MeadWestvaco Reviews

Updated April 10, 2015
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MeadWestvaco Chairman and CEO John A. Luke Jr.
John A. Luke Jr.
14 Ratings

Pros
  • Good benefits and you can buy a week of vacation (in 15 reviews)

  • Work life balance good for some employees, but bad for others (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance can become a problem (in 6 reviews)

  • Very poor senior management, bad decisions based on poor data has left this company very vulnerable (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

28 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)

    Stay a few years and then move on

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Richmond, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Depending on department you work in, good work-life balance. Beautiful building/facility (at least in Richmond, might not be around much longer after the merger). Nice cafeteria, gym, and coffee shop on-site. Parking garage is great too. This is a good place to work in the beginning to middle of your career to get extra experience and skill-sets.

    Cons

    Constantly decreasing benefits - I suppose this is the case with many companies, however in my 3+ years with the company, health insurance benefits decreased each year (or increased in cost). The 401k match was also recently removed - one of the prime reasons I started working for the company. Weak pay raises/bonuses cut for esoteric reasons - Expect to get around a 2% pay raise each year, even with a good annual review and record company performance. Also expect the company to say that you should be happy with a 2% raise after the company had its best year ever. Bonuses (at least for corporate) are based on meeting esoteric goals. Meet 98% of a corporate "stretch goal"? Well that's still considered failure in the company's perspective. And what does the company do after not meeting goals the previous year? Make goals even more aggressive for the next year (without addressing why goals weren't met for previous year). While employees' bonuses are not funded (2014) or funded at less than 100% (2015), expect to see corporate leaders' (through SEC annual report and proxy report) earnings increase year over year. Management Doublespeak - Expect lots of this. Direct questions are given the runaround, especially when it comes to the merger. "There will be a significant presence in Richmond after the merger". Okay, what is significant? 10 people? 700 people? No one is willing to comment on that part. Just months before the merger was announced the CEO himself sent an email to all employees saying essentially how ridiculous the speculation of a merger between MWV and Rock Tenn was. Diversity is a joke. Don't believe me? Go to the MWV website then: About MWV --> leadership and governance --> Executive Profiles. Look at the headshots of the executives. SPOILER ALERT! Out of 20 executives, only two are female. There are zero minorities represented, all caucasian people (at least as I write this).

    Advice to Management

    Just quit. Set some more unrealistic corporate goals, when the company doesn't meet them, don't comment on why they weren't met, but instead take your employees' bonuses. Then use this extra money to fund your golden parachute exit post-merger.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Very political

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

    Pros

    Benefits are ok. Some good people

    Cons

    It's all about politics. Several of the sales people in my group where fired without notice. It's all about politics and not what you produce. They hire and fire people at will so lots of turn over. No advancement opportunity. They are very efficient at hiring and firing. Chemicals division being spun off so lots of cuts and uncertainty.

    Advice to Management

    respect your employees and they will respect the company. Train new managers before having them in charge of more experienced professionals.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Inefficient procedures and departments...good ole boy system

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Center in Charleston, SC
    Current Employee - Operations Center in Charleston, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Benefits such as health and bonus, community service

    Cons

    Specifically: Operations Center in Charleston, SC. Southern good ol' boy system, you have Papa Bear and his little cubs (puppies) pointing fingers and blaming other departments. If you don't hunt, fish, brown nose or bring Papa Bear information then you will not get promoted or even stay long. Working environment is strenuous and it doesn't promote team work. It starts with leadership and works its way down to long term employees who brown nose to keep their job instead of doing their jobs well.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership training for all leaders, managers and supervisors. Get rid of the good ol' boy system to promote teamwork, efficiency and most importantly integrity. Relocate Papa Bear and allow employees to stand on their own two feet. Interview employees confidently to get their opinion about the workplace before the merger and spin-off happens. Do not bring the same brown nosing, inefficient, favoritism system to the new company.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Autocratic

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Upper Management in Stamford, CT
    Former Employee - Upper Management in Stamford, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at MeadWestvaco (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Company has your typical good benefit package for a large S&P 500 company

    Cons

    Autocratic management culture. If you were not original Westvaco you were going to have a hard time advancing

    Advice to Management

    Intergrate managment more


  6. Helpful (2)

    With the company 6+ years

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Finance in Richmond, VA
    Current Employee - Finance in Richmond, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at MeadWestvaco full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefits, generally hard working and good people in the trenches

    Cons

    Massive matrix organization with multiple people managing everything causes there to be to many layers and much confusion. Even though B2B somehow think we need massive (and I mean massive) marketing and innovation groups. People think if you are not in office at 8 on dot and stay until 5:30 you are not working even in the day of constant email access. A bit old school and yes there is certainly the "old white male" syndrome of almost all senior management has been there for decades and unwilling to change.

    Advice to Management

    Simplify. Drive accountability and quit acting like you are a consumer brand company


  7. Typical Wall Street led corporation

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

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

    Pros

    Good ethics. Nice perks. One of few companies that offers pension and 401K. Above average match

    Cons

    Place people in roles that they don't have any experience in. Bring outsiders in without any experience.

    Advice to Management

    Get to know your employees they're the reason you have a job


  8. Helpful (2)

    looking to leave

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

    I have been working at MeadWestvaco (More than a year)

    Pros

    decent benefits, the people I work with are great

    Cons

    management are the worst. old company with dates philosophy and TERRIBLE culture.

    Advice to Management

    retire already! let some of the younger leadership have a chance to turn this company around!


  9. Helpful (5)

    Was a good company at one time

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

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

    Pros

    There were some very talented and committed people in the past who were a joy to work with. Benefits were very good -- healthcare, 401k match, etc. Compensation very competitive. Made good but slow progress from a business model and strategy perspective over about a 5 year period. There are (or were) a few very good leaders.

    Cons

    The overall culture is quite bad, and it is all due to very poor and incompetent leadership, politics and cronyism. There is no trust whatsoever. Based on the extensive layoffs of some very talented people, keeping some very untalented people, and putting others into roles they know nothing about, it appears the rumors of an impending sale are true. All the good work to transform the organization has been completely eroded.

    Advice to Management

    They wouldn't listen anyway. The few remaining good people are going to jump ship, or perhaps do well with the acquiring company. One can only hope that a certain few remaining "leaders" will finally get what's coming to them.


  10. Helpful (4)

    More challenges ahead

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Richmond, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Some good people are still working there after the 2014 position slashing's

    Cons

    The company is stripping away the value of good people and innovation to raise the stock price in order to sell it. It is all about appearances and has hired / promoted middle aged sorority girls to hold key positions to lessen it's good ole boys club image.

    Advice to Management

    It is impossible to build a culture of trust when you exercise the right to withhold incentive pay and bonuses, while the top leadership exercises stock options worth multi-millions.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Unprofessional, untrained middle management. "Old boy's club"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager of Engineering
    Current Employee - Manager of Engineering
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at MeadWestvaco full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Work life balance good for some employees, but bad for others. It all depends on your relationship with your manager and his relationship with his manager. If you are willing to "play this game", then you are "home free", pun intended.

    Cons

    Bad benefits, particularly limited leave policies. Lack of defined career path and goals. "Old boy's club" atmosphere, minorities and women beware. Not "what you do for the company" but "who you know". Most employees unsatisfied and looking for other opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Move into the 21st century, old school management techniques of intimidation and fear are demotivating to employees. resulting in high employee turnover rates.



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