Riverbed Technology Reviews

Updated February 16, 2015
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Riverbed Technology Chairman, President, and CEO Jerry M. Kennelly
Jerry M. Kennelly
26 Ratings

36 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (12)

    Politically driven company with little runway on technology

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

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

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

    Pros

    Riverbed was once a wonderful place to work for and that has eroded over time. It has always been very politically driven versus a meritocracy. The products have always worked extremely well and I was very proud to sell them through my tenure. The employees always believed that Jerry (CEO) was doing what was in their best interest until the last year or so when key figures started to leave.

     The office is in a beautiful location and is stocked with good snacks. Riverbed's benefits are amazing as well.

    Cons

    The company is falling fast. Looking at earnings reports (take out selling of product lines and see how far off they are) and make your judgement. Infrastructure is moving to the cloud and WAN based products clearly have a short term shelf life. That is one of the main reasons that key people are leaving. Riverbed acquired the Opnet product line and it was by most opinions a huge mistake. Performance management and analytics of applications are incredibly important but they need to drive those results from SAAS/Cloud based applications.

     Overall the corporate culture is not what it was just a few years ago. Key positions in sales and HR have been filled with a lot of ex-cisco people who don't show much value in the employee. That is my opinion at least and I know it is shared by others.

    They have blatantly made horrible mistakes in their layoffs. Regional Sales reps at 5-20% of quota were kept on and other departments dismantled. Much of this was politically driven and a calculation of HR costs. This is not how it was presented by Jerry in October. There are hundreds of positions that are filled by people showing up at 10am leaving a 2 after a 1+ hour lunch and are making 100-200k per year (recruiting). They are so desperate to keep talent until the acquisition is completed that they are promoting reps who were on performance plan, managers who couldn't forecast and employees who are flat out lazy.

     Honestly if you really need a job this could be a good resume booster but don't think of this as more than a road bump.

    Advice to Management

    Jerry needs to be deeply involved in things and not trust his Sr. management. You are keeping a large chunk of your company on a welfare program. How do you hire a CSO making seven figures and then layoff people some of which were top performers. Your people are disgusted with you and your leadership team. Have some real accountability, metrics and promote your people based on the merits of their work. I was one of the lucky ones to get promoted on my merits.

  2. Helpful (7)

    Sinking ship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IT Programmer/Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - IT Programmer/Analyst in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Riverbed Technology full-time (more than a year)

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

    Pros

    Once upon a time, Riverbed was a really good company. Countless less parties, game room, carby snacks. Jerry is an amazing CEO !!

    Cons

    Most of the original founders are now gone. Now it's run by bunch of bozos execs from Cisco. Here comes the next phase of bozo explosion.

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring Cisco execs!

  3. Helpful (3)

    Was once great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Director in Washington, DC

    I worked at Riverbed Technology

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

    Pros

    Great culture, people and (at one time ) vision

    Cons

    Inability to execute forced privatization
    Management in over their heads

    Advice to Management

    Finish the acquisition and step aside

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  5. Helpful (9)

    Once was great! Should have just stuck with WAN optimization.

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

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

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

    Pros

    Smart people, good overall culture, cutting edge technology, respect among peers in industry, sales operations, SF office.

    Cons

    Compensation is average, Significant RSU's/stock only gets awarded to Director, VP level employees.

    This was once an amazing company that just kept growing. The sky was the limit at Riverbed. Unfortunately they don't focus on business development, employee growth, and retention. They have picked satisfactory at best VP's of Sales in Americas. The current one lives in New Jersey. Hire an SF VP of Sales as you're founded/ located in the Bay Area! The past 2 have not led the team in a positive direction and the World Wide Sales VP is out of touch with his employees.

