Samsung Research America

  www.sisa.samsung.com
  www.sisa.samsung.com

Samsung Research America Reviews

Updated November 20, 2014
Updated November 20, 2014
71 Reviews
3.3
71 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Daniel Eum
11 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • They're hiring good people, and they're challenging them to do great work (in 4 reviews)

  • Fair salary, good benefits and good bonuses (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • The management level is eager to please our Korea HQ, but constantly fails to convince (in 8 reviews)

  • This is a korean company within Silicon Valley - literally (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

16 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    A smattering of talented junior/midlevel people trapped in a hellish prison of inept leadership and cultural impasse.

    • 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 Samsung Research America full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    **This is specifically for Samsung UXCA/SDA in San Francisco**
    They pay you a lot of money.
    The hours are very much 9-5.
    They have great recruiting.

    Cons

    **This is specifically for Samsung UXCA/SDA in San Francisco**
    You will never release a product in the market. They do not– and probably never will– have any support from headquarters in Korea to actually make products. They are either a tax loophole or an ideas factory that has no say in actual shipping products.
    You will be asked to do redundant or nonsensical projects.
    Leadership will constantly tell you what a great and unique position the lab is in.
    Atmosphere is peculiar at best and toxic/poisonous at worst.
    Any additional bonuses or compensation will have 2+ year vesting clauses that trap you once you realize you must escape.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    **This is specifically for Samsung UXCA/SDA in San Francisco**
    Stop pretending everything is ok. 70% attrition is not normal.
    Stop pushing out the creative leaders who don't agree with you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Leadership Vacuum

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

    I have been working at Samsung Research America full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Relatively high pay
    Brand name is considered important and successful
    Co-workers are very nice people

    Cons

    The planning function is ridiculous. There are a team of young Koreans who attempt to lead the organization on behalf of an almost absent President. This is not a global company. It is a Korean company that is attempting something far beyond its capabilities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leadership is VERY important. The current President is essentially a manager. They also should stop getting rid of their successful leaders with strong personalities.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Unless you're ready to retire, don't work here

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

    I worked at Samsung Research America full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    cheap benefits
    great salary if you have a Masters of Phd from a top tier college (that's all they care about)

    Cons

    Very Korean, if you can't conform, you will fail.
    Management doesn't take ownership and will throw you under the bus if given the chance.
    If you're not an engineer or UX designer, you will get paid pennies.
    No recognition for hard work, only brown noses prevail.
    Human Resources dept is HORRIBLE and corrupt, they continually break policy and would rather bury their head in the sand than deal with real issues head on.
    HQ in Korea run everything.
    Always in crisis mode.
    Turn over is about 33% of employees leave in less than a year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Instead of hiring people based of their education (paper status) and hiring on the spot, actually sit down and really see if the candidate you hire is worth the money you're going to pay. Give higher salaries to people who help run the company instead of only engineers and designers. Some interns make more than regular full time employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    Confusing, Dysfunctional Mess

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

    I have been working at Samsung Research America full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The one upside to working at Samsung is they throw money around like its nothing. I am well compensated and have a nice paycheck. Of course, the downside to throwing money around is that you'll travel back and forth to Korea without any real agendas or rhyme or reason. Lots of travel, money wasted on hotels & arrangements, while projects are no better off for any of it. Everyone at Samsung is adverse to making any sort of decision, so things never move forward until another company does it first.

    Cons

    Without question, the worst company I have ever worked for in my 15-year career. The amount of incompetence in a company of this scale is staggering. While our office in the US was setup to incubate ideas and work autonomously, everything still goes through HQ - where design concepts are butchered, stolen outright, or disappear into the abyss of mismanagement.

    To anybody considering a job with Samsung in the US, steer clear of this debacle. Every interaction with the company is painful. Just scheduling time off is a complicated process that involves launching a virtual windows environment to access an intranet portal that only works with IE8, which is hidden under layers and layers of tabs within tabs. Just a nightmare getting even the simplest of things done.

