AOL Reviews

Updated March 23, 2015
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3.5
710 Reviews
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AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong
Tim Armstrong
393 Ratings

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 Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Started off great, ended badly

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Editor in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Editor in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Snacks, nice office space, work phones

    Cons

    Extremely low paying, focuses on raises for only the elite few, constant layoffs and changes, little respect to most employees, abusive work hours and polices, no work/life balance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on making your current employees happier instead of focusing on replacing them every year.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. Limited scope of growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Software Engineer

    I worked at AOL

    Pros

    Work life balance is great

    Cons

    Lack of vision and stable process. Need to use and support outdated technologies.
    No growth opportunities. Frequent layoffs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to treat employees better. Don't trick employees.

    Try to improve on strategies to retain smart professionals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. An honest review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at AOL

    Pros

    flexible work hours, casual dress

    Cons

    very poor leadership at exec level and from VPs up, constant layoffs, political climate, no team work, no accountability, no career growth

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider: change the CEO, sell, shut down

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Think twice before accepting the AOL.com Editorial Fellowship -- Beverly Hills office

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Editorial & Programming Fellow in Beverly Hills, CA
    Former Employee - Editorial & Programming Fellow in Beverly Hills, CA

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

    Pros

    The Beverly Hills office is a nice hodgepodge of various AOL functions (including Huffington Post) and you'll work with some of the loveliest people from AOL On (video) to the sales team. If you're a social person, you'll find it easy to make friends & learn a little about what each department contributes to Team AOL.

    Cons

    AOL.com editorial team mismanaged with the managing editor playing favorites to the team's detriment. You'll work hard while chronic under performers (and slackers) are allowed to slide because they have a prior work history and a friendship with the managing editor.

    Homepage output and team morale affected in this working environment.

    Contributions of AOL.com fellow (glorified intern)--taking on extra projects, staying late & working hard won't be rewarded or even recognized. Upper management in constant flux so what you're promised at the start, you probably won't get. Lastly, almost all editorial decisions are dictated by sales goals which doesn't lend itself to a great user experience for the 50+ crowd (the base audience).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management on the opposite coast: Pay more attention to what's happening on the editorial teams in the LA/BH office. Hold managers accountable for the disruption of their team for the benefit of their friends so faulty management skills don't fall on the fellows who are contributing fully, but being paid a fraction of price allotted for good talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. Uninspired product/tech driven by bloated, spoiled salesforce

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Account Manager in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    A few good apples, some solid tech assets. Decent benefits.

    Cons

    Salesforce is far too big and far too dominant in driving strategy and operations. They suck the life out of the company and kill profit margins (often with multiple commissions drawn on a single deal). Acquisition strategy is not horrible but is undermined by post-acquisition execution and integration. CEO and management have fullblown collective ADD. Mission is so broad as to justify any change in strategy. Poor prospects for career growth. Sniper layoffs and constant cost cutting. Late to almost every digital battle with half baked products. Inadequate engineering/tech resources behind every product. Passive aggressive culture full of constant disrespect. I could go on. Tim Armstrong is a mess and should be let go but he is chairman of the board etc etc

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Split up the company, spin off media, advertising, and subscription business. Barbell strategy is a joke.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. Used to be great place to work but business and culture in rapid decline

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Product Manager in London, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    It still employs some of the brightest and best people around. The benefits are great, especially the nap room where you can sleep off hangovers. It can be quite flexible and the work life balance is fairly good.

    Cons

    DO NOT CONSIDER WORKING THERE IF YOU ARE A WOMAN. UK management is full of sexists and misogynists. There is a massive problem with men only recruiting men in their own image, in the key business decision-making roles. There is also an entrenched culture of bullying in the UK sales team which is top down and nobody seems to care or be doing anything about it. The UK organisation is as dysfunctional as I've ever seen.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    International management should do something about the UK management, probably root it out and start again.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful

    Bureaucrats In Control

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

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

    Pros

    Many are able to work remotely.

    Cons

    Upper management is concerned only with feathering their own nests. They promote people who buy into the vision of "there are no problems, give me a big bonus."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sorry, a head to toe clear out of the dead wood you promoted and bring back the workers and contractors that you "downsized".

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful

    Horrible place to spend your day

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Director in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    The compensation is decent and competitive.

    Cons

    The CEO is an emotional train wreck and a sales person rather than a steady thinker. Projects are stopped, often stalled even when they are worthwhile and lucrative. This place takes 'be accepting of change' to a whole different dysfunctional level. Nothing gets done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop firing smart people. Stop hiring new execs every five seconds. Get a freaking clue.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful

    Pretentious, washed up and over-valued.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Product Manager in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Competitive salary, flexible schedule. No one cares when you get in or leave. Or if you want to work from home. In most situations, managers do not even count your vacation days, I had co-workers sneaking in an extra week or two, then rolling over the rest. Aslo, some people seem to play ping pong all day.

    Cons

    The company is really full of it's self. They think that they are doing something special and innovative, like Google, but they are not. The goal of the company is just to keep the stock price up at any expense. They have made peculiar budgeting suggestions, like firing loads of people, and them buying new expensive furnatre for the lounge.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No advice to management. If it is there goal to exploite their workers for better bottom line and bonuses, then they are already doinga great job. No one is going to care what this girl thinks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful

    Continual layoffs destroy morale. Exceptionally poor management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at AOL full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Many smart people, but with very little motivation. Gallows humor persists, particularly in Virginia. Occasionally you might find a mid-level manager who has a clue.

    Cons

    No matter what product you're working on, expect layoffs to destroy your team. Frequent reorganizations are akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Very high turnover at top management levels results in no coherent direction. Managers are killing projects that generate positive cash flow.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    First of all, READ THESE REVIEWS. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see a trend in these reviews. Most say the same thing: AOL has good people, but is killing itself with poor management and constant layoffs.

    Second, management has to come up with a coherent strategy and stick to it. It is the job of senior management to provide strategy and direction, and they are failing miserably at that.

    Finally, AOL needs to stop selling kidneys to make its numbers. The constant layoffs have not only destroyed morale and resulted in a brain drain inside the company, they have created an extraordinarily heavy workload on the survivors. They would be better off replacing any managers who rely on layoffs to make their numbers; these managers are killing the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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