Dolby

  www.dolby.com
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Dolby Reviews

Updated Jul 25, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

2.7 138 reviews

35% Approve of the CEO

Dolby President and CEO Kevin J. Yeaman

Kevin J. Yeaman

(91 ratings)

40% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • 9/80 work schedule, with every other Friday off(in 22 reviews)

  • 9/80 work schedule (notice that this listed as a "Pro" in 90% of the reviews(in 32 reviews)


Cons
  • Really bad management; no work life balance, too many consultants and marketing is the worst on the planet(in 6 reviews)

  • Politics, history of consensus-driven decision-making, majority of shares still closely held(in 9 reviews)

138 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    I work with brilliant people!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsGood work life balance. The company/groups are small enough where the work you do REALLY matters. I get to make an impact on the projects I work on and have access to projects that might outside of my job scope. I'm encouraged to push the boundaries.

    Currently we are working in 3 buildings in San Francisco ... makes face time hard with some groups (looking forward to the move at the end of 2014 to our new building).

    The marketing department was a mess for a very long time, but it really appears they are making HUGE strides in the right direction with the recent hire of the new CMO Bob Borchers. I'm experiencing a more friendly and effective group than I had in the first 4 years of working here.

    Dolby is also making a very conscious effort to get us involved in the local community with volunteer opportunities.

    Competitive benefits. The 9/80 schedule is the best!

    ConsSlow to make decisions. Tends to be an introverted company (expected when working with engineers and scientist??)

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Engineering-driven company

    Marketing Manager (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsFun if you like tech
    Hands-on experience with lots of responsibility since there are many business lines that require each function

    ConsMarketing and sales dept is a bit disorganized
    Favoritism among management of employees can prevail when employee doesn't earn it

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    outstanding technology base

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsWith the exception of every other Friday off benefits offered are typical for a mid cap company.

    Leadership takes a long-term growth approach in many of the company's endeavors.

    ConsWorkplace can be a bit stuffy at times.

    Not really geared for the socially inclined tech crowd.

    Wealth concentrated within top share holders. Distribution of profit sharing and equity awards can be hit and miss.

    Proclaimed entrepreneurs within but by the very definition of entrepreneur one would expect more movement within or outside the company in search of greater opportunity. Often once a suitable position is acquired said entrepreneur/middle manager/director digs in for the long haul, making it a tricky proposition to self-promote.

    Low-key Marketing strategy questionable.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCould make better use of the brand. A little more mainstream advertising activity on the part of Sales & Marketing educating the benefits of using the technology may go a long way in gaining greater technology/brand recognition.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    Fun at times but bad execs, constantly changing priorities and politics are ruining this industry-icon

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Pros9/80 schedule, brilliant co-workers, culture of excellence, and annual IdeaQuest design contest are really outstanding.

    ConsPolitics, shifting priorities and constant re-orgs make it a risky place for career and skill development.
    Influx of bad execs eroding the culture.
    Poor stock compensation for engineers.
    Bad place to develop new skills as the company is pretty old-school.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop hiring executives who nearly ruined other companies. Address the issues with Marketing Also kick some stock or options over to the engineers.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Innovation Nirvana for Engineers; Stifling culture for everyone else

    Senior Director (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsIf you are an engineer who is passionate about advancing the science and technology behind the art of entertainment, there is no better place to work. You will be surrounded by brilliant colleagues, collaborate closely with industry pioneers and luminaries, and work at a company that believes innovation is a long-term investment, not a short-term bet. Rip up any competing job offers you may have. Dolby is the *BEST* place to explore, create, and invent -- especially if in addition to being an engineer, you are a musician, filmmaker, or lover of the arts.

    ConsIf you are a marketer, beware. The approach to marketing is very old-fashioned (some might say quaint) with an emphasis on supporting sales teams at trade shows and partners at retail. Two years ago, the organization put an emphasis on attracting top marketing talent from other companies, but those individuals are leaving in droves, some after less than a year at the company. Departures have accelerated despite the new CMO.

    Also: The company is very homogenous and dominated by straight, 40-something white men with engineering degrees. If that does not describe you, know that you will have to be the one to adapt your style to make sure the rest of us feel comfortable with you. (It pains me to write that, but it is the honest truth.) There are absolutely no African-Americans, Hispanics, women, or LGBT execs at the senior-most levels (or even at less senior levels). Those who do join don't last very long, but that isn't even seen as a problem to be addressed. We don't even attempt to retain them. Don't say you haven't been warned.

    Having said that, if you have a very thick skin and know how to maneuver well in consensus-driven, hierarchical organizations, you can indeed thrive at Dolby... and goodness knows we could use a broader set of perspectives, personalities, and inputs!!!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Disorganized Department

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsLike the 9/80 schedule . Some people are nice and friendly. Compensation was good compare to other companies.

    Constoo political I might say! If you are not the favorite person within that department good luck to you. Department that I used to worked is sooo disorganized ,management don't know what they are doing.

    Advice to Senior Managementthink very carefully before making a drastic decision not everything is possible !

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Great engineers, terrible management.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsNone really, patents running out, new projects that have no compelling attributes or future, and a management that is promoting cutthroat behaviors across the board.

    ConsRay Dolby would be terribly unhappy with what has become of his legacy.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI would begin with a top down overhaul of the company, looking at the misaligned goals generated by upper management with respect to the area of expertise of the company and the engineers. Already, a good amount of talent has left or has been forced to leave due to this decision making as well as the hostile environment particularly created by the middle to lower management.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Marketing organization

    Marketing Manager (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsGood salary and basic benefits. (Every other Friday off is a joke!)

    ConsWorst marketing organization in the industry, leaders have no clue and they will fire anyone who gets in the way and in the process will be made responsible for their own ridiculous actions. Very self centered and only looking out for themselves, promotion can only be attained if one says yes to every stupid suggestion ever brought to the table. 90% of the time people spend their time in conference calls doing nothing more than playing on their phone. Very little respect to partners and industry related groups or the community in general, most VPs are very arrogant and after looking at their background it shows 0 knowledge about the products and how it can be marketed. Dolby is NOT APPLE or Coca Cola but like these companies think globally not just San Francisco. ( 0 international culture and respect)

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet rid of VPs of marketing and rebuild a group that actually know the products and understand why they are important to consumers and professionals; hire more people that know the industry inside and out and are proud of the products. Right now most VPs are more interested in their expensive jeans than actually making a difference. One more comment: Look into the actual employees and you'll figure out that most don't show up to the office; working from home is unacceptable when putting large marketing campaigns together, rows of empty cubes is a sign that no one is actually working.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Challenging projects, but not always for the right reasons.

    Engineer (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsScientists and engineers are wicked smart. Old-school business values - little burn-out, slow but steady growth, investment in people. Salary, benefits, vacation schedule better than average. Every other Friday off. Generally very few egos, at least in the rank-and-file.

    ConsExecutives are young and somewhat unproven at high level - rock stars that have enjoyed meteoric rises. Significant churn in some departments (e.g., Marketing), often lacking clear direction. Since IPO, company wants to be like IBM from the 80s - tons of VPs, faceless bureaucracy, one-way information flow, lack of transparency, increasing numbers of layoffs, horrible processes.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe more visible, transparent. Talk about failures as well as success. Show people your real vision and passion. I can only follow what I can see.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great people and technology, poor management

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsWorking on interesting technologies and flexible work hours

    ConsExecutives has no vision in driving the company forward and consensus based decisions, or there lack of decisions…

    Advice to Senior ManagementWords are empty without action.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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