Commonwealth-Altadis

  www.commonwealthaltadis.com
  www.commonwealthaltadis.com
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Commonwealth-Altadis Reviews

Updated September 18, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014
112 Reviews
2.9
112 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Commonwealth-Altadis President & CEO Kevin Freudenthal
Kevin Freudenthal
49 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The company offers great benefits which were further enhanced in 2014 (in 15 reviews)

  • Terrific benefits package, a raerity these days (in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • Hard to balance work/family life because of demanding upper management (in 17 reviews)

  • The whole entire face of the company changed when Imperial Tobacco bought it (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Good plans but must be more efficient communicating and engaging with the employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - NON-SALES MANAGER  in  Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Current Employee - NON-SALES MANAGER in Fort Lauderdale, FL

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

    Pros

    Great benefits. Great compensation. People are able and willing to engage. There's potential for growth in the market and to achieve success.
    Work-life balance is fine (at least on my department).
    We are clear that we must do our best to support the sales force (from my department, I can say that is the main focus. Can't speak for others).

    Cons

    My intention here is not to be cynical or negative in any way. However, there are some facts that need attention:

    First, There's no oversight on work practices such as methodologies, projects performance and standards.

    Second, we are told that supporting the sales force is our first priority. That is understood and we (outside finance and marketing) are more than willing and able. However, our hands are very tied as we either don't have clear direction or such direction is changed every week. We hear the frustration from the sales force and we want to help as much as we can but are not given TRUE SUPPORT FROM SENIOR LEADERSHIP. Especially FINANCE, WHO TRANSLATE BEING 'COST CONSCIOUS' to MINIMAL INVESTMENT. All they seem to focus is the financial systems that provide data.

    Third, the mentality of 'mom & pop' shop is still present in many departments. That translates into disorganized, "do as I say, not as I do" MO. It also means that many departments don't want to spend time ANALYZING CAUSE AND EFFECT of their initiatives and they just tend to make decisions on the fly which CREATES A REACTIVE Environment and it has materialized into a vicious circle that NO ONE IS WILLING TO ADDRESS.

    Lastly, THERE'S NO ENCOURAGEMENT FROM LEADERSHIP FOR CURRENT EMPLOYEES WITH THE NEW ACQUISITION OF LORILLARD. WE DON'T FEEL VALUED AND FEAR THAT WE ARE PROBABLY NOT GOING TO KEEP OUR JOBS.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    WE KNOW WHAT THE MAIN GOALS ARE: INCREASE MARKET SHARE: (that's the end in mind, which requires a lot of support from ALL FUNCTIONS, but they need the autonomy to perform in order to succeed).

    If you ask for your employees to provide feedback. PAY ATTENTION. Don't just have your corporate comms team to 'encourage' people to come to glassdoor to provide it. What is being said here, needs attention.

    FOLLOW best practices already established within the ITG realm such as Standard Methodologies.

    More importantly: TAKE THE TIME TO DO SOME OVERSIGHT and analysis of the directives given to all business areas.
    There is A LOT of disconnect.
    Many departments (including mine), feel like we are just THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS and not partners who can be taken seriously or into account for company strategies and the support of them. There's this bad habit of establishing a strategy and just expect to have YES MEN outside the non-sales and marketing leadership.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Lacking. Could be worse, but not by much.

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

    I have been working at Commonwealth-Altadis full-time

    Pros

    Compensation is fair. Bonus and Benefits seem to be getting worse every year though. I get left alone a lot - which is a good thing, but can be bad if you need any type of feedback or training from anyone. Through hard work you can get promoted, but there is constant change here. Most of the people are quite nice, although most of the people are pretty incompetent!

    Cons

    The way in that we operate, sell, & market our brands is ridiculous. We have no one going into the major chain accounts so it is hard to really develop business in over 50% of the marketplace. We like to drive the business at the wholesale level without a very good pull strategy at the stores. We really need to focus a lot more on the actual person consuming our products and less on the crazy ideas we have to get it to them. If there is a hard way to get from point A to point B, we will follow that path to perfection. We really need to remove the speed bumps around here.

    The culture is very negative; a lot more people are upset and complain a lot more than any other company I've worked at. A lot of this is due to the sales force getting very little feedback from management, problems with payments to our customers, and flat out being over worked.

