FreeWave Technologies

  www.freewave.com
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FreeWave Technologies Reviews

Updated Jun 19, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

2.0 15 reviews

25% Approve of the CEO

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Steve Wulchin

(8 ratings)

33% of employees recommend this company to a friend
15 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Good company with good products getting beat up by sour ex-employees

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Boulder, CO

    ProsThe CEO is rough but he cares and wants the company to succeed.

    ConsThere are a lot of sour grapes who used to work for the company and make it tough for current employees and managers who are still working there.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't allow employees so much input into the decisions that are made. They end up becoming disgruntled when you don't take all their advice, leave and post nasty comments. Most companies don't allow for this much input and employees know they don't run the company.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    If you enjoy negativity, sarcasm, tantrums and a generally hostile environment, this is the place for you!

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsSome team members who really care and keep trying to make a difference.

    Cons- Lack of information sharing, collaboration, trust, and general respect across some departments and leaders.
    - Road-blocking by managers
    - Tantrums (yes, really), outbursts, and hostile, sarcastic off-hand remarks by senior team members that are just plain unprofessional
    - Elimination of bonuses, decline of SEP shares due to poor decision making by senior team looking to point fingers at the everyone else.
    - The never ending drama related to the personal dispute between the original founders.

    Advice to Senior Management- Stop being defensive and LISTEN to those who try to help you.
    - Truly partner with your mid-level staff to solve problems.
    - Share information to help improve technical competencies.
    - Stop allowing unhealthy, unprofessional behavior at ALL levels (lying, throwing angry fits, cursing, belittling others, going behind people's backs on pet projects, etc.)

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    This is really, really bad place to spend your week (and weekends)

    (Former Employee)

    Pros1) nice new-ish building. 2) free diet cokes

    ConsAre you considering a position In Bellevue Washington? Or in Boulder, CO?
    Think again! Learn from past Boulder employees:

    I write this mainly as a warning to others, as it is impossible for me to offset the badness here. This is, by far, the most messed up place I have ever worked. It is dysfunctional from the top on down. Our 3 year old "management" team and their doesn't-apply-to-us rules a.k.a. "Freewave 2.0" are just plain toxic.

    Engineers report that reasonable, but already-aggressive time estimates are further slashed by a factor of 2x-3x by management which purports to "know better". In a practical sense, this means that you will be given NO time to simulate, prototype or debug your designs. Instead, there is barely enough schedule for you to throw something on paper and ship it!. But you'll be sorry if it doesn't work the first time...

    This is called responsibility with no authority. And it permeates this company at all levels. (But excludes the management team, of course.) Without any schedule or technical authority whatsoever (oh, but bunches of responsibility), engineers are leaving in droves.

    In an environment where staff is so short-handed from all the people leaving, you then are forced to work Saturdays and even Sundays to meet the ego-driven, fabricated schedules which you had NO input on. (as YOU clearly are "behind", right?). But when you are forced in on weekends, you will not see any of the management team. As they never have to live by their own rules or decisions...

    In order to address the wide gulf between what is demanded and what you are actually enabled to do, management has introduced the "PIP" (Personal Improvement Plan). It is effectively a probation tool that is just one step away from firing. Sadly, once you are given a PIP, there is no mechanism for undoing it. It is permanent. I have seen really good, conscientious people quit for this policy alone. (Or likely it was just their last straw...)

    Read the other reviews on this site: Our bonus plan is GONE as of early 2013. And now our SEP (retirement) plan is largely reduced. Meanwhile again, on this same site, look at all of the new postings for engineering positions! This is NOT a sign of growth. Rather, it's a sign of panicked replacement of all of the engineering talent that left! Simply, Freewave has burned through the large engineering population in Denver-Boulder. Plus here the word about this workplace is out. This is why the Washington office has opened.

    Finally, in the company profile, you can see testimonials from those happy employees. I know several of them. They aren't so happy now. Please note that these testimonials are about 5 years old. So much destruction has happened and bad managers hired since then.

    And yes, H.R. knows of this site and all of these factual reviews. In response, they have padded Glassdoor reviews with now 3-4 fake good ones in an attempt to dilute what is really happening.

    Learn from the mistakes of many others and just don't go here.

    If you really want to work with radios, check out Xetawave.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou have repeatedly hired bad people into management positions.
    Someone else needs to fix this, as you clearly don't know what you are doing.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Unfortunate Experience

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGood people before they all left or were forced out by incompetent management.

    ConsPeople were let into the leadership despite bad references. Officers now "leading" were not properly vetted or qualified and are now repeating their past failures with this company. HR is a joke and is nothing more than a part of this company's many problems despite their posts as "employees" to the contrary. Many good people left and will continue to leave until this company acknowledges its ridiculous turnover rate and gets its act together.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBullying and intimidating are not leading. Respect cannot be mandated and will never be earned in the current environment. Try to mitigate the damage you are doing to people and their careers - karma is real.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Only Because You CANNOT Choose NO Stars

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Boulder, CO

    ProsSoda and popcorn machines. Nice new building. On bike trails.

    ConsLeadership or lack there of. There's a reason why this company has so many poor reviews. These are not hostile employees and it's says a lot when companies feel they need to have a plant go and put something good thinking it will change all the bad. HR is not your friend. They lie and cheat. Do not go to them with any employment concern. But that is leadership as a whole. Cannot be trusted. They have turned some great happy employees into very angry mad and depressed people. This twice before joining this company.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMove on. It's time to either close the doors or step aside and let a true leadership team come in and make a difference in a positive way. Live up to your own values. Why did you put them into place if you are not going to walk the walk?

