Mattel

  www.mattel.com
  www.mattel.com

Mattel Reviews

Updated November 19, 2014
Updated November 19, 2014
249 Reviews
3.1
249 Reviews
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Mattel CEO and Director Bryan G. Stockton
Bryan G. Stockton
97 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Also having half day Fridays all year around is nice (in 75 reviews)

  • There are many work/life balance initiatives to take advantage of (in 27 reviews)


Cons
  • work/life balance is nearly non-existent: emails and work on weekends, late nights (in 15 reviews)

  • Some long hours and weekend emails (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

34 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Attracts great talent, but cannot keep it

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

    I worked at Mattel full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Best reasons to work at Mattel is all the time off you get. Half day Fridays, a few extra days around the every holiday.
    Wonderful co-workers (for the most part), in part because we all felt like we were living through a war together.

    Cons

    Most political company outside of the studios. Old boys network where long timers get moved from job to job to avoid firing them, yet newcomers are given very little opportunity to shine or grow. Bad behavior by "the chosen ones" is rewarded on a consistent basis and the lack of ethics corporately is astonishing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You talk the talk, but do not walk the walk. "Play fairly" is a corporate mandate, yet not something lived by senior management. The turf battles over digital are ridiculous. Mattel does not invest in infrastructure during good years, but rather pays the board and Senior Execs massive bonuses. You've lost experienced, valuable people and you do not care. Mattel was a great company back in the day and I highly doubt they will ever return to their glory days.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Challenging Culture

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

    I worked at Mattel full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits: half-day Friday's year round, offices closed for many holidays including time between Christmas and New Year, toy discounts. The company is also committed to giving back to the community so there is always an opportunity to volunteer. Lastly, the people are very smart and hard working

    Cons

    Extremely political and hierarchical. Its a shark tank where promotions are given based on relationships and favoritism rather than hard work and results. People will often step on each other's toes to get ahead. Additionally, Mattel is very lean and expects its employees to do the job of many so long nights and weekends are the norm. Overall, the culture is toxic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand that people are stretched too thin and shortening product development timelines are negatively affecting work life balance as well as the quality of products. Think about appreciating employees and truly developing talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lack of leadership and innovation

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

    I have been working at Mattel

    Pros

    Mattel hires talented hardworking people with good salaries and strong benefit package.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, bad behavior is rewarded in a highly political culture. Leadership is non existence and shallow. The Leadership team and CEO lack vision. The company systems are completely antiquated.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a leadership role as the largest in the industry and make toys relevant again instead of lining your pockets with cash.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    Very conservative, crucially imbalanced

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

    I have been working at Mattel full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, holidays. Weak leadership means slack work environment for lazy people, lots of opportunity to contribute for self-motivated people.

    Cons

    Very focused on old-school commodity-manufacturing business approach. Principle business values are savings and cost cutting; essentially no commitment to growth through investment in people, processes or innovation. Doesn't understand or embrace the direction the industry is going, or the impacts on its core business of digital, technology, and changing play patterns.

    Significant bonuses, and stocks, are reserved for executives. Executive incentives are too large, and are based on short-term performance, so no one will take risks or think for the future, or invest in any timeframe longer than they can see themselves personally benefiting.

    Punishes failure and unsuccessful risk. Innovation is difficult and not rewarded (unless someone gets lucky and a project they are associated with happens to make a ton of cash). These factors create a climate of fear and weak, indecisive leadership. Buys outside ideas while internal ideas languish.

    Weak leadership causes long development cycles, with a great many unnecessary variants explored, creative frustration, and business costs due to the large number of projects cancelled late in the cycle.

    Climate of fear and imbalanced incentives also create an extremely hierarchical organization, a strongly consensus-based culture, and a strong wall between individual contributors and executives. A cynical emphasis on "team” is used as an excuse to not praise, encourage, reward or retain individuals. The overall tone of the culture is one of lip service to poor ideas if endorsed by higher-ups, empty cheers and false smiles.

