Mattel
3.4 of 5 197 reviews
www.mattel.com El Segundo, CA 5000+ Employees

Mattel Reviews

Updated Apr 9, 2014
Mattel – El Segundo – “View from the street of the Mattel headquarter…”

All Employees Current Employees Only

3.4 197 reviews

                             

79% Approve of the CEO

Mattel CEO and Director Bryan G. Stockton

Bryan G. Stockton

(70 ratings)

75% of employees recommend this company to a friend
54 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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2 people found this helpful  

Hit and Miss

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Mattel full-time for more than 5 years

ProsI liked and respected the vast majority of the people that I worked with - it is a great group as individuals. Also, the half day Fridays are hard to beat.

ConsSenior management is living in the last century - locked in their silo view of the enterprise. Although it is said time and again that Mattel's talent is highly valued by the company, it doesn't take long working there to realize that everyone, absolutely everyone, is a bad quarter away from being cut so that senior execs can make their bonuses. The amount of talent and technical memory that is ushered out the door is staggering!!!

Advice to Senior ManagementRealize that senior management embodies the Peter Principle in action - they have all risen to their various levels of incompetence. This in and of itself is not a bad thing if it is recognized and used to continue questioning and growing. What makes it a big deal at Mattel is that it is so political that growth and progress don't seem to occur. On top of that, no one seems to be accountable. Senior management doesn't seem to trust that the majority of employees are trying to do the right thing. Instead they compete to advance their individual agendas for more control. The result is an organization with different groups pulling different directions - yes in many cases against itself!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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It's old school corporate: politics gets promoted not talent. And everyone else is just a piece of meat.

Administrative Assistant (Current Employee)
El Segundo, CA

I have been working at Mattel full-time for more than 8 years

ProsAnd a employer name you don't have to explain to people, casual dress all week, 1/2 day Fridays, 2 weeks off at Xmas, and decent benefits IF you are permanent (which Mattel rarely does now). Oh and no 13th floor in the tower. So, THAT silly superstition is still being perpetuated (by a multi-billion dollar corporation).

ConsPolitics & "old-boys club" prevails. If you're in the executive club, you'll be rewarded handsomely -- higher pay, stock options, car leases, trips, gifts, etc. But the people who actually do the work are squeezed about day-to-day spending needed to do their job. Then management will go waste thousands of dollars on some crap "gift" that is left on every employee's desk to announce a new product or event. (Cool! I can't make rent this month, but at least I have a set of cheap ear-buds that I don't need in a fabric zip-pouch with the Mattel logo on it. Totally worth being homeless for that!)

The annual review process is a rigged-game -- raises are budgeted 6 months before the reviews are even written. And if everyone does a great job, it actually means LESS of a raise for each person because there is just so much allocated to the peon class. Anyone can be laid off when the company has even one bad quarter (even if you had nothing to do with the low sales)...but the exec who was in charge of that low-income division still has HIS job.

So, unless you are one of the "chosen ones", this is not a company that supports & promotes employee happiness or growth. They just don't get that happy employees = improved business & profits, nor do they seem to care.

Advice to Senior ManagementLook up the definition of "employee morale" because you're shockingly tone-deaf to it. I mean: laying off dozens of people, telling employees there will be no raises or bonuses -- and then you give bonus checks & raises to the executives? Do you think your employees are stupid and/or don't talk to each other? No matter how hard you try to spin something, your employees can see through it & know what you're really doing. So, instead, be honest & frank -- we'll tolerate it a lot more than any of the current slick BS coming from the 15th floor.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Used to be really good...

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Mattel full-time for more than 10 years

ProsOverall, Mattel is a good company. Great benefits and amenities. Half day Fridays are hard to beat.

ConsToo many politics, depends on which group you were working in, glass ceiling definitely exists. Don't have clear guide on what needs to be done to get promoted, investing too much on directors and VPs and not too much care for the "worker bees".

Advice to Senior ManagementInvest more on the people who actually do the work. Invest in better leadership.

– I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Fast-paced, creative, intense place to work

Director (Former Employee)
El Segundo, CA

I worked at Mattel full-time for more than 5 years

ProsThey are truly leaders in the toy industry. You get to work with the brightest and the best. There's a variety of brands to work on, and there's great opportunities to make a positive impact on the business at all levels.