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Good Company with Great Opportunities

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Boulder, CO

    ProsIf you want an opportunity to make a difference, this is the place for you.
    After several years of relying on existing technology, the Company is now focused on several new technology platforms that will change the way its customers do business in the near future. Improved product features and radios with superior performance will be standard fare for partners and customers.
    In parallel, needed infrastructure changes have been made and now the Company is on track to take advantage of its newly created technology. A focus on repeatable process and improved operational performance will start to pay off for the Company and its customers soon. All functions of the Company have the opportunity to play a role and change the way business is conducted. All you need is desire and a willingness to work with teammates to be successful.
    The Company supports its workforce with compensation packages that include upside for all employees based on Company performance. In addition, employees enjoy a generous SEP program that takes individual sacrifice out of retirement saving. Employees are not required to save any of their disposable income in order to maximize retirement savings. The Company automatically contributes a certain percentage of income into the program that vests immediately for employees. Benefits such as healthcare programs, health club reimbursements, charitable time off, a sabbatical program and planned time off are all at or above the vast majority in the marketplace.
    The Leadership of the Company is focused on winning. They have a plan and have invited all employees to participate. Monthly Company meetings, functional staff meetings and annual strategy meetings are all in place for employees to influence direction and get status on progress.

    ConsAs can be expected, the big changes have caused some unrest and insecurities amongst the workforce. The early adopters are excited about the new direction, but slower adopters are sitting on the sidelines waiting for change to happen instead of taking advantage of new opportunities. This of course has caused some level of churn within the Company. The result has been some level of turnover. To their credit, the Company’s leadership recognizes the issue and has taken action to help navigate towards its vision.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStay focused on reaching the future vision. Continue to challenge employees to help drive the Company forward (as a team). Stay patient with the change process, but spend the majority of your energy helping early adopters succeed.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    The good times are over for good

    (Former Employee) Boulder, CO

    ProsDecent salaries, good benefits, free drinks, large car park.

    ConsSmall company on the slow downhill slide into oblivion. Lack of market awareness/research resulting in development of new products that don't sell. Huge army of hardware and software engineers, yet new products take an age to appear. Uninspiring CEO that wants to be involved with everything yet will make a decision on nothing. Many employees that took this company to it's greatest heights are now gone -found pastures new or left (voluntarily or otherwise).
    Senior management make decisions irrespective of advice or guidance from
    experienced engineers. Morale in the company has evaporated, enforced culture change has made the workplace demoralizing.
    Profit sharing has gone and is very unlikely to return unless the company undergoes a startling turnaround, SEP contributions, on the decline, may soon disappear too.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMove over and let some other people have a go - you are taking this company down

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Once a great radio company

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Boulder, CO

    ProsThe office location near Boulder Creek and Valmont bike park make for restful lunch breaks.

    ConsWhat was once a great radio company is now reduced to reselling cheap Taiwanese built radio modules. Many of the original employees in the company have left to work for a new company by the FreeWave cofounder. I am one of them. The new CTO is now starting an R&D office near his home in Bellevue, WA. Two more great people left in the last few weeks.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    They set out to “build a company”

    Executive Assistant (Current Employee) Boulder, CO

    ProsThe CEO is passionate about the company and the people that work here. In the time that I’ve been here, I’ve been impressed by his and the executive staff’s drive to succeed combined with a sense of pride in their products and the teams they lead. I appreciate that the CEO talks about how he wanted to “build a company” when he started FreeWave. You can still see that in his actions and forward thinking strategies.

    Some companies just talk about empowering employees to give back to their community. FreeWave actually provides things such as Charitable Time Off and a Social Asset Team where we can do just that.

    The company is creating cutting edge technologies and that takes a team of very smart people to succeed. The team is strong and looking to expand. Now seems to be a very good time to be a part of FreeWave.

    ConsCommunication is an area where every company could do better. FreeWave is better than most at communicating but still making an effort to improve. Every manager needs to buy in and work toward this for it to be successful.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWork to be more efficient with your time and the time of your team when scheduling meetings.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    6 people found this helpful  

    If you are thinking of working here, RUN!

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Boulder, CO

    Prosfree soda, ping-pong nice building

    ConsLet me start by giving you a data point on the honesty of this companies' management: If you look below, you will see the "“This ain't your grandfather's company - what a breath of fresh-air!” review. Well, that was written by Kelly W., their head of H.R.!! How do I know? She TOLD me. Why? The word is out locally about what a dysfunctional horror show this company's management has become. When asked, they lied about it to several of my coworkers and me. They will do the same to you, as they are desperate to replace the people they have abused into leaving.

    Their census remains stable while their turnover was a disturbing 30% for 2012 and 2013. I saw so many good people leave. (I wonder if they are still calling this catastrophic loss of talent "housecleaning"?) You just can't win there. As even minor constructive honesty will get you fired on the spot. The CEO advertizes an "open door" policy. He's nice to meet in the hallway, but don't believe that for a second. The most valuable thing I learned while at FreeWave? That there truly ARE worst things than being unemployed. Learn from my (& many others) mistakes.

    Advice to Senior ManagementALL of you (except for 1 or 2) need to go. Like 2 years ago.

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