Dolby Reviews

Updated April 20, 2015
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3.4
165 Reviews
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Dolby President and CEO Kevin J. Yeaman
Kevin J. Yeaman
110 Ratings

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 Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    It is a very good tech-oriented company.

    • 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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Nice 9/80 plan. People there are talented. Paid very well at this company and the location at San Francisco is close to Bart.

    Cons

    Since it locates at downtown San Francisco, it is very inconvenient for people who drive to work. And it is far for those one who live in the south bay of Bay Area.

  2. Helpful (2)

    The good and the bad

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

    I have been working at Dolby full-time (More than 10 years)

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Unquestioned industry leader. There are great things happening and interesting work to be done, if you can get yourself positioned for it. And there are good people if you know where to look for them.

    Cons

    Has been becoming more and more conventional in every negative sense in the ten years since it went public. Disappointing to see this great niche environment slowly turn into an ordinary soulless tech company, increasingly staffed by ordinary soulless (and unethical) drones. True talent is exploited, patronized, and undervalued, and it ain't cream that's rising to the top (i.e. management).

    Advice for newer employees: keep your head down, do your work well, and don't be naive. If you're looking to move up and up...good luck with that.

    Advice to Management

    Don't even think about getting rid of the 9/80 schedule,

  3. Helpful (1)

    Engineering

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Dolby

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The premier audio company grown by the vision of founder Ray Dolby.

    Cons

    Political correct ideology infesting several departments crippling the creative work process.

    Advice to Management

    Beware of power-mad middle management behavior

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (1)

    Hostile Work Environment WARNING!!!

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

    I worked at Dolby

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

    Pros

    Competitive Salary. Every other Friday off.

    Cons

    Company is on a downward spiral at an exponential rate. Technically incompetent managers who micromanage, intimidate, and sabotage work efforts of subordinates. Overly political work environment. Dysfunctional team dynamic. No direction. Unreasonable expectations from managers. Mixed directives from managers. Contradictory direction and advisement from managers. Agile Scrum focus is upon meeting deadlines, not ensuring quality products. Sweatshop environment. Company is located in epicenter of one of San Francisco's most dangerous drug districts. Perimeter of building smells of human urine. Don't be fooled by the 4 day work week or the name. Dolby is just a brand. It's technology is primarily obsolete in today's "on demand" entertainment industry . Dolby is in no way one of the best companies to work for. It's never fun working on a sinking vessel. Hardly worth even a 30 minute commute. Beware!!!

    Advice to Management

    Fire all middle management or hire technically competent mentors who can facilitate process improvements. Downsize, or put up a for sale sign out front.

  6. Helpful (3)

    Very good working experience, had an excellent manager

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

    I worked at Dolby

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Leader in its on market has the ability to pursue new technologies without much sacrifice to the bottom line or competition. Compensation is very fair, good work environment, plenty of challenges to keep you busy and interested.

    Cons

    Change is very slow to occur, in some cases they have the wrong people in key leadership positions.

  7. Helpful (4)

    Sr Test engineer

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

    I have been working at Dolby

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent benefits , Decent work and life balance . @ list in my group. Manager and other team members are very helpful

    Cons

    So far so good . not seen any cons so far,

    Advice to Management

    None...

  8. Helpful (3)

    Great Company to work for.

    • 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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    2nd Friday off in US. Great work life balance.

    Cons

    Nothing I can think off. Great team of people to work with

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.

  9. Helpful (7)

    Nice brand, company and smart people - but out-dated culture and politics stifles growth and development

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

    I have been working at Dolby (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - 9/80 work schedule
    - Excellent work/life balance in most teams, although some people really lean toward the life part which might explain a portion of Dolby's sluggish growth.
    - Incredibly intelligent colleagues with deep industry knowledge and critical thinking skills.
    - Many interesting and amazing products on the horizon. Being a part of those developments that could be truly game-changing is amazing if we can get them launched and launched well.
    - The promise and potential of working for a great brand.
    - Unique perk: employee screenings of first run movies in the best theater (acoustically) in the country.

    Cons

    - Out-dated culture, heavy on old-school style political maneuvering to the degree that ideas and innovation are generally stifled. If you do happen to bring something solid to the table that a more Machiavellian colleague notices, he will take it for his own and give you little to no credit and probably not fully flesh out.
    - Lack of mentoring - While you might be surrounded by great minds, you will only get to learn by osmosis even if you ask for mentoring. If you are not already at the top of your game upon hiring, you will be side-lined. There is little opportunity to learn and grow your career, despite any promise you might hold. This cultural aspect also fails to create managers who jump on teachable moments as opportunities to develop their staff and expand on ideas.
    - These same brilliant minds while "waxing poetic" in highly-intelligent and fascinating discourse and debates of critical thinking and industry expertise often get so bogged down by the political strategies of consensus based decision making that progress is slow (which in tech, spells eventual death). There are few meetings less than 90 minutes and that is often weekly.
    - Initiative is not only not encouraged or rarely rewarded, but is sometimes actively disapproved of. Honestly, it sometimes seems like one's proclivity for initiative is perceived as "making another look bad" rather than doing what needs to be done for the good of the project. Rolling up your sleeves and digging in as a team is not part of the culture here.
    - Multiply all of the above x10 if you are a woman and then some. Several women colleagues over the years have left in frustration for having no actual seat at the table and ideas repeatedly being co-opted by male team members. This is as true in the more gender-balanced population of the marketing department as it is in the heavily male-skewed engineering. department.

    Advice to Management

    Cull out the old guard and the dead-weight lounging around to shake up the culture to foster innovation, meritocracy, and the tech dominance once held by Dolby; and eliminate out-dated political maneuvering behaviors which serve egos over the success of the business . Encourage mentoring and initiative, especially of junior staff and women. The young are the future and will help Dolby be nimble in the fast-moving tech industry. Changing the furniture in the new building will not miraculously reinvent the culture to be more like Twitter, FB, or Google. Much of the above, on the other hand, will.

  10. Helpful (1)

    Not bad, but not great

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

    I worked at Dolby full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Off Fridays, Ray Dolby and his love for engineering instilled solid values.

    Cons

    Slow go to market execution

  11. Helpful (3)

    Well known company with a small company feel

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

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

    Recommends
    Recommends

    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.

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