ConsIt can be extremely political. You really have to campaign for promotions/rotations, as management is not focused on developing their team if it doesn't benefit them personally. People are rewarded even when they don't live by the values of the organization.

Advice to Senior ManagementBalance what's best for shareholders in the short-term with what's best for employees, the company, and shareholders in the long-term.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Pockets of Humanity Within a Multinational Corporate Beast

Brand Coordinator (Former Employee)
El Segundo, CA

I worked at Mattel full-time for more than 10 years

ProsAmazing benefits (e.g. picking my own boys up from school on half-day Fridays) and amazing colleagues (creativity, integrity, appreciation). Supportive of work life balance - in my early years w/Mattel, as a single mom w/2 very young children, this was CRITICAL.

Cons1) Top down decision making with little or no input sought from task level employees whose effectiveness will be affected (recent example: IT outsourcing initiative), resulting in "cost saving" measures that wind up increasing costs on the back end (dramatic increase in lost labor costs due to unresolved IT issues, inability to effectively enforce Service Level Agreements).

2) Despite avowed commitment to "developing people", I was completely pigeonholed. Over time, I came to see this as a problem endemic to the company, experienced by management as much as by as support staff like myself. People at every level struggled to earn recognition and rewards commensurate with their efforts, contributions, ability and talent.

Advice to Senior Management1) Eliminate the most egregious wastes of time (=money) by engaging task level employees to identify and solve challenges they face in their day to day jobs (e.g. multiple $50,000/year employees standing in line for one broken down $5,000 printer, or spending hours managing a new hire setup that could be streamlined to a 20 minute task).

2) Rethink strategies for "developing people", because current system DOES NOT WORK. Default use of temporary employees to meet increasing production needs without increasing permanent headcount prevents promotion of existing employees, demotivating them as there is nothing to strive for; long term temporary employees also feel disenfranchised, with no sense of security or a future with the company. Constantly relying on temps to meet growth needs is like keeping on a tourniquet on a wound that requires major reconstructive surgery.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great benefits and great co-workers if you can handle a tough work environment

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
El Segundo, CA

I have been working at Mattel full-time for more than 10 years

ProsGreat benefits, smart talented people, Friday half days, career development training, campus has lots of services like gym, dry cleaning and credit union.

ConsVery political work environment, HR lacks discretion, top heavy organization, multiple groups have limited growth opportunities, culture can be very cutthroat and clique-y

Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on identifying larger talent pools and work harder on retention. Hire more visionaries and leaders vs management candidates

– I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great place to gain experience

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Mattel

ProsAmazing portfolio of brands, lots of nice people, lots of opportunities to grow and gain lots of experience doing lots of different things.

ConsHeavy politics, no work life balance.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great MBA minds and focus on toys.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Mattel

ProsGreat benefits, salaries, can move around to many different positions.

ConsBusiness causal and long hours.

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Poor leadership

Analyst (Former Employee)
El Segundo, CA

I worked at Mattel full-time for more than 3 years

ProsBenefits were better a while ago

ConsNepotism is huge and halts mobility

Advice to Senior ManagementStop playing favorites.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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not quite as playful as you may think...

Associate Marketing Manager (Current Employee)
El Segundo, CA

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

Pros-half day fridays
-tasty cafeteria food
-exciting brands
-incredibly fast-paced
-good name on the resume

Cons-enormous respect gap between the upper management and employees- princes v. paupers

-constantly living in fear of layoffs as Mattel & Big Box retailer profits crumble to the digital world & toy industry competitors

-old boy's club- mattel is mainly run by conservative, wealthy, rich white men... when is the last time you have seen an African American or Hispanic doll promoted in a Mattel ad?

-diversity isn't truly celebrated: despite having dedicated clubs, I sat in a meeting and listened as a VP made a racist comment followed by laughter. people were too afraid not to laugh. incredibly discouraging

-lack of innovation- the company dreams to be as appealing and forward-thinking as Google or Facebook but it's 99% talk

-it's depressing to see your co-workers constantly stressed, defeated & breaking down

-work/life balance is nearly non-existent: emails and work on weekends, late nights

Advice to Senior ManagementYou will never be Google until you start to accept diversity and encourage creativity.

"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Mattel reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Mattel CEO Bryan G. Stockton. All 54 reviews posted anonymously by Mattel employees.