Green Dot Reviews

Updated August 11, 2014
Updated August 11, 2014
71 Reviews
2.3
71 Reviews
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Steve Streit
43 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • people are great, facility is nice (in 4 reviews)

  • Good benefits when I was there, but I heard some of those have been rolled back (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • Not a good example of what C-Level should be like (in 5 reviews)

  • New leadership terminated (not lay-offs) a lot of employees this year and now the morale is low but hopefully it will pick up (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Lots of potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer  in  Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Principal Engineer in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Green Dot full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The GoBank team in Palo Alto is great. There is (still) a startup feel and mentality to the office. Recently there have been some turn over in the employees, but this also means there is great potential to advance in this office. Salary, bonus plan, ESPP, stock options are great and the CEO is super inspiring. GoBank as a product has great potential.

    Cons

    HQ is in Pasadena and it has shown to be hard to contribute to company wide changes from a satellite office. The company is trying to change process/policies to be less "banking" and more "software development", and even though the company is much more agile now than 1-2 years ago, there is still ways to go to make development and releases leaner/smoother. Lots of QA and parts