    Why would someone stay at the company with the threat of going private or downsizing? They sold their Virtual Cloud Storage product to NetApp, soon you'll see ADC line fall through (revenue flat since 2011), and you wonder why they paid over $1B to acquire the premier Network visibility company without putting resources in place for the transition/growth? Many great managers, engineers, sales reps, and operations staff have left due to future and uncertainty of how the company will do in 2015+

    The CEO, board, and the VP of WorldWide Sales banked on a pipe dream to line their wallets. To sell the company for a $3-4 premium to shareholders is laughable. Hard to believe 2014 happened and the company overshot their capabilities.

    The tough part is that the WAN optimization product line is facing major competition. Companies like Silverpeak will soon catch up and take even more market share. Probably smart that the company was sold and shareholders are now irrelevant. Sad to see such a great company take a nose dive down.

    Advice to Management

    Lastly, take care of your channel, become more in tune with Sales/Sales Management, and invest in your employees career growth. Without them, you'll certainly see more of the same, people leaving for better opportunities.

  6. Helpful (3)

    Like anything, it depends who you work for...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Riverbed Technology full-time (more than a year)

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

    Pros

    Good atmosphere, free snacks and drinks.

    Cons

    Some department heads are old-school and stuck in the past. Good-old boys club that is dominated by a sales atmosphere.

    Advice to Management

    Stop playing favorites, old school mentalities don't work well in Silicon Valley.

  7. Helpful (4)

    Not a happy company to work for. high salary is not everything.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer in Asia, TX
    Former Employee - Engineer in Asia, TX

    I worked at Riverbed Technology full-time (more than a year)

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

    Pros

    good salary and insurance are retaining employees. core products are excellent.

    Cons

    Too strict. no conversation and discussion. micro management and due to tight work, some employees are very selfish and playing games. maybe usa environment is much better but ourside usa, tech job is horrible and harsh.

    Advice to Management

    trust your people and do not micro manage people

  8. Helpful (1)

    Dedicated Organization of People, But Losing Focus of Overall Vision

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

    I worked at Riverbed Technology full-time

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

    Pros

    - In my experience, I worked with quite a few smart, dedicated, and friendly groups of people, although some of these qualities are mutually exclusive depending on the department and what people want.

    - Some of the company’s products (not the ones from acquisitions) are still top performers in the WAN optimization industry.

    - Customer service folks are very helpful and knowledgable in the appropriate subject matter.

    - Although at times it can be an exercise in indulgence, the marketing people know how to get your attention for Riverbed's products, services, and company values. They definitely know how to get your attention.

    - Salary and perks are quite good.

    - San Francisco office is at a decent location for food and public transportation.

    - Some of the best employee training ever offered.

    Cons

    I learned a lot from working at Riverbed, but I should also stress the following fundamental problems that highlight the current state of the company.

    - About the San Francisco office location:

    680 Folsom was a modern makeover for the office, but I seriously questioned some of the design and floor layout decisions made for the company. My office floor was disturbingly sparse about a third of the time I was there, every week. Many office cubicles were empty, and a lot of departments moved to cubes with window views without needing facility approval. My former department was oftentimes one of the few departments present on the floor. It was a very quiet workspace in our part of the floor. If you manage a department that is all about cross-functional team collaboration, it would be best to move to a more populated area in the building, if the company is all about the open-office policy.

    - Stock options that are of little to no market value and worth. I've never worked at a company that had as big of golden handcuffs (a.k.a. RSUs) as this place.

    - Some departments thrive on processes, and others work with little to none. Developers that did not follow processes were, not surprisingly, the most difficult to work with.

    - Poor vertical communication across departments, and sometimes within a single department as well. YMMV.

    - Witnessed quite a lot of politics getting in the way of relationships between employees and managers. This impacts the willingness to grow in your respective field for career advancement.

    - Product and project managers that lead and kick off projects based on anecdotal stories, as another reviewer pointed out. Not on actual, fact-based data. There were many meetings in the beginning of a project's development cycle that wasted other team members' times, and concluded with more questions left unanswered, delaying the overall project schedule and fleshing out the product roadmap. I sympathized with the program managers that worked tooth and nail to run these meetings successfully for all involved.

    - No clear vision of where the company needs to go.

