CannonDesign

  www.cannondesign.com
  www.cannondesign.com

CannonDesign Reviews

Updated September 11, 2014
Updated September 11, 2014
39 Reviews
2.9
39 Reviews
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CannonDesign Co-Chairman & CEO Gary R. Miller
Gary R. Miller
13 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great People, Difficult Work-Life Balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - HVAC Engineer in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - HVAC Engineer in Boston, MA

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

    Pros

    While at CannonDesign, I was able to work with some truly amazing and talented people. The passion required to keep going in this field is immense, and it is palpable working on project teams. The commitment to sustainable design is admirable, and the company is moving more and more in that direction as time goes on. There were a lot of opportunities to grow. If you are willing to take on more responsibility, that seems to always be an option, and sometimes a requirement.

    Cons

    There was no formal training or support for those beginning a career here. I was lucky enough to work on team with higher level employees that were ready and willing to take time to guide younger employees, but there were still gaps. The amount of work expected of lower level staff, within tight time constraints, is insane. Especially when no overtime is offered, and minimal, if any, recognition is given. In my experience, raises and promotions are sporadic and hard to come by, and at times it seemed that management would "play favorites" in this regard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management should get a better handle on yearly reviews. More transparency on how to achieve promotions and raises would also be beneficial. Formal training programs for entry level employees could be a plus. Most importantly, a healthier approach to work-life balance would make working here a lot more appealing.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    my experience at Cannondesign was good

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

    I worked at CannonDesign full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    some people are willing to help as much as possible where there are quite a few who don't want to help

    Cons

    there are employees there that have been there for years who believe its ok to cuss you out talk down to you talk to you like your a 5 year old child and all management has to say is that just the way they are. They waste millions on rebranding and 30 days after the launch they lay off 100 people. There is also allot of favoritism

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    all the money you spent on rebranding you could have kept the people employed all you did was take the space between the two names

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    There are some positives but they wear out overtime.

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

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

    Pros

    You get to work on cool/big projects. They pay for all licensing exams which can be quite costly and give you time off to take the tests.

    Cons

    Way too top heavy. Very few staff members are actually producing work to cover the rest of the company for doing internal company PR-ish "blogging". There is a desire to produce better and more efficient buildings but not change the way they design which is backwards. No one is held accountable for projects losing money and many teams are kept in the dark about whether or not their project has been profitable to know if they need to change their process to save money.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Pleasant company to work for, high profile projects, lacking of opportunities for promotion

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at CannonDesign

    Pros

    Relaxed workplace environment, neat projects to work on, flexible hours, most co-workers are friendly and nice to work with

    Cons

    Managers keep you in the dark on many things within the company, some expectations and deadlines are unattainable, lack of coordination between disciplines

  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    The design was amazing to see, the enviroment less so to work in.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer in Buffalo, NY
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer in Buffalo, NY

    I worked at CannonDesign full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Amazing architectural design.
    Company is seeks to elevate it's brand and expand it's clientele on a regular basis.
    Continued learning encouraged and supported---but only within the architect field (non-non-existent for marketing or any other field expertise)

    Cons

    The internal environment was not good, from personalities to office structure (cube city--horrible)
    The hushed quiteness was counterintuitive to the wonderful creative.
    Very male driven, tough for women to advance or survive.
    Very heavy upper management level who don't seek to hone and raise young talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Where your hard work rewards others

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

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

    Pros

    None really come to mind. I suppose it paid the bills for a while, and I suppose it made me aware of all the politics, fiefdom building, unfair favoritism, and management self-preservation that can occur in a workplace.

    Cons

    CannonDesign is a workplace of two classes: the "protected" class of insiders that receives the profits and benefits of the labor, and everyone else - the much larger unprotected class of production and support staff that is considered expendable and treated as such.

    How to become part of the protected class? Hard work and technical knowledge does play a role, the same as it does for the rest of us. But the key difference is that those of the protected class must possess a sociopathic ability to lie and to bend or discard ethical concerns where convenient. People who have the ability to lie to the production staff, to the clients, and to the contractors, coupled with the ability to use mealy-mouthed statements and an extremely short-term memory so as to always weasel past their own lies will quickly rise in the ranks at Cannon up up up into management and protected class status. What I have said is probably true to a certain extent at many companies, but at CannonDesign it is very, very, very true.