    Managers don't create a positive environment for the most part. The training is severely lacking (unless you are a brand new hire) and administration in the accounts role is an absolute nightmare.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think we're pretty much all hopeful the transitional period at the moment gives all of us a fresh start. We need a new culture.
    We need to have a much better retail focus; take some steps to FOCUS on brands instead of throwing darts every quarter. We won't win unless we perfect our look at the retail level and take better care of the quality of our products.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    It has more ups than downs. Fast Pace Company with alot of potential.

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits are awesome.
    The people are the best at what they do
    The company itself has a few obstacles to over come, but it is coming together.
    We've got Blu
    Company is pretty open about what is going on
    Open community where there is a lot of departmental partnership
    Long hours but you feel satusfied at the end of the day.
    Each team has a good demographic. No cattiness
    Beautiful place to work from the building to the office spaces.
    Gym
    HR Programs promoting health and wellness.

    Cons

    Training is limited, but available depending on the your role
    Technology needs a major overhaul
    You get out what you put in. Not enough investment in the right tools.
    Don't ask for feedback if nothing will be done
    Alot of people are taking up space and not working towards the final goal of the company
    Attitudes and Entitlement run wild
    T-Mobile
    Too many Pre-Madonnas in the sales force

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the team. We all want to be here and want what is best for the comany. Utilize the talent that you have and get rid of the dead weight.
    More education on the different brands and the business would be good for non sales reps.
    Marketing is off the wall and not focused on every day smokers, such as those who work for the company

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Has Potential. Good People for the most part.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst  in  Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Current Employee - Analyst in Fort Lauderdale, FL

    I have been working at Commonwealth-Altadis full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great Benefits. Flexible. Work-life balance.

    Cons

    Very cheap with funding.
    It doesn't feel like loyalty is appreciated.
    No follow through with initiatives.
    Full of yes men.
    Many employees feel entitled to be demanding because of seniority.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take time to evaluate the results of your strategies before switching them every quarter.
    People believe there's potential for future success.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Here we go again!

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits, great people for the most part

    Cons

    Constant change in direction from management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They only do as they're told.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    I ONLY WISH I COULD BE A BUTT KISSER TOO...

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

    I have been working at Commonwealth-Altadis full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I have sat here thinking about the Pros for awhile now... Quite frankly, the only pro that I can think of is that I get a check every 2 weeks. Other than that. This place is a perfect example of how not to run a company.

    Cons

    Management is completely out of touch with reality and what is going on in the field. In the over 6 years I have been here I have received less than 3 competitive activity reports. We are constantly beating a dead horse and running in circles. We price ourselves out of every category we are in. The one great thing we HAD going for us was our service, rapport and pride. Now we have no consistencey whatsoever in our retailer or wholesaler agreements. We constantly push items on our customers that they don't want only to have them sit there until the next slow item is pushed down their throat and we exchange them out. We now have resorted to begging customers to take our products and when they do and ask when we will be back to visit .... we have no idea because we can only go where our so-called managers determine by giving us a list of accounts. We are still not in major wholesalers so even if you like our products good luck trying to find them. If we do get them in a store and get a following through discounting and merchandising of hard working sales people, within the next couple of months we'll screw that up too by either not visiting our loyal retailers and or not continuing value discounting and moving on. What a mess.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The only way it will get better is if all management is replaced. They have mostly only got their jobs by kissing butt. Un qualified, illiterate enforcers for the dictator Sales GUY who only promotes his henchman.

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

    Sales Management at One of the Most Horrible Companies in America

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

    I have been working at Commonwealth-Altadis full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There are no pros to working for this company, even with their recent acquisition of the RAI and Lorrillard brands, I can't think of anything that would be a positive. They are now just are larger 'mess' and will screw up that RAI and Lorrillard took years to build. Don't be fooled by the slick words and appearance of the President and CEO; incompetence runs rampant on the management team.

