Dolby Reviews

Updated September 26, 2014
Updated September 26, 2014
138 Reviews
3.0
138 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • 9/80 work schedule (notice that this listed as a "Pro" in 90% of the reviews (in 33 reviews)

  • Innovative, Relaxed, Great location, Great people, 5/5 work life balance (in 15 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)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 8 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 for less than a 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
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    A special place

    • 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 full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The company is true R&D company, researching how we process light and sound and then applying that to entertainment and communication products. If you are an expert in audio and video, this is the secret pinnacle of employment. The company has successfully transitioned past its internet disruption period and is working on exciting new stuff.

    The people are extremely smart - awe inspiringly so, but also thoughtful and highly considerate of each other. It is small enough that you can know just about everyone who works here.

    Work/life mix is excellent for those who manage their time well. The every other Friday off perk is a life changer.

    Cons

    Dolby does things with a thoroughness that doesn't suit everyone. The company is playing a long game and the people who do best here are really invested in solving really gnarly problems with products that take years to fully realize. Those looking for shortcuts or quick wins might find themselves frustrated. However, that same thoroughness is what makes Dolby great (and highly profitable) and it is only a 'con' if you personally need a faster cycle time of gratification.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep playing the long game and continue to aggressively invest in our new products.

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

    I work with brilliant people!

    • 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 full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good 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!

    Cons

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    outstanding technology base

    • 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

    With 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.

    Cons

    Workplace 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 ManagementAdvice

    Could 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fun at times but bad execs, constantly changing priorities and politics are ruining this industry-icon

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

    I worked at Dolby full-time

    Pros

    9/80 schedule, brilliant co-workers, culture of excellence, and annual IdeaQuest design contest are really outstanding.

    Cons

    Politics, 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Disorganized Department

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

    I worked at Dolby full-time

    Pros

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

    Cons

    too 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 ManagementAdvice

    think very carefully before making a drastic decision not everything is possible !

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great engineers, terrible management.

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

    I worked at Dolby full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    None really, patents running out, new projects that have no compelling attributes or future, and a management that is promoting cutthroat behaviors across the board.

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Engineering-driven company

    • 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 full-time for more than a year

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

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

    Challenging projects, but not always for the right reasons.

    • 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 for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Scientists 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.

    Cons

    Executives 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 ManagementAdvice

    Be 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Dolby is going places,

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great non political work enviroment,
    Strong work life balance, (9/80)
    Amazing technologies about to come to market,
    One foot in hi tech the other in the entertainment industry,
    Dolbys new San Francisco HQ is going to be amazing.

    Cons

    Slow to change, though that is evolving,
    A formerly weak Marketing org, but new leadership is changing that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keeping fixing what is broken.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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