    What is said elsewhere here is also spot on. CannonDesign has trouble competing fairly for work due to a bloated protected class (during the recession only the non-protected production staff was laid off, creating a top heavy company) that has to be paid and receive regular raises and bonuses, plus there are the cost-center "I am the future of design - take my hand" clowns and sideshows like Third Teacher's arts-and-crafts hokum.

    My experience at "annual" performance/salary review time, which only occured twice during a 5-year tenure, is that despite the company's glowing annual reports painting nothing but sunshine, my lying bosses explained that the company was apparently just barely staying afloat due to "the market" and that there was no money in the budget for raises that year. But, they continuted, if I just kept working hard and kept putting in the overtime that better times were perpetually "just around the corner". Sorry guys, but the market is doing much better and you are still hopelessly stuck in your malaise. Look out your windows at all the construction, Chicago. It isn't always the market.

    If you are thinking about working for this company do your self-respect a favor and look elsewhere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You are in my rearview mirror and this is a very good thing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Architecture factory at its best.

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

    I worked at CannonDesign (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The exposure to high end architecture was great. You get to work on buildings all over the world and try all sorts of cutting edge design tools that you don't use at other offices.

    Cons

    Where do i start? Compensation is about as lousy as it gets. When you are hired, you start at hourly which is great because they work you to the bone. Once you are are there around a year they "do you a favor" and put you on salary where you lose overtime pay and about $10k a year in pay. Oh but you're still expected to work 60 hours a week. All projects are under bid so management is constantly stressed about budget. Employees all hate management. Management all hates employees and each other. It's a very stressful place to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of all of these up tight managers you have. It makes the office very prison like. Get to know your employees at least. In the years that I worked there, I never saw most management even speak to people in the studio.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Toxic Leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Architect in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Architect in Los Angeles, CA

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

    Pros

    The company offers good benefits including excellent health insurance and 401K plans. Salaries are good for most but not all employees. There is a remarkable level of creativity and commitment on the part of junior staff. Many of the projects are unique and exciting.

    Cons

    It is an extremely top heavy organization with leadership who typically hinder the work rather than help it. Much of this leadership is prone to making promises to clients that cannot be fulfilled and to holding unreasonable and outrageous expectations of internal staff and consultants. They seem to have no grasp on the reality of how the work is executed. And, therefore, the end result is usually poor service to the client and design/documentation frequently bordering on negligence. Well-intentioned process improvement initiatives are begun on a regular basis but never completed or fulfilled. Manipulation and blatant lies are commonplace among leadership, creating a culture of fear, self-protection, and negativity. And, these conditions seem to be worsening as a result of the recent reorganization. All of this, in addition to a somewhat unfriendly stance toward women and minorities, is likely a contributor to the extremely high turnover rate. In fact, the most committed and capable personnel are usually the first to leave upon growing weary of poor treatment and toxic leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Honesty and integrity would do a lot to improve relations with employees, consultants, and clients!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Identity crisis, constant technology upheaval, rebranding, abandoned initiatives

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

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

    Pros

    The process improvement and client engagement strategies seem promising

    Cons

    Same as other reviews: top heavy, too many politics, one colleague lies, operations is dysfunctional and not held accountable, really need an HR department, glass ceiling for women, working hard does not lead to a promotion or raise

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get an HR department, be more transparent, complete at least one initiative, pay attention to why some employees are leaving

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Too top heavy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Architect II in Buffalo, NY
    Current Employee - Architect II in Buffalo, NY

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

    Pros

    Good benefits. I've also made some great friends working here.

    Cons

    Promotions and raises are for those in the 'clique'... as are bonuses and fringe benefits (like tickets, etc.). Upper level staff (VPs, Principals, etc.) are a joke - have no clue as to what goes into a project, clueless on time management, roles and competency of staff. Senior staff berates and talks down to junior staff. CannonDesign has a 'mentoring' program - that is a joke and only looks good on paper. The company spends who knows how much on marketing to their own staff - and not enough time or money taking care of their staff. Too many senior staff talking the talk but not walking the walk - stop marketing yourself and start actually DOING!!!
    HR is a joke - make a complaint against someone that is part of the inner circle and you'll probably get fired yourself.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut number of senior positions by half - at least. Senior levels need to start performing and not just creating a marketing scheme...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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