Ciena Reviews

Updated July 26, 2015
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3.3
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Ciena President, CEO, and Director Gary B. Smith
Gary B. Smith
121 Ratings

Pros
  • This allows employees to have a great work-life balance (in 21 reviews)

  • Flexible work schedule and good work environment (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • The upper management does not know what they are doing (in 7 reviews)

  • Work/life balance could use improvement (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

208 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    If you enjoy layoffs, excessive overtime, and management abuse, Ciena is the place for you.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director of Software Engineering in Linthicum, MD
    Former Employee - Director of Software Engineering in Linthicum, MD

    I worked at Ciena

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Ciena has retains some highly competent engineers; compensation is good (while it lasts). Ciena has a technically decent portfolio of products (albeit not profitable ones).

    Cons

    Ciena goes through regular cycles of mass layoffs and outsourcing. Heavy overtime is expected, software in particular is abused and opportunities for advancement and learning new technologies are limited. Software engineers can do much better elsewhere. Software engineering management jobs are even worse: despite much lip-service paid to good management practices, management at Ciena is insanely political; managers are expected to leave their conscience at home: ride staff hard, burn 'em out, and then lay 'em off.

    Advice to Management

    To management: develop some respect for staff and shareholders. Stop rewarding executives for losing money. Return Ciena to its core competence: communications technology development. Use proven staff to develop new products instead of buying companies that are bleeding out and then putting them in charge of the company. To the board of directors: Gary Smith has run Ciena as a "sales and marketing company" for more than a decade; he has decimated shareholder value and burned huge amounts of cash while rewarding himself handsomely. Every quarter seems to have a "one-time" charge. Why exactly do you keep this guy?


  2. Helpful (4)

    Sub-par Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Linthicum, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Linthicum, MD

    I worked at Ciena

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Good salary and benefits - Good opportunites - Decent time off policies - Decent working environment - Some opportunities for growth (if the company grew)

    Cons

    - Terrible top management. Same senior management and Board of Directors for at least 10 years. Golden parachutes (for what?) are abundant. That is the main reason for all the "one-time charges". - Layoffs, acquisition, layoffs, acquisition, layoffs, acquisition - Titles are out of whack. Directors, Senior Directors, VP are flying around everywhere. Who actually works there?

    Advice to Management

    Get some folks (and not the cronies that started with the original Ciena organization) in there and run it as "real company". CEO Gary Smith's previous job was as Vice President of Sales at the semi-public entity Intelsat. Time to change (even if it will cost the CEO's 3 million dollar exit agreement).


  3. Helpful (3)

    Complete Waste Of Life

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

    I worked at Ciena full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Interesting technology, and nice people to work with. A very fast-paced environment, and lots of potential for moving around to different focus areas. Wellness Reimbursement fund given to all employees.

    Cons

    No real bonus or raises in the 4 years I worked there. A lot of politics required for any vertical movement (promotions) Very little communication between senior management and employees. Varied work schedules with no consistency and forced shift schedules. Always in "crunch mode". Poor release scheduling and management. Yes-man to customers, which constantly forces employees to adjust schedules and add features originally not planned in the release. Technology can be varied some is current, and some is rather ancient.

    Advice to Management

    Start listening to your employees more instead of focusing on business growth. Cut out the management from Nortel, and get managers who have a sense of time and people management. Realize that there are realistic deadlines, and unrealistic deadlines. Unrealistic deadlines usually don't get met on time. ...or simply change the company name to Nortel.


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  5. Sorority type management environment, especially in CALA region

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

    I worked at Ciena full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nortel Technology.. Very few good and talented folks who unfortunately are trapped in their jobs due to economy.

    Cons

    --no new innovations.... basically a company with a yugo mentalilty who had the money to by the Bugatti of technology (Nortel), but doesn't have a clue on how to manage or run it. --extremely political management environment. Upper management protect and cover up for each other if you discover or bring to their attention anything "unorthodox" in procedure or business protocol. --they rather outsource US jobs to regions or import it via immigration loop holes. 1st hand knowlegdge or folks getting their workvisas or relocation packages from upper management who have connections, instead of looking for local talent. Outsourcing when it doesn't make sense.

