Dolby

www.dolby.com

Dolby Reviews

Updated January 23, 2015
Updated January 23, 2015
152 Reviews
3.3
152 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Dolby President and CEO Kevin J. Yeaman
Kevin J. Yeaman
101 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • 9/80 schedule if you are in one of the old offices (San Francisco) (in 36 reviews)

  • In general, I think many people enjoy good work-life balance here and the off-Fridays are a great benefit (in 17 reviews)


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

  • Another commonly stated problem on glassdoor which I agree - EVERYTHING is consensus decision making (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    A good company regarding work-life balance with decent pay.

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

    I have been working at Dolby

    Pros

    Good pay; Good life-work balance; nice people around you; a lot of vacations.

    Cons

    HQ in San Francisco is really bad in terms of commute and parking compared with other high tech companies in the Bay area.

  2.  

    Well known company with a small company feel

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

    I worked at Dolby as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    For a San Francisco high tech company, it didn't feel overly stressed. They expected you to do good work but not to kill yourself in the process. I think that's a big plus. I'm sure every department is different. I worked in HR.

    Cons

    They didn't seem to be on the cutting edge of policies and practices.

    Recommends
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    A wide spectrum mixed bag, extreme experiences on both the positives and negatives. Reflects an internal cultural battle

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

    I worked at Dolby

    Pros

    Many well-intentioned, good-hearted people. A small family business feel where its easy to quickly make connections and navigate organization. Dolby trying hard to reinvent itself in digital era and making investments in new hires and technology. Some great leaders at the helm.

    Cons

    Very political. The internet era skipped by Dolby so it feels like the 1970s. Large cultural tensions at play as old timers and new employees often at odds.Incredible resistance to change or improvement. Lack of cultural issue ownership means problems linger forever, even ones that are easy to solve. Decision making is slow and often by hard to achieve consensus, so things move really slow or not at all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Rampant politics steal productivity from a company and destroys morale. If it is made clear that it is not the way to get things done, then a meritocracy culture based on innovation can begin to take flight. Innovation will arise as the dominate cultural theme if it is communicated and shown to be the highest valued attribute.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Awesome people... dead cause!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Staff Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Staff Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Dolby

    Pros

    Great work life balance. Very smart, talented and interesting people. Great atmosphere.

    Cons

    Slowly Sinking ship. Next Kodak. Still good for early career or cruise mode to retirement. Don't recommend for mid career.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Expand out of the brand comfort zone. Audio is a solved problem.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Dolby's Ongoig Struggle With Marketing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Dolby

    Pros

    - Great Technology
    - Great Position in Cinema and Broadcast
    - Great Technical Employee Base

    Cons

    - Weak Management
    - Semi-Retired Sales Leadership (lacking leadership acumen)
    - No Appreciation of the Power and Importance of Marketing

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Open Your Eyes and Make Decisions

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Good place to work

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

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

    Pros

    - "Start up" without being a true Start up - meaning you get to help build the future of Dolby but in an established company.
    - work w/ brilliant, passionate people
    - HQ in San Francisco
    - you work hard but still have pretty decent work/life balance (9/80 schedule, good vacation, rarely do people call u on weekends or nights)
    - unlike other technology companies, I truly believe I can & will be able to make a career here. We're not facebook or twitter... (thank god!) & we're not trying to be
    - great compensation (other than a couple tough years, bonuses have paid out really high)

    Cons

    - slow to change because still very consensus based decision making
    - old fashioned in a lot of ways - need to embrace more modern working environment, will help drive diversity particularly for working moms
    - lots of new technology in the works but tbd if it will be successful
    - not the most "fun" culture

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - exec team is in a bubble. Mean well & ask for feedback but then don't listen to it or truly act on it. Big disconnect w/ employees unfortunately
    - consensus decision making will never change if it doesn't happen at senior levels & they are the worst offenders
    - hold people accountable, including yourselves. Exec team should not be getting bonus in years where targets/timelines missed. & not just product misses. 1275 is a prime example - we're at least 12-18 months past when initially estimated to move in. Has anyone been held truly accountable for that miss?
    - focus on diversity with things that will really make a difference

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 18 people found this helpful  

    CMO’s view of Dolby

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

    I have been working at Dolby full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Given all of the comments about the marketing organization and the leadership team, I guess it is time to bring my perspective to this dialog. I love the passion I hear and truly believe everyone is entitled to their opinion and to report on their experience. I simply and transparently want to lend my voice to the mix.

    By way of background and context, I have been in my role at Dolby since the beginning of 2014 after two decades working for Nike, Nokia, Apple and most recently as an early stage VC. So what drew me to Dolby?

