AOL Reviews

Updated September 19, 2014
Updated September 19, 2014
629 Reviews
3.5
629 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong
Tim Armstrong
348 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • flexible work/life balance (although hours can be long) (in 82 reviews)

  • Or if you want to work from home (in 21 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior management talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk (in 27 reviews)

  • The department you work in determines what kind of work life balance you will have (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Poor management, weak vision, weird bets, uncritical thinking

    • 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

    Pros

    There are some great implementors hiding out within AOL, particularly in technical positions. And I suppose something nice can be said about the NYC office, which looks nice and feels modern.

    Cons

    Chaotic, befuddling, and disappointing business and product strategies. Inappropriate and poorly working internal tools. Mercurial and temperamental leadership. Leadership, in general, from the VP level and higher lack confidence, are uncreative. As is often reported, the diminishing legacy revenue streams remain the real focus of support as a surprising amount of product work is cut or unreleased, despite repeated validation that ih-house initiatives consistently predate current products that are globally popular.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Ripe with stagnation

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

    I have been working at AOL full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Work-life balance
    Easy to procure assets (like VMs)
    Office wiki (when kept up to date)
    There are still many smart people who work here
    Good compensation package
    Some interesting work and latitude to try new things

    Cons

    Risk of layoffs (aka RIF) ... you can get "impacted" at any time, without rhyme or reason
    Having to wear many hats ... the org has been cut to the point where you need to be a one-person army to accomplish anything
    Gaps in knowledge ... one result of rampant layoffs are lost expertise.
    Personal development options are limited

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The workforce morale is quite low. The culture is not aligned closely with core values of the workforce. Momentum has waned since the company IPO.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Old Thinking, Lots of Layoffs, But great opportunity

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

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

    Pros

    AOL is a great opportunity for young professionals who need to get in with a major corporation and mid-career pros who aren't really looking for too much career growth. You'll work on a lot of different projects with some very intelligent people. The work schedule is flexible and benefits are excellent. Most managers balance work and play very well. There's also budget for professional development that you would be foolish not to take advantage of - it's FREE education!

    Cons

    Don't expect to be challenged too often as most new initiatives are chosen and pursued via a bottleneck process. The company re-hires a lot of former AOL employees instead of churning the "old thinkers" out and replacing them with younger, fresher mindsets. Layoffs seem to be a way of doing business and achieving numbers so make sure you have your plate full before the quarter comes to a close.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Fast paced, constant change, great people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Architect  in  Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Software Architect in Dulles, VA

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

    Pros

    Interesting industry that's changing rapidly. Opportunities to work on many different projects. Most people are very good to work with

    Cons

    Frequent executive turnover, re-orgs, changes in direction for no reason other than it's the new thing

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The people who do the work are not the problem. Lack of vision and strategy is the problem. Stop shifting people around and worry about strategy.

    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Strategic Account Manager

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

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

    Pros

    Flexibile schedule, lots of freedom, not too difficult a job

    Cons

    Internal politics, lots of bureaucracy, heavy team work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    TA is great - highly approve of his leadership

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    GREAT Culture

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

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

    Pros

    Culture, Benefits, Work Life Balance

    Cons

    Leadership can make questionable decisions

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Fast pace

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Database Administrator  in  Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Principal Database Administrator in Dulles, VA

    I have been working at AOL full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Always lots of opportunities to learn new technologies

    Cons

    Too many things to do with so little time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more open

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 8 people found this helpful  

    Great people in the trenches, idiots in the C Suite

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

    I worked at AOL full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Really smart people at the individual contributor level
    Good compensation, nice facilities

    Work-life balance WAS good until they got carried away with the layoffs and doubled employee workload.

    Cons

    Too many to list. The executive leadership is utterly clueless and without direction. Multiple rounds of layoffs have left the "lucky" survivors seriously overworked.

     AOL's portfolio is littered with the wrecks of companies they've acquired and run into the ground. They had an early leadership position in multiple market segments which they squandered.

    Let's look at some of the casualties and lost opportunities:
    - Bebo. Purchased for $850M, flaming wreckage sold back to the founder for $1M
    - Netscape. Once the top site on the internet and a technical leader in browser technology. At least the world got Firefox out of the deal. AOL shareholders got nothing.
    - Mapquest. Had a solid 3 year lead on Google Maps. Zero reinvestment and treating it like a cash cow squandered that lead and invaluable customer goodwill.
    - X-Drive: an early pioneer in cloud-based storage. Another leadership position lost, more goodwill flushed away
    - Time-Warner. Was supposed to move AOL into broadband via TW cable and bring TW media content online. All of the natural synergies were completely torpedoed due to boardroom bickering between billion-dollar egos.
    - Advertising.com - had an early lead over Google adwords, multiple opportunities to compete squandered, little reinvestment or innovation, misguided strategy that was doggedly pursued despite copious evidence they were hemorrhaging market share.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    First off, lose the AOL name. There is no goodwill left in the brand (if there ever was any to begin with)

    Second, resign in favor of people who actually understand the technology and the market you're competing in.

    Third, listen to the people in the trenches regardless of what their job title is. They know more than you think.

    Stop copying and start innovating again. That means competing against Google and Facebook to hire top-tier talent, and then actually listening to those people and giving them the freedom to create.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineering Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineering Manager  in  Dulles, VA
    Current Employee - Software Engineering Manager in Dulles, VA

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

    Pros

    Decent working environment. Fun people. Gallows humor.

    Cons

    Constant threat of layoff. No direction. No vision. No sustainable plan for the future.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lead, follow, or find someone who will.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    A great place to work at

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

    I worked at AOL full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Well paced development environment, friendly people. Good benefit.

    Cons

    The general health of the company.

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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