    Advice to Management

    Get with the program, support your local communities job wise and globally. doesn't mean you can't hire externally from other countries just make sure you give preference to "american based" workers if job is supporting local customers. Do right by your employees and your customer will also be satisfied.


  6. Helpful (4)

    Demotivating work environment

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

    I have been working at Ciena full-time

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

    Pros

    Work Life balance is very good. Good HR policies Good pay Good place if you are just looking to take life easy.

    Cons

    The bonus pool is a joke. No positive cross-team communication. In-fighting among team members fostered by the upper management. Poorly managed release schedule. Interview process is a joke. People are hired willy-nilly based on who they knoe rather than how much they know. And the process itself is not regulated - sometimes they have group interviews and sometimes individualized. No respect for employees and future employees. I have seen interview candidates made to wait for hours in the lobby, while they bring in other candidates for interviews. Not enough senior members in the engineering teams. The less experienced Engineers are not able to handle the major design changes. Not enough work for all the Engineers. Right now the all the Engineering teams are in hiring mode but this is just so that the management can get promoted. Loads of people are just sitting around doing their own personal work/training etc. People have been working on the same technologies for years - this is good as they have great knowledge of that one technology but the bad thing is they have no idea about the others and refuse to work on other technologies. One BU rides on the shoulders of the other. This will not work long term and will lead to lay-offs if no new revenue stream is generated. No long term planning. Work is done on a day to day basis leading to mismanagement of time. NO RSUs/Stocks till you are at a much higher grade. Research more about the company culture before accepting a job and take the recruiters words with a pinch of salt.

    Advice to Management

    Find out why people are so demotivated.


  7. Helpful (4)

    Ciena is a terrible place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Field Eng in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Field Eng in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Ciena full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There is absolutely no good reason to be employed here. They treat their employees horribly and have taken nearly their entire workforce off-shore, calling themselves "a U.S. based company". Decietful liars.No bonuses to those that tow the line.

    Cons

    Selfish management, no work life balance, slave-like atmosphere. Management takes care of only themselves. I have been dragged all over the planet performing my job above expectations and I have not received a raise or bonus in two+ years of employment here. This place is absolutely horrible and I do not recommend emplyment here. I came over from Nortel Networks where employees were treated with dignity and respect. Ciena is selfless and selfish.

    Advice to Management

    Get over yourselves


  8. Helpful (3)

    Great product, poor management

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

    I worked at Ciena full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Innovative product with rich feature set and high reliability.

    Cons

    Poor management. Politics not productivity determine employment status, bonus and raises. Constant demand to work weekends for show, not need.

    Advice to Management

    Evaluate performance with actual performance information.


  9. Helpful (2)

    A change in attitude

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

    I have been working at Ciena full-time (More than 5 years)

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good technology and strong revenues.

    Cons

    The open door policy from the past is closed. No career path. Plenty of politics for everyone. Management is getting rich. Zero work-life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Why don't you being back the team spirit? Make Ciena a place that people want to work.


  10. Helpful (4)

    Will work you into the ground and then lay you off

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

    I worked at Ciena full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The other engineers you work with are great. Management I worked for were hard to work with but other departments had really food managers.

    Cons

    Management will lie to you constantly! They denied our department was getting laid-off until the very last moment.

    Advice to Management

    Ethics and integrity are sadly lacking in management.


  11. Helpful (2)

    Other than paying the bills, my time at Ciena was a complete waste.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Test Engineer in Spokane, WA
    Current Employee - Software Test Engineer in Spokane, WA

    I have been working at Ciena full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    You can pay your bills.

    Cons

    Incompetent and wothless management in the PN department. 0 chance of advancement. Dead end job full of promises that never pan out. Lack of ethics. Long hours with no reward. Outsourcing to India. Lies upon lies. If your department is over budget in Q1, expect to be fired by Q3.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees with respect instead of property or slaves. Take the time to plan ahead for the long term instead of quick profits. Fire both directors and replace then with people who have people skills, management skills, and basic common sense.



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