    - The nature of the work environment encourages micromanagers to wear multiple hats and work in projects to completion, and take most of the credit because of their official job title.

    - The company presents itself as a hybrid mix of startup/corporate values. I think this is a poor way of explaining the company culture overall to those who want to work at Riverbed. Riverbed is not a small company--telling job candidates about the hybrid mix is really covering up the chaotic nature of how the company operates. You either are a startup, or a small/mid/large-sized corporation. Don't pretend to be both. Savvy job candidates know how startups operate.

    - I honestly think that within the next year or two, from watching the public stock ebb and flow, that Riverbed should be bought by a bigger, more structured corporation. Going private would also be good for the company and the engineering organization, but that only means the company leaders need to work thrice as hard to re-strengthen the product portfolio so that the company stock would be desirable and profitable again. Highly unlikely, given the growing competition with other WAN optimization products.

    Advice to Management

    I agree with other reviewers. Riverbed needs to start over as an organization. Stop living in the past. If you don’t want to be bought out by the likes of Cisco, you need to strengthen your current product portfolio and re-evaluate your team leadership. If you’re a manager and don’t know where to take your department, get your employees on board and create ideas together.

  9. Helpful (1)

    Strategy and investments out of sync with market trends

    Former Employee - Director
    Former Employee - Director

    I worked at Riverbed Technology full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Empowering culture, very smart people

    Cons

    Company's primary product, for which Riverbed charges a brand premium, is rapidly being commoditized in the marketplace, and share is being captured by lower-priced competitors. However, investments in other solutions to grow and bolster Riverbed's business continue to be underfunded relative to the shrinking core business. This is across the board - R&D, sales and marketing, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Assume a longer term view. View market more broadly.

  10. Helpful (14)

    A dying company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Reston, VA
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Reston, VA

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

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

    Pros

    A good place for work/life balance. The vision of the company sounds great. Free snacks.

    Cons

    The vision of the company sounds great but the current management won't be able to execute on it. Riverbed is a WAN company and we're having a hard time diversifying into the OPNET areas. The OPNET acquisition has been a total mess even 2 years later and the current CEO/CFO/CMO/CIO don't have the mental capacity to adapt into the OPNET areas. We should have never bought OPNET.

    Advice to Management

    Replace Jerry Kenelly. "Sell More" is not a viable sales strategy.

  11. Helpful (12)

    I love selling the technology but the company is going in the wrong direction and Inside Sales is a dead-end road

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative in San Francisco, CA

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

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

    Pros

    The base technology (WAN Optimization) is really good and they dominate the market with over 50% market share. Customer support is best I have worked with. Name is easily recognizable and you rarely have to explain who we are when you cold call. Benefits are good, working environment is ok. HQ is in downtown San Fran with plenty of lunch and HH spots.I think this is a good place for engineers and support people and that's why numbers are high on here.

    Cons

    Bad acquisitions and mismanagement have led to poor earnings on Wall Street and my stock options are almost worthless. This has led to an environment of desperation in Sales and quotas are unrealistic especially in Inside Sales. Sales is a complete dead-end as only a small fraction ever get promoted to outside sales (I count 5 people out of the hundreds that have cycled through in past decade). If you are an ISR you are basically just an admin and cold caller for the outside guys. If you are a Commercial inside rep you get an unrealistic quota, a small hunting patch, and get to work twice as hard as the outside guys for half the money.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of Jerry and his cronies. He is an old-time Silicon Valley CPA who saw he could exploit smart technology people, most of which he has gotten rid of unceremoniously. His nickle-and-dime mentality and trying to "beat the street" every quarter is short term BS so that he can finish sewing up his Golden Parachute. Most of the execs and VPs are old goats like him and the consider everyone else pawns they are willing to sacrifice. It looks like we are going to miss our number for the 2nd quarter in a row which may lead to us getting bought out by Elliot Associates, an equity firm that will take us back private and clean house. Personally, I welcome the change.

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