    I joined Samsung because I thought I'd be working on cool products and I'd be able to have some influence. What I've experienced is a cluster-**** of a poorly structured company without direction or a clear vision. It's amazing how waiting until the last minute to do something, combined with outspending any other company on the planet to market products, Samsung has been able to establish itself as a major player in the industry. It's all a joke and I fell for it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust the professionals you've hired to do the work they've been hired to do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Korean driven only and beware

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

    I have been working at Samsung Research America full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Pays pretty well and there are people who care

    Cons

    This place is Korean driven and the most segregated company I have seen. I don't mean to sound bitter but it's the truth and that's how it'll be. HQ/Korea wants to make every decision all the way down to what office supplies. Those who are Korean are wired to become devoted lifers and willing to shift around in any role possible. I must warn anyone that being non Korean it is very toxic. Trust me!!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being so stubborn and timid. Allow those in the Silicon Valley and people you bring in to do what they're good at. You can't just sit around and wait for competitors to invent something and copy it. That luck will run out soon

    No opinion of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    Confused and indecisive MSCA Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director, Department Head in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Director, Department Head in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Samsung Research America full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Ample opportunity to contribute if the MSCA management gets time off power struggle and if the management decides to do anything.

    Cons

    Confused management, no direction and no vision, plays favorites, top down, no communication. It is difficult to know who is doing what. Execs are tied up in power struggle.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get your act together and define a vision, stop playing favorites, and execute. At least empower those who are delivering.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    A Very Korean Company

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

    I have been working at Samsung Research America full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good medical benefits unless you want Kaiser, which they removed. Lunch is subsidized but pretty poor quality.

    Cons

    Decisions are all made in Korea

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No point in making false promises about "changes" since no change is possible unless HQ approves. And that won't happen since changes are a threat to HQ management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    I worked for Samsung Mobile Solution Lab (MSL) in San Diego for 2 years

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

    I have been working at Samsung Research America full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Stable, flexible and research work environment.

    Cons

    Senior management are unexperienced, arogant and incapable to mange the lab.
     Neoptism and favoritism are very popular during the company, especially if you are Koreans you are in their loop otherwise you are out of the loop
    Their demand is unclear with high expectations. There is no roadmap and direction in the lab.
    All the decisions are made under closed door, there is no presentation by the executive about their future plan. Everything is secret.
    You have to work with HQ but they are reluctant to collaborate.
    People work very hard and prepare quality work but are always criticized by executive and the executive never appreciate their work.
    The EVP is an autocrat and very hard to work with him.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire some experienced people for your executive and directors. Run the lab like a US company with open culture not like a dictatorship. Take care of your employee and appreciate them

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Lots of politics and very little gets done.. No career growth. No recognition.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Staff Engineer II in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Staff Engineer II in Irvine, CA

    I worked at Samsung Research America full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    You can learn Korean by sitting in Meetings :-) (which are plenty BTW)

    Cons

    Zero Career growth
    Zero Recognition
    Micro management

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 9 people found this helpful  

    Heartless company making 3rd world quality, derivative products

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

    I worked at Samsung Research America full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Medical benefits, business travels, and not much else really

    Cons

    The following are the negative aspects that are commonly experienced when working at Samsung:

    • Korean management, who were sent to the U.S. from Samsung Corp. in Korea, makes all of the decisions.
    • Non-Korean managers and employees are put in place to keep up an "American" appearance.
    • Management will favor ethnically and culturally Korean employees.
    • Culturally Korean employees will have work-related conversations in Korean in front of non-Korean co-workers.
    • Majority of managers are severely incompetent and have very little skill or expertise.
    • Working style emulates the military (probably Korean military).
    • At Samsung, female workers are second class citizens who need to feign traditional, submissive roles. Sometimes, they literally walk behind the male employees, especially if they are culturally Korean.
    • Employees work very hard to "compete" by analyzing competitor's products & features.
    • Compensation will be below par when compared to competing companies, unless you were an A level employee at the competing company, i.e. A, F, G, & N, who Samsung would like to poach in the area.

    If you are currently working for one of the top tier companies, please be well advised and make a better choice for your career.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please happily march along while Samsung declines worldwide.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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