There are newer employer reviews for First Data

1 person found this helpful  

KKR's "Window Dressing Exercise" no Solution to Revenue Problems

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

I worked at First Data full-time for more than 5 years

Pros

Great people and talent. Good legacy products.

Cons

No loyalty to those that have invested many years of service and/or have contributed in a major way to First Data's bottom line. No path for professional development. Losing lots of good people and talent for the sake of short-term bottom-line impact. Lack of innovation to keep pace with market changes in payments arena. Near-term cost cutting will continue and employee moral is on a steep decline.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

KKR is acting in a very predictable manner with its largest investment asset. KKR's patience is in the rear view mirror, seeking to IPO First Data in the near term. Unfortunately, KKR has lost sight of the importance of innovation due to it's "financial blinders". My advice to KKR - you better pay attention to who is biting at your heals rather than manually bailing the water out of a sinking titanic. The sad truth to the Private Equity game that is currently being played out with First Data is that KKR's efforts to position First Data for an IPO by eliminating vast amounts of IP (ie.."well Mr Investor, the bottom line looks fine to me) neglects to consider one of the most important ingredients, the run rate of net new revenue. If KKR spent half the time it spent laying off good talent on understanding how they could generate net new revenue, then things might be different for their investment horizon. Being a large player in the payments space is a huge competitive disadvantage and KKR is desperately trying to hang on to the back (where's the innovation?) of a fast moving train on the payments railway. At the moment, KKR is simply throwing heavy luggage out the back of the C130 cargo ship in hopes that the improved fuel economy with make it fly further...the problem with this strategy is the fact that the engines haven't been serviced in way too long and there are only two solutions to the problem a) a mid-flight surgery (ie fire sale), or b) and unpleasant crash landing far short of the landing strip (need i explain?). Hate to say it....yet the debt load/investment needs to be heavier on the innovation front and rev run rate needs to have a pulse before the public will "buy-in" to an IPO. Perhaps a lesson in AGILITY is in order. Bringing on Jon Judge was the best thing that happened to First Data in the past several years as he really did care about the things that matter most....only to leave First Data at the hands of those whose priorities are elsewhere. At the end of the day, this is a classic case of KKR biting off more than it could chew...which will most likely result in some serious heartburn, not just for those getting riffed, but for those whose pocketbooks will be adversely impacted. Perhaps a new acronym is in order...along the lines of Keep Kleenex Ready!

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

482 Other Employee Reviews for First Data (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Chopping Block

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

    I have been working at First Data full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great coworkers; you get PTO almost immediately and a decent amount of it.

    Cons

    It was bought by an investment firm a few years back and they are basically trying to flip the company like a house. They had massive layoffs before any of the financial crisis happened and continue to have them, forcing others to work more and more. They have offices all over and don't do much work to create a corporate culture so it is hard to get a sense of what being an employee of First Data really means.
    They have also been cutting benefits year by year and actually giving training that suggests it's because of healthcare reform - which really doesn't affect our plan and most changes don't even come due until 2014. Last year they charged almost $1000 extra dollars a year just to add your spouse to the insurance. This year is worse. And they've stopped contributing to 401(k)s - giving some "culture of ownership" tripe where they will give you stock after the go public but you have to stay with the company for a certain period of time after that to get it.

    That's just what these big investment firms do - buy up companies try to make them look more profitable (usually at the expense of employees), and put it back on the market to turn a profit. But you're left with poor morale, no loyalty, little tenure - which will just hurt the company's ability to compete in the long run.

    If you're looking for a real career and a company to grow with, this isn't the place for you. Maybe once it's back on the market and the priorities have changed, they will invest more in building a culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Who knows? Your job is to make the company stock look good in the short-term, even at the detriment of the long-term. Even though being good to employees is a great strategy for the long haul, it doesn't always make your books look good for your IPO.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Old Guard

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

    I have been working at First Data full-time

    Pros

    First Data is a stable company, with great products. The pay is fair and the benefits were good.

    Cons

    Paths for advancement are few and limited. And changing leadership has created a workplace that changes every year, with new exercises in completely changing how your job is done. It is typical of old school finance companies, filled with contradicting goals, inconsistent feedback, and characterized by inefficient bureaucracy. It's currently in the process of cost-cutting for possibly going public, and, of course, the main way they are trying to become more fiscally responsible is by cutting its investment in its employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide your employees with real opportunities for advancement - don't try to fool them. Cost cut by being innovative, not by sacrificing benefits that are important to your employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for First Data

Worked for First Data? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.