly disappointed, after having left good-paying jobs elsewhere to move their families to Wichita.

    Retention and attrition are absolutely terrible at Koch because of the dishonesty regarding compensation, work-life balance, employee morale, etc.. Many tax recruiting agencies/headhunters will no longer recruit for Koch because they know Koch is simply dishonest in its recruiting practices.

    I finally decided to go elsewhere after enduring the hypocrisy for many years. I left and my compensation at my new employer was over double what I earned at Koch, and that is with working 25% less, having much less stress, obtaining and using four weeks of annual vacation, among many, many other perks.

    Do yourself a favor, do not believe Koch's hype, spare yourself the misery and disappointment, and find a job elsewhere. You will be very grateful you did not make the mistake of going to work for Koch Industries.

    Advice to Management

    1. Pay employees market compensation,and be honest with prospective employees during the recruiting process so they can make informed educated decisions about their future.
    2. Eliminate the haves and have-nots class sytem that exists, many people work and contribute, but only the top 5-10% are compensated well or even according to market standards (despite the line of garbage told to prospective employees during the recruiting process)
    3. Terminate leadership in tax and finance departments
    4. Teach new leadership about the importance of honesty and integrity dealing with employment matters, especially in recruiting and retaining employees


  6. Helpful (4)

    Dead end tax attorney role.

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

    I have been working at Koch Industries

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

    Pros

    Sophisticated, challenging tax work that will stretch your ability to analyze complex issues.

    Cons

    Toxic culture. The only thing I can compare this experience to is an abusive relationship. You can expect to be emotionally abused, ignored, disregarded, publicly shamed and humiliated. The work is highly interesting, but at some point the abusive culture outweighs the interesting tax issues. This is a miserable, depressing environment to work in. You will also be told that bonuses are 50% - 100% of your base in the recruiting process while the reality is they are more in the 7% - 30% range depending upon how long you have been here.

    Advice to Management

    None. These people revel in making people miserable. Good luck.


  7. Helpful (7)

    Watch your back

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Management in Wichita, KS
    Former Employee - IT Management in Wichita, KS

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Pay was good.

    Cons

    Very political environment. You always need to watch your back. Doing a good job is not enough at Koch, you have to smooze with the right people and watch out for toxic people.

    Advice to Management

    Upper management doesn't really know the culture. It is very cut-throat where people are looking for fault instead of how to work together and improve. I doubt that upper management know how bad it really is.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Koch brothers bought G/P and changed many things at its Huntsville Al. facility.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Second Helper in Huntsville, AL
    Former Employee - Second Helper in Huntsville, AL

    I worked at Koch Industries full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    The corrugated box manufacturing plant was a terrible work environment when I began the job. I needed a paycheck so that is why I stayed for six months with perfect attendance before leaving.

    Cons

    When Koch bros. bought G/P it got worse. My job title and many other employees was deleted, which dropped my pay and piled on more duties and responsibilities. If you work for any of their divisions, I warn you. They don't care about the amount of service and years you may have worked for them, in fact, it could cost you your job. I saw many with 20 plus yrs. lose their jobs costing them retirement benefits.

    Advice to Management

    I am the little guy and would not expect the management to listen to an underappreciated former employee. Thanks for leaving this bad taste in my mouth for G/P, Koch Industries and all products produced by the company.


  9. Helpful (4)

    Worst place I have ever worked at.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Koch Industries full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Lots of perks for employees. Cafeteria, dry cleaning, discounts, etc.

    Cons

    I was treated like they did not want me there due to a change in management after I was hired. Training was horrible, different staff members trained me the certain way they did things so when someone else checked my work they would ask, "Why did you do it this way?" What made it worse was that the people who trained me wouldn't say anything knowing they showed me the wrong way to do something.

    Advice to Management

    I spent a lot of time correcting managements mistakes, however, they acted like I was the one who made them.


  10. Helpful (5)

    Previous Manager

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

    I worked at Koch Industries full-time

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

    Pros

    None. Wichita has a nice downtown. If you actually value teamwork and a discussion of ideas, this is not the place for you.

    Cons

    The company supposedly follows MBM principles, but they are not applicable to senior and upper level management. Everyone is overly critical, constantly looking for flaws in fellow employees. If you do not act like everyone else, they look to weed you out and you will become a subject of managment discussions for separation. Senior management will yell and say anything to lower level employees, but you can not do the same. Everyone is walking around like they are in the George Orwell book, "1984". There is no such thing as enterprenuerialship there because everyone is afraid of losing thier jobs. The Kochs run the business for what it is, the only major employer in the area and they use it to control the employees and their movement within the other Koch entities.


  11. Helpful (5)

    Painful to the point of death

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Manager
    Former Employee - Product Manager

    I worked at Koch Industries

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great pay, excellent opportunity to advance, and nice co-workers. Everyone treated me with respect and we all had fun together.

    Cons

    They fund the entire bat-shit crazy movement and you have to live with the consequences of being part of one of the largest polluters in the world.

    Advice to Management

    I would tell them to take their silver spoon out of their butt, and focus on providing value to all stakeholders, not just shareholders



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