    Cons

    They are the most repressive, incompetent, degrading management team I have ever witnessed. If anyone is considering working this company, please think twice. What they don't tell you in the interview process is that managment, especially in the sales area, is almost tyrannical. They track you like an animal and micro-manage everything you do. All of the equipment (including computers and phones) that they give you to supposedly do your job, is sub-par and it's broken more than it works. The job consumes your life and they expect you to work 24/7 without any regard for personal time, family, etc. You have no autonomy to make decisions that matter. Even when you get time off, they try to make you feel guilty for taking it. They give you a company van but don't think for a minute that it is a perk. They watch and track everything you do with the van and in the end, it's not worth it. This is truly one of the most antiquated, oppressive and demeaning experiences I have ever had with a company. On top of this, they pay a salary that is embarassing and a bonus that is a joke. Lest I forget, communication is also horrible. Everything has to be "filtered" before it's passed on to employees. In this day and time, that speaks volumes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are some smart people in the company but your management team, especially the ones you have in the field, will eventually run them all away. You have a bunch of 'old school' tobacco tyrants left over from the ice age, running your sales organization and they are hurting the company and all of the brands. The overall culture of this company is deplorable. There is absolutely no trust in your employees, especially the ones in the field on the front lines. You need progressive managers, not watchdogs. The company and brands will never grow with the current suffocating, micro-managing style that is in place. You need to 'get a life' and realize that what you do is about selling tobacco; nothing more, nothing less. You operate like a military that is guarding top secrets for the government.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    We need change at the Asm/SM level
    In some areas-Lack of skills leadership

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

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

    Pros

    I've always liked this industry and my
    Co workers and the type of work that
    I do.

    Cons

    Since the merge between cigarette and
    Cigar some management that were put
    Into place has been a joke.i know some
    TMS that were passed over for promotion and given to some that you
    Just are dumbfounded on how these people got these jobs.Who do they know The motto should be no exp
    No problem we will hire you anyway
    As long as you say YES SIR.
    We have a manager with very little exp
    No management skills , can't deal
    With store owners ,doesn't know any
    Of our contracts or prices or any competitive info.Changes everything you do in retail because they know better then you even though you have
    About 15 years more exp then your manager.They just wanted a puppet
    To do the dirty work for the bossman.
    Hopefully some of these so called managers will be called out at some
    Point and some of these position will
    Be given to people who have worked
    So hard and have been though all the
    Ups and downs with the company
    This deal with lorillard can't come
    Fast enough.You know there will be changes and hopefully we can get
    The right people in the right places because it is not working now.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please interview your TMs at some
    Point and ask them for honesty about
    Any problems and promise them
    That nobody will try to take their job
    Away if they tell you what's really going
    On in some areas.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    A sinking ship in rough waters

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

    I worked at Commonwealth-Altadis full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Benefits such as car, 401k, pay and vacations are good, but diminishing.

    Cons

    Poor leadership and no direction. They keep reinventing themselves and repackaging and rebranding the same products over and over. No real vision

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go back to the old Commonwealth ways of doing business with grit, hard work, relationships and great people who work and achieve results instead of the new educated yes men who tell you what you want to here

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Overall B-

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

    I have been working at Commonwealth-Altadis full-time

    Pros

    Excellent benefits package, company vehicle, 401(k), decent salary, autonomy (relative to other fields). Making headway on innovation. The job is hectic, but manageable, prepare to do more than a 8-5. You don't punch a clock. So if you get over the fact that your personal time will get dipped into (it's really not that bad), the job is overall easy.

    Cons

    Not much in the way of morale, we just went through a restructure last year, and everyone still seems to be reeling from that. We are chronically reactive, constantly changing course mid stream. A LOT of old guard in the tobacco business remember the "good old days" when this was a better place to work and they tell EVERYONE about it, fun to listen to and a bummer at the same time. Managers make attempts to say how much they appreciate us, and at the lower levels of management, you know they mean it. (This does depend on your location, but jerks in lower management are at every company) Upper level management on the other hand....not so much. When I get an email from a VP, telling me how much I am appreciated that is obviously was written by a Corporate Comms guru, I laugh out loud every time. Anything above an Regional Director, you probably will never meet.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There was a reason for national meetings. Networking and exchange of ideas. Plus, you get to actually meet upper level management. This isn't an invitation to come work with us in the field once in a blue moon. Working with a VP that you have never met, is absolutely terrifying for many, get to know us first. As far as what I said about the "old guard" in the cons section, you may be thinking about shutting them up or getting rid of them....don't. Your morale problem isn't because the old timers are disgruntled, it's because you only know us by our journey numbers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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