    The organization thinks of the business as a machine, and of people as interchangeable. No possibility of career growth for the majority of employees. Quality of people is low. Ranks and leadership are both full of deadwood, sycophants and the underqualified. Best and brightest don't stay long.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Parachute out the old dogs. Hire some people from startups, tech industry. Get fresh thinking, especially at the senior leadership level, and in marketing. Hire the best, give them the resources to flourish, and incentivise them to do their best. Invest in the future, in innovation, in new markets. Reward risk taking, inspired failure and new ideas.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great people increasingly undermined by not great leadership

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

    I worked at Mattel full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Robust, iconic content, some amazing people and performers, can be a fun environment. Very good benefits.

    Cons

    Increasingly political, out of touch and vindictive leadership, high pressure, unrealistic expectations by people because they can, not because it is necessary. Depending on the group you're in, room for advancement can be limited (though good benefits help offset that).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value the people who have committed years of energy, intelligence and dedication to your company and who are top performers. Right now you do not do so. Also stop being so incredibly short-sighted in terms of business cycles. You do not need an unrealistically high return every single quarter, you need to perform well over time.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Mixed experience with IT department.

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

    I have been working at Mattel full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great experience working on enterprise projects

    Cons

    Senior management isn't engaged with their staff. They are more concerned with keeping their jobs than doing what is right for the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Implement 360 degree reviews.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    ruthless culture

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

    I worked at Mattel full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Known brand, very involved in the community. Fun products, creative people. Good benefits, lots of holidays.

    Cons

    Ruthless, highly political culture, but great at marketing themselves as otherwise. They allow lots of bad behavior -- most of leadership perpetuates the toxic culture. Very top-heavy. People are given promotions and high-level titles as rewards for technical accomplishments and fire-fighting, not because they are exceptional managers/leaders capable of developing their people and creating great teams. Last century HR processes and systems. Some people sit back and rest on their laurels while others work so hard and so much that they don't have time to have good work/life balance. If you are accomplished at corporate politics and can check your conscience at the doorway, you'll do well here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think about that fable "The Emperor Has No Clothes" -- and own up to the fact that you are that naked emperor. Everyone knows it's a house of cards, but who cares when you have a name brand like Mattel? Start caring about all the dead bodies you leave in your wake. Bring in new HR leadership. Stop operating as silos and start modeling cooperation, collaboration and teamwork. Take a serious look at workloads and re-evaluate the distribution of responsibilities. Pay attention to which areas/groups of the company bear the greatest burden when multiple change initiatives are implemented simultaneously. Act like you care about more than your executive perks and bonuses.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Mattel Interactive Barbie Team

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - International Producer in El Segundo, CA
    Current Employee - International Producer in El Segundo, CA

    I have been working at Mattel (less than an year)

    Pros

    Half day Fridays, slow work pace.

    Cons

    Corporate environment, non-innovative teams, process does not make sense, off shore development team and a bunch of old dogs that do not understand digital trends.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire people that have a vision and know how to develop, design and produce the latest in digital. Use internal teams to develop, do not use off shore when you have a company this size and keep current on the latest digital trends, classes your team can take and create some structure that make since, include all teams in brainstorming, have a goal in mind .. keep up with competitors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    No Work Life Balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in El Segundo, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in El Segundo, CA

    I worked at Mattel full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    half day Fridays (in theory), great coworkers, solid cafeteria and gym, relevant products, easy to rotate to other departments

    Cons

    feel like a cog, very bureaucratic, no avenue to give safe feedback to management, bad IT. They romance you with a great corporate culture, but I found that there was no work life balance and a lot of office politics. Hours were long and "peak time" was practically all the time. It was impossible to make plans during the week. They made us work MLK weekend and 4th of July. I think other departments had it easier, but it's pretty difficult being in Finance. Morale was low in our department due to being overworked and with layoffs pending.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Does not care about its people.

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

    I worked at Mattel full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Half day Fridays. Decent cafeteria food. Discount on toys. Recognizable brand.

    Cons

    The company does not care about its people. They will lay you off despite how long you have worked there. There have been people that were laid off after only being there for 2 to 6 months. That is definitely not enough time to have contributed to the company's poor performance. Think twice before thinking about quitting your job to come here.

    The systems are also extremely outdated. Depending on how and when you pull data, it will be different from the next person who pulled it. This makes work 10x more difficult because you will not know who has the correct data. You will spend more time QAing the data than analyzing it.

    Management is also afraid to take risks and think outside of the box. They would rather set goals low so that they can come out looking like heroes if they exceed them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take care of your people. They are doing the ones doing the most work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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