AKQA
2.9 of 5 175 reviews
www.akqa.com San Francisco, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

AKQA Reviews

Updated Jul 8, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.9 175 reviews

                             

48% Approve of the CEO

(no image)

Ajaz Ahmed

(23 ratings)

50% of employees recommend this company to a friend
175 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "You'll get to work on some massive clients and work with some great people"
    in 14 reviews
  • "Lots of great clients, good budget and wonderful people to work with"
    in 13 reviews
Cons:
  • "I know some other departments have a much less favorable work life balance"
    in 21 reviews
  • "Long hours (9am until 9pm and one day at weekends not uncommon)"
    in 18 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    Ok company

    Motion Graphics Designer (Former Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsGood people working in the company.

    ConsBut not a good people management.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Don't work here.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsAll the perks of a big company, none of the charms of a small one.

    Big brands. Nice rooftop.

    ConsFundamental lack of leadership and direction.

    No sense of "play" or "fun". Expect to come in and be dazzled, then work like a third world employee in a sweatshop.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay more attention to your employees, they are your greatest asset.

    Have a clear mission statement and sense of direction for the company - lots of great talent at AKQA but there is no sense of it ever feeling like one unified "company".

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Monotonous, mind numbing place to work.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsPay and people are good. Everyone is friendly, which make it a comfortable place to be.

    ConsWithin a 6 month span I saw 80% of the creatives leave the New York office for other gigs. That says everything you need to know. Why is everyone leaving? The work is mind numbingly boring. Senior leadership caters to what the client wants, which is usually garbage. A paycheck doesn't make up for feeling like you're selling your soul. People that worked here for years left with MAYBE one mediocre book piece to show for it.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRespect and promote your creatives. Push for interesting work. Pitch an interesting client for once instead of another bank. Having "AKQA" on your resume isn't good enough, the only thing that matters is doing good work.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Project Manager

    Project Manager (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    Pros1. Great people. Almost everyone is enthusiastic and funny, which makes it easier when you have to work late nights.
    2. Great clients. Having amazing brands on my resume helped me get where I am now.
    3. You can work on any cool project or any cool client. All you have to do is ask and be proactive.

    Cons1. Rotten to the core senior management. My favorite thing was when the senior management promoted themselves after the merger with WPP.
    2. Low pay, long hours, 2 weeks of vacation for the first 2 years. Nobody lasts longer than 2 years btw.
    3. Expect to work on a ton of keynote decks. Unfortunately most of the time the deck ends up being the final deliverable.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTreat your people better.
    Focus on your current clients rather than new business.
    Again, treat your people better.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Good from far, far from good.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsMost of the people are pretty cool.

    Cons- Account leadership is heavily inexperienced
    - High turnover, can't staff teams properly
    - Account people say 'how high?' every time a client says 'jump'. Lie to people below them. Manage up, only share information with leadership. They come up with the 'story' they will sell everyone.
    - People making the work are always last to know - too late since client already has meeting dates set up on calendar
    - Greedy, only care about trying to get more money and new business, will sell out all the UX, tech and creative teams and make people work crazy hours to put work in front of clients, sometimes they haven't even asked for it.
    - Let good talent go, do nothing to offer people new and exciting work
    - Boring clients in NY, banking and telecom are the only things they can win
    - Innovation is stifled, does not make it past the pitch because the timelines and budgets don't allow for anything but production - Only build websites, not much other work
    - Production vendor project approach
    - Hard to career path, totally chaotic

    Advice to Senior Management- Bring in more inspirational work
    - Treat people less like numbers and more like valued employees
    - Quit setting up your teams to fail on every project/account

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    An okay place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsCompany culture is good, the NYC office is smaller, so you get to know almost everyone. They throw monthly parties, bagel Mondays, monthly birthday cakes etc.

    Compensation is average to above average.

    If you like stability, then you should work here. But stability comes at the cost of doing any remotely interesting work at all.

    ConsIf you're a creative, not the most exciting place to work. Not going to work on any "sexy" clients here, a lot of banking, telecom, etc.. The few interesting clients they do have is mostly website work.

    Upward mobility at this company is pretty difficult.

    Account can also be chaotic. Would often receive BLANK briefs, and would have to rely on word of mouth from account on what was needed, only to have the client reject it and say they wanted the exact opposite. This was NORMAL, and incredibly frustrating.

    AKQA prides itself on "innovation". There was little innovation going on here.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFix the account people.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    At the top of their game

    Web Developer (Current Employee)
    Portland, OR

    ProsYour coworkers are top notch agency quality. You work with incredibly bright minds doing high profile work for clients you want to work for. In my personal experience, work life balance is very reasonable.

    ConsNo one is perfect and AKQA has its flaws just like anywhere else. Management can be hit or miss. Clients can be difficult (can be said of any client ever). I know some other departments have a much less favorable work life balance.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Minimal respect for technology process and development

    Senior Creative Developer (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsOffice location, people, client list

    ConsThe SF office is driven entirely by account and creative people. Account promises everything to make clients happy, even if what they promise is an entirely unrealistic deadline, or even impossible. As a result, developers work long hours under insane pressure and no personal life. Anytime technology pushes back or tries to have a voice, it is squashed with an attitude of - well, you have to just do it!

    I've lost count of how many technology employees have left within the last 3 months. Virtually all of the Creative Technology managers have left along with several developers and architects (including myself). Morale is horrifically low and I'm sure over 50% of employees are interviewing elsewhere.

    Honestly, if you are thinking of working in tech for AKQA - DON'T! It's Silicon Valley - you can get a job elsewhere where you will be 1) paid more and 2) actually respected.

    It boggles my mind that a company that produces digital experiences can be so utterly clueless about the development process.

    Recently a CTO was (finally) hired and he was proclaimed to be amazing and going to fix everything. Cut to 2 months later where he presents 20 reasons why the company is failing on delivering technology and is so disgusted that he quits.

    And - of course - upper management makes no kind of announcement. It was like he evaporated into thin air and they hoped no one would notice.

    Seriously - it's a mess over there. I am in shock leadership hasn't been overturned.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet a clue.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great company to work for!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsLots of great clients, good budget and wonderful people to work with.

    ConsThere is mild chaos at times.

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    Awful. HORRIBLE place to work!

    Project Manager (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsSome cool people, dogs are allowed in the office, yoga, running club, cheap vending machines

    ConsTerrible management. All the Directors are clueless. They don't care about the people nor care about their careers. They don't know how to manage clients.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLook for another job because you're not qualified for the one you have! Try going to business school and then come back and run the company.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at AKQA reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for AKQA CEO Ajaz Ahmed. All 175 reviews posted anonymously by AKQA employees.