AOL

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AOL Reviews in Palo Alto, CA

Updated December 4, 2014
Updated December 4, 2014
681 Reviews
3.5
681 Reviews
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Approve of CEO
AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong
Tim Armstrong
376 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • flexible work/life balance (although hours can be long) (in 86 reviews)

  • Or if you want to work from home (in 22 reviews)


Cons
  • The senior management really don't care much about the company except, for each for their own piece (in 27 reviews)

  • The department you work in determines what kind of work life balance you will have (in 11 reviews)

More Highlights

8 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    In spite of its abundant problems, it was an interesting place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Product Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Product Manager in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at AOL full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I worked at AOL's Palo Alto office from 2010 to 2013 and found it to be a place where interesting people were working on innovative things in a flexible and mostly supportive environment. The team there shipped a series of decent consumer web/mobile products, which was good to see. It's an advertising/media company, but also manages to do some product development at the edges.

    Cons

    Internal corporate politics and a murky overall strategy made it difficult for any particular effort to succeed. The strategy would shift regularly; good products would get as far as release and then would be unceremoniously dropped. And there was a constant, rolling reorg. In this environment, an employee's success would mostly be a political question since no particular product or team would remain intact long enough to be evaluated on its merits; the executive team was in a constant state of turnover. This was particularly hard for teams working outside of New York.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clarity and stability of strategy and more focus on the kind of technology that's winning in the market(not just advertising tech, but tech for consumer products) would help boost the company's attractiveness to the type of people who make a difference at today's tech companies. As of now the company feels like a combination of a miracle of financial engineering and a second-tier web advertising network, while pretending (with some success) to be a leading media and consumer internet brand.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Nice people, get little done culture

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

    I worked at AOL

    Pros

    Good work life balance - you can work as much or as little as you like
    , nice people, interesting problems

    Cons

    If you really want to make a big impact it is hard to push through all of the red tape and get things done
    Also a very rigid approach to bonuses and promotions - more tenure based than performance based

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Educational

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

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

    Pros

    Decent benefits, fun people, nice office space

    Cons

    no career path for designers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Embrace design

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

    A world of disappointment

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

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

    Pros

    Pays well (good comp + bonus); interesting challenges in terms of extending the consumer base

    Cons

    Horrible internal systems; lots of legacy systems both for internal use and for end users; poor choices at the executive level about business strategy; all the company power is in NY so working in other offices doesn't avail one of the chance to have as large of an impact; poor financial discipline in terms of evaluating the performance of products

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Compensation was great. The work was not.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA

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

    Pros

    Absolutely great benefits. Full family medical, 401K with matching and bonuses. Salary was good as well.

    Cons

    Corporate environment. Highly compartmentalized, hierarchical, and loaded with process => much less job growth and satisfaction.

  7.  

    Sr. Interaction Designer

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

    I have been working at AOL as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Nice people, good benefits, work remotely

    Cons

    Team members change very often

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Innovative and fast paced. Lacks in people management.

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

    I have been working at AOL full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Employees are very knowledgeable about their fields. There are many folks with expertise in different areas of technology and research.

    Cons

    Evaluation of employees are based on how well they market their work to upper management which often leads to unfair and unbalanced reviews and promotions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    AOL needs to restructure their people management, benefits, and compensation policies.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at AOL

    Pros

    Open culture. Great CEO. Reinventing themselves.

    Cons

    Lots of baggage. Still conjure memories of Time Warner merger.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you are doing. Focus.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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