Microsoft

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Great Company & Leadership

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  • Senior Management
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Former Employee - Director in Mountain View, CA
Former Employee - Director in Mountain View, CA

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

Pros

Loved the passion at Executive Level. It is great technology company in Seattle. I worked for Windows Team and I loved it.

Cons

Their Mountain View office is just another service org and have nothing to do with Corporate office.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Build the leadership at Remote sites. Especially Silicon Valley can not be slave of Redmond. Team in Mountain View was worst of both world.. i.e. when it came to delivery they wanted to as slow as possible and when it came to planning they wanted to as agile as possible..

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

9050 Other Employee Reviews for Microsoft (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great opportunity to hone skills which I had to take elsewhere to earn more money

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Operations Program Manager in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Operations Program Manager in Redmond, WA

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

    Pros

    The company provides global opportunities for those looking to have broad experiences with colleagues across multiple cultures (and multiple time zones), and the opportunities to move laterally into other organizations to round out your professional skill set.

    Cons

    What they won't tell you when you are interviewing is how limiting their level structure can be if you hire in at a level that is lower than your full experience could command. When you go to make a lateral move, you will only be considered within your level band regardless of your capability and experience. You can reasonably expect to be promoted to a higher level each 1-3 years if you are a strong performer but you cannot make a move to a new position in order to move up a level.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The ranking structure (forced distribution) fosters bad behavior, and takes as an assumption that any particular pool of employees contains a reasonable percentage of people that need to be managed out. People understandably spend time covering their own best interests at the expense of synergies, economies and the needs of Microsoft's customers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    When I joined MSFT I received this advice: Here is a rope. You can either run with it or hang yourself.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Managing Director in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Managing Director in Redmond, WA

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

    Pros

    When in sales or business development it is great to work for a recognized brand. I have never had problems getting meetings with potential customers and partners. Stability. Reasonable pay. Good stock award plan. Good benefits. Lots of career potential.

    Cons

    Highly political and lots of people spending most of their time looking good instead of actually getting work done. The infamous rating system really drives the wrong behaviour. Innovation is very slow, which too often puts us on the back foot when trying to compete. Realistic, pragmatic and constructive criticism of our company is not appreciated. We are all just supposed to be positive about everything all the time and not raise any suggestions for improvement. Hard to change processes even if it makes infinite sense.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1) Simplify the rating system to three ratings. We all know who the 1s are and we typically also know who the 5s are. Consolidate the 2, 3 and 4 ratings. The actual performance difference between a 2 and a 4 is tiny, but the impact from a compensation and future job potential perspective is huge. The rating system should also take "team work" into account.
    2) Institute a culture where "constructive challengers" are rewarded. Today it is much easier to advance by being a "yes-man" than to constructively challenge the status quo.
    3) Be more customer/partner centric... that is an obvious one.
    4) Stop believing our own BS. A good example is Surface. Nice product, not great product. We price it similarly to iPad and only make it available in our own stores. 8 months later we take a $900M charge. Imagine if the Windows BG had listened to some of the field feedback and priced the Surface aggressively (lets say a $900M investment) and made it broadly available. We would have been in a much stronger market position today, but our LT decided to protect our old cash-cow (Windows) instead of going for market share (future).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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