Altria

www.altria.com
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4 people found this helpful  

Can't Beat the Experience... But...

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

I worked at Altria full-time (more than 10 years)

Pros

- Great Friends! I worked at Altria (Philip Morris USA) for over a decade. I made so many life-long friendships.

- Family Orientation. I have a family, and not once did I feel as if my family was unwelcome. They would come to meet for lunch or to say hello to our friends at work. In addition (it's up to manager discretion by the way), there's ample time off and a general understanding that family is priority #1 for most folks, and that your career/occupation/job is the means to continue making family #1.

- Wealth of Experiences: In my tenure there, I had more jobs than years at the company. This wasn't because of 'bad' attrition rates, but rather, the acknowledgement of content mastery and the desire to continue providing challenging experiences.

- Pay is 'good' for the area. At any job, a few 'k' more is always nice, but keep in mind that for the level position for the Richmond area, the pay is very competitive.

- Investment in Leadership. Having left the company, I now look back on the investment Altria makes in Leadership, and it's truly from the 'bottom up'. I cannot even count how many Leadership Seminars, Bootcamps, Excursions, etc. that I experienced over the years. In addition, management truly wants your input, and fully incorporates you into the strategic planning process. All in all, they are FUN, rewarding, and you learn a LOT of transferrable skills.

Cons

- Downsizing. This is the Tobacco Industry. It is in decline. Period. In a declining market, with the overhead of Federal and State cash outlays that increase YoY, it's a tough road. I witnessed three layoff periods, and it was not a happy place to be. As a former employee, the ONLY reason I left was because of this reason, and this reason alone. With downsizing, you constantly wonder when the next round of layoffs will be, and you also witness the shrinking 'opportunity set' of potential positions, both laterally and in advancement.

- 'Good old Boy Network'. This is an 'older' company, and there's a perception that a 'good old boy' network exists(ed) inside the company. If you didn't play golf with the VP of so n' so, then the perception was that you wouldn't be up for the next big promotion.

- Over-reliance on Sales Force. I worked at Headquarters, and witnessed an incredible amount of 'churn' with selected personnel from the Field Sales Force. Granted, that organization is very large, and the top X% of that organization is a large number. However, placing Field Sales Force personnel in 'any' position over and above others that have garnered as much or more success in their respective non-FSF roles is NOT the panacea they are looking for.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

- Be as Transparent as possible with your people, the future of the company, and their future. The people that are there are completely DEDICATED to the company, and to each other. This is VERY hard to find. Transparency is applauded, and respected.

- Shift towards a Meritocracy. I'm not suggesting a pendulum swing here, but instead, put a little more weight during Reviews and advancement planning on truly WHAT the individual delivers against the goals, and HOW. Rely less if Jane Doe is a great schmoozer at an event, or garners cross-functional attention through some theatrics. Rely more on and reward Janet Doe who actually did the work and garnered cross-functional accolades through making systems, processes, and people better.

- Rely less on Sales Force to solve the company's problems. In general, Sales persons are not engineers. They are not creative savants. They do not hold a doctorate in statistics and developed a new coding script for evaluating data. Yes... these can be learned by the brightest of sales persons, but the folks you have that are already doing that type of work have also mastered those skills, and want to keep progressing as well!

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

332 Other Employee Reviews for Altria (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to begin a career (field sales)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Territory Sales Manager in Huntington, NY
    Former Employee - Territory Sales Manager in Huntington, NY

    I worked at Altria full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Structured training and development program. Flexible work hours. Competitive compensation. Reputable company and work experience. Management is committed to developing their direct reports. There are opportunities to think strategically and make a real impact on the business. Culture is very outgoing and friendly. Very fun job overall.

    This is a great place for a recent college graduate to begin a career. Altria looks for smart and outgoing people for their sales force.

    Cons

    Mobility is must if you wish to advance within the sales force. Corporate HQ is in Richmond, VA (not the most appealing city). A Territory Sales Manager role positions you for little more than sales if you are unhappy with Altria. Other functional experience is necessary to move to another company or to seek a job that is not sales-related. Additionally, multiple initiatives are the norm. There is a lot of pressure to make numbers and balance multiple priorities all the time. Also, management wants TSMs to be strategic, but much of the job is tactical/executional in detail. Management should have more faith in the strategic thinking capabilities of their TSMs.

    If you are not promoted within 5 years, pursue an MBA. Also, make sure you are organized. Otherwise, the job can be very stressful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Prioritize. Everything cannot be a priority. Give TSMs more responsibility for their business results and don't hold them so accountable for numbers/objectives that are ultimately meaningless. Have more faith in the abilities of your TSMs.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Moving in the right direction

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

    I have been working at Altria full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    -New CEO has drastically improved moral in the company.
    -Big emphasis on leadership development
    -Career opportunities due to attrition

    Cons

    - Tough to work for a tobacco company and to justify to family, friends, and self.
    - Large corporation and political, but moving in the right direction

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work more with middle management and teach them the skills on how to manage to the LM.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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