Ziff Davis Reviews

Updated August 13, 2015
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Vivek Shah
3 Ratings

11 Employee Reviews

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  1. Needs new leadership at the helm

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - PC Magazine in New York, NY
    Former Employee - PC Magazine in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Excellent co-workers. Enviable name and brand in the industry. Huge access to some of the biggest technology companies.

    Cons

    Increasingly toxic environment for women and people of color. Middle management given zero management training. Human Resources is disconnected and oddly-managed. No clear focus on company mission; big enough to fail.

    Advice to Management

    Train those you promote on how to communicate and manage effectively. Stop the hands-off approach. Tidbits like free food won't keep qualified people who can help you sustain. The silo method of keeping goals and information within a department rather than company-wide, is tired and outdated. Stop allowing brands that have withstood the test of time to fall prey to the whims of acquisitions.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Mediocre company with poor management team

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Ziff Davis full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    1) There is great work-life balance and the SF office is a very cool place to work for, with tons of old-school arcades and pinball 2) Just like most other mediocre companies, one can find a good number of decent employees, usually in the rank-and-file level

    Cons

    1) Very little to none organic internal growth. If it wasn't for all the cash from parent company to go on shopping spree and therefore mask true growth rate (like most M&A does), this is easily a mediocre company with negligible return on invested capital, with no competitive advantage 2) Executive management team talk about how much they value their employees on every occasion. However, their action reflect an exactly opposite attitude where people are treated as operating expenses, given the nature of media business. At the end of the day, it is not hard to figure that they are managing the business in a way that will ultimately benefit themselves, in the form of performance bonus and some equity-related rewards, while treating everyone else as disposable tools who help them reach their goals 3) I worked at a business unit called B2B, which is one of the worst-run places I have ever seen. The management team forms an inner circle with 3 people total (including GM, operation head, and sales head), while everyone else in the business unit is basically excluded from all aspects of the business. They agree with each other 100% of the time and compliments each other whenever the opportunity allows. After you hear about the adjective extraordinary several times in a meeting to describe themselves, it is a no-brainer that something doesn't feel right. In reality, what the core team lacks in vision and strategic initiative, open and transparent communication with the business, leadership and management skills, they make up for them with self-delusion, insatiable appetite to throw people under the bus, strong tendency to blame everything (industry, competitors, HQ, people, and etc) but themselves, and obfuscation (or the constant strategy of admitting certain minor mistakes or insufficiencies while continuing to do whatever they have been doing that didn't work in the past). With this level of competency and character in control, the business result is pretty predictable in the sense of loss of true talents and deteriorating financial performance. As slow as the train wrecking is taking place, eventually it will happen 4) The compensation is definitely below average for those aspiring to make more money, not to mention the B2B business unit is strongly dictated by favoritism when it comes to merit increase or promotion. There are only a few industries with lower pay and there are abundant opportunities in Bay Area that one can get paid much better in a different industry, even if the job function is exactly the same 5) There is super limited growth opportunity at this place, unless you are one of the favorites of the management team. So this might be a better training ground for someone to gain some experience, but definitely not a good place to develop a career

    Advice to Management

    1) When you have a B2B management team installed in place for years with nothing but high turnover and pathetic financial performance to show, it is almost always better to get rid of the current team and try a new one. Not doing that will only embarrass yourself in the end 2) People are actually smarter than you thought and when you treat them one way and say opposite things, they usually notice! So stop paying so much useless lip service and let your own actions define your intentions


  3. Good experience but there's a ceiling

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

    I have been working at Ziff Davis (More than a year)

    Pros

    If you're just starting out it's a good place to be since you'll have a lot of work. There's an obvious effort from the C-suite to create better culture for a traditional company.

    Cons

    There isn't much good to say in terms of management, and there's an obvious lack of women in the higher-ups. When visiting the NYC office I saw there was an obvious lack of culture between the 13th and 11th floor. Management talks about their teams more like tools than people.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your team and stop with the petty politics. Also, please hire more women or promote from within - especially since there's already such a stigma against women in tech.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Greedy company seeks loyal employees to exploit for huge margins with no reinvestment back to teams/development.

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

    I have been working at Ziff Davis full-time

    Pros

    The people are/were cool and smart. The bar is steadily being lowered.

    Cons

    No management, no advancement, no raises, no bonuses, no future.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being short-sighted. Your biggest weakness is a fundamental lack of interest/understanding in having a singular and constructive focus (maybe just try putting out a good product...?). Instead, cheapness, infighting, dismissive "management" and clueless leaders dominate ever area.


  6. Helpful (4)

    Micromanaged, no leadership and not very supportive of women in senior roles.

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

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

    Pros

    The editorial content and lab analysts.

    Cons

    Senior management mistakes micromanagement with leadership. The is no clear path for advancement and it is a place of intimidation not support.

    Advice to Management

    Improve work culture by trusting the people you hire to do a good job. And stop letting people fail up and supporting an old boys club.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Mediocre Entry Level Sales Experience

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Ziff Davis full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people; opportunities to learn if you push for them.

    Cons

    Poor communication by management, poor collaboration between departments. Management is evasive about commission and salary in the early days of employment.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Meh...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Ziff Davis full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great Co Workers Lots of Smart people Bagel Fridays

    Cons

    Management that is disconnected with the staff, more interested in what works on paper and not in reality. No Work/life balance or flexibilty Upper Management's desire to micromanage

    Advice to Management

    Trust the staff you hired to do their job. Follow the rest of the tech field and offer flexibility to employees.. family matters. Enforce your "no a--hole" rule.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Good entry-level experience. Management & environment are terrible.

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

    Pros

    This job serves as a great place for young professionals to get entry-level experience in the tech world. It provides good training and experience communicating with business professionals and knowledge about today's IT systems.

    Cons

    Ziff Davis has absolutely no idea how to manage their employees. They are terrible at communicating their expectations and constantly put-down their team. They rarely provide rewards or positive reinforcement for good performance. The environment in the office is catty and immature. Management as well as the employees are constantly gossiping about one another and the manner in which managers speak to their employees is terribly unprofessional and rude. Team moral in the office is almost always low. Most employees are unhappy or are looking to leave after a few months. Ziff Davis is the epitome of poor management in the professional world.

    Advice to Management

    Give your employees more positive reinforcement and encouragement. Managers needs to be more professional when speaking to their employees. The level of professionalism and maturity in the office needs a drastic change.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Work to be done

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Ziff Davis full-time

    Pros

    Some good people that care are there.

    Cons

    Strategy and vision does not trickle down.


  11. Since the magazine folded it hasn't been the same

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    There used to be a lot of events and parties that were really great and showed us we were appreciated.

    Cons

    The management was chauvinistic at times and their inability to make the magazine a viable entity was inexcusable. They could have kept it afloat but bad management and cost cutting without considering the effects killed it.

    Advice to Management

    Maybe there should be a review of how the management performs and the way they speak to and treat their staff. Instead of yelling at people and berating them then laughing about it later which I saw happen on two different occasions.



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