CannonDesign Reviews

Updated March 26, 2015
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2.4
47 Reviews
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CannonDesign Co-Chairman & CEO Gary R. Miller
Gary R. Miller
17 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 5 people 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. 3 people found this helpful

    Forget About it.

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

    I have been working at CannonDesign

    Pros

    Great view from the office.

    Cons

    I would have to say this is the worst company I have worked for. There is a great culture of "kiss behind to get what you want". If you go in, do what you are supposed to do and put in the extra effort, nobody will notice. However, if you chat with the principals, you would get promoted and get noticed as a "get it done" person.
    There is no loyalty. I have seen a senior person who was laid off after 29 years of service. Company claims they need a new strategy, so they lay off a bunch of people, hire new people and few months they do the same again.
    The company has a very high multiplier which translates to higher fees which means no work. The majority of the projects are overpriced to compensate for the multiple Senior Vice Presidents they have.
    There are a lot of SVPs that give directions but not many people to actually do the work.
    I would not recommend this company to anyone.
    Stay away.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    Deeply conflicted, chronic identity crisis.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Arch IV in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Arch IV in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    Good location, interesting projects, good people.

    Cons

    Dishonest on several levels. Poorly managed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stick with anything for more than a year or two

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

    The architecture firm that fails to build

    • 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 CannonDesign full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    It's a great place to work if you have no backbone, are pretentious af, if you're in the clique of Pratt grads or a wannabe starchitect. All four? Then it's a jackpot!!

    Cons

    They DO NOT recognize the value of diversity in the workplace, so if you happen to have the slightest amount of melanin or ovaries, your chances here are slim. One particularly loud, obnoxious woman in a high level position who does nothing to encourage or promote talent within her own gender. Another guy who does nothing more than thumbnail sketches and roams the office talking about his past glories and quaint travel experiences ("you haven't lived until you've dined off the coast of Narnia..."). People with less experience will bypass those with more through sheer favoritism. More time is spent discussing the intimate details of their personal lives than trying to get work for the office. This is exactly why in NYC-- where construction is going on EVERYWHERE--the NYC office does not have a single project in it's own backyard. Great staff is choosing to leave in droves. I've counted 9 in the past 4 months.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ask yourself why you have more farewell parties than ribbon cuttings. Ask why you continuously lose out to other firms on proposals. Cultivate and appreciate good employees. Ensure that the people in charge of getting work are actually doing that... Not calling their children all day long as your company goes to waste.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful

    Abandon your self respect all ye who enter

    • 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

    Pros

    The handful of exceptional, talented, hardworking people in each office who get things done.

    Cons

    Recent reviews are spot on. Bloated upper management that is out of touch with the lower ranks who are in the trenches doing the work. Too many lawyers, nurses, "researchers" and other highly compensated unbillable staff that provide questionable value to the firm. RAMPANT unprofessional and downright unethical behavior in plain sight. Nepotism and favoritism are the status quo. People responsible for major screw ups on projects get promoted while the low level staffers who inherit the problems get told that they need to "show more initiative." Self aggrandizing design principal with out of control ego. Zero work life balance. Zero professional respect, especially if you are a young professional. Zero opportunity for advancement unless you schmooze with a select handful of people. Expect to hear that your work is subpar from individuals who leave promptly at 5:30 every day while you juggle multiple deadlines at the same time. When your work is outstanding the same people fall over themselves to take credit. Company announced acquisition of new firm the same week it announced there would be no 401k matching due to financial hardship. Too much money wasted on rebranding, employee satisfaction survey and other inconsequential initiatives instead of retaining top performers. This is just a taste, I could go on forever. Working here turned me into a miserable cynic. I hated myself every day like someone else mentioned and its taken time to unlearn bad habits.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the masses. If you keep hearing the same complaints over and over again, it's not by coincidence. Rethink your business strategy and cut the ranks of unbillable staff to achieve a more competitive multiplier. Get rid of poor performers and reward hard work and dedication for a change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful

    Worst place to work ever!

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

    I worked at CannonDesign

    Pros

    Cool office. Nice view of the bean.

    Cons

    Management has no design skills.. The firm is an engineering firm who only cares about profit. Terrible, terrible projects!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire a good design principal to lead the practice properly. Don't relly on recent grads to do all the work for u. Think!!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful

    Great work/work balance...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Architect in Saint Louis, MO
    Former Employee - Architect in Saint Louis, MO

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

    Pros

    Seriously, I don't have many good things to say.
    You might work on an interesting project.

    Cons

    Arrogant leadership.
    Boys club.
    Working overtime is expected and part of the culture which results in tremendous sacrifice of your personal life.
    Aggressively competitive environment which means you need to watch your back.
    Playing the Cannon game made me hate myself at the end of each day. I'm still trying to unlearn some of the common tactics I picked up while working here.
    No concept of what work life balance means.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Apply your core values and respect all employees including women.
    You need a better HR department that has the skill set to deal with the obvious issues associated with the work environment at cannon.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful

    Poor management and leadership

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

    I worked at CannonDesign

    Pros

    very few, but for an architectural firm this size it is extremely top heavy, offers a stock plan for those in the principal ranks that you could devote your entire life to and end up with very little. A lot of misplaced egos. Feel sorry for those that have spent their entire careers here.

    Cons

    Based in Buffalo, this firm has a strange vibe. The people seem out of touch. The Manhattan office is disorganized and dirty with very poor direction from "leadership". Clients are not handled professionally.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat people better.....employees and clients. The reputation in the market is very poor especially in NYC. Fire the CEO. He is completely out of touch.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful

    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 a 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
  11. 1 person found this helpful

    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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