    - Amazing technology and products in development
    - Passionate people who believe in the company’s purpose and mission
    - Exceptional brand and history of innovation
    - A love of music and entertainment
    - The opportunity to help set the course for the next 50 years of this iconic company

    In the last nine months I have seen all of these attributes in action and believe as strongly in them as I did the day I joined. I have also observed a company and a marketing organization in transition. What few realize is the company over the last few years has quietly transformed itself from an enterprise reliant on the sale of DVD players to one that is a vital part of today's entertainment ecosystem and has brought whole new platforms such as Dolby Atmos, Dolby Voice and Dolby Vision to market. I give the management team huge credit navigating this change – I certainly had nothing to do with it!

    On the marketing front, the transformation has been equally significant as a fragmented organization is beginning to be knit together into a more coordinated team. We are in the middle of this process and have a ways to go. Needless to say this is the most important work I do.

    To anyone (current employee, past employee, interviewee) with questions, complaints or comments about the marketing org or the leadership team at Dolby I encourage you to reach out. Those who know me know that my door is always open and I can handle feedback. Please take me up on it!

    Cons

    Progress and change never happen as quickly as we want. Nor are they perfectly predictable. This work requires patience and in addition to patience, it takes a strong will, the ability to get into the mix, and to collaborate and occasionally even compromise.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We as a team need to keep listening and communicating. Together all 1600 of us can realize the potential of this amazing company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great company, strange product development process

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

    I have been working at Dolby full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great benefits—every other Friday off is an amazing plus. People are friendly, HR is great and there are numerous training opportunities. There are some great products in the pipeline, and there's a lot of optimism that Dolby can "break through" to the next phase of revenue growth.

    Cons

    Many projects are mis-managed and that makes it difficult to move forward quickly on initiatives. Very engineering focused, and with a lot of politics and roadblocks, particularly between marketing and the business group.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    Great place to learn and grow - interesting work and excellent colleagues

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

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

    Pros

    I've been at Dolby for almost seven years. While here, I've had tremendous growth opportunities: I've learned a ton from a variety of challenging projects across all areas of my field, and I've been able to advance my career. I really appreciate:
    - Working on a daily basis with highly intelligent, analytical, interesting people both within and outside my function. Respecting and learning from the people around me is super important to me. The interesting thing about Dolby is that many of these people tend to be humble as well.
    - The availability of challenging, worthwhile "problems" to solve - you can really make an impact here; the level of complexity can be frustrating at times, but for the most part guarantees you won't be bored or complacent
    - The leadership team's commitment to high quality and high integrity - we make high quality products, we take pride in solving difficult problems, and while I may not agree with every leadership decision I have never questioned whether leaders would "do the right thing"
    - In general, I think many people enjoy good work-life balance here and the off-Fridays are a great benefit

    Cons

    Many of our challenges are not unique to Dolby and include:
    Being a truly "global" company in which our non-US HQ regions are set up for success
    A leadership style and culture that is more "traditional" and "hierarchical" than many tech companies, although I see some evidence this is changing
    The difficulty of making real progress when multiple departments, systems, processes, and stakeholders are involved - change can be slow here at times with a lot of up-front buy-in required

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to hold people to high standards, high quality, high integrity - that's a big part of what attracts great people to Dolby and keeps them working here
    Don't be afraid of more transparent communication
    Encourage more risk-taking and "failing fast"
    Keep holding leaders accountable for empowering their people to make decisions
    It would be great to see top executives engaging with employees in a more informal way

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    My view, my career and why I think Dolby is an amazing place to work.

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

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

    Pros

    Dolby is a fantastic organization to grow your career. When I stop to think about why, I think about the content of my work first. Dolby affords me with challenging problems that in return give me life long skills and experiences. The work that I own can be tough, it may stretch some, but its in those moments that I have grown professionally. For me, those are opportunities that I welcome and are fulfilling. I then think about the people around me. I've been in a variety of environments from start up to tech giant and will admit that I feel fortunate to have seen the other side of the fence. I can with sincerity say that I work with some really amazing and crazy smart people. I come in to work everyday and inspired by their enthusiasm and relentless drive to push Dolby's limits. I do not fear challenging conventional thinking at Dolby. As a company rooted in research and development, the opportunities to have a voice is liberating. The last piece of my appreciation is Dolby allows me to do my most important job and that is to be a parent. It's one of the few places in my entire career that understands the challenges of being a parent and allows me to care for the people that mean the most to me. I have to admit the 9/80 schedule is super cool. It's the one day that I can, without guilt, enjoy a day to disconnect and reconnect with things that matter the most.

    Cons

    I personally do no have any. Do I think Dolby is perfect? Of course I don't and know that as a whole, we have a lot of work to do. The best part is that I get to do so with some wildly talented people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Embrace what makes Dolby unique and celebrate the small wins. There are a lot of people at Dolby who feel the same as I do and excited about the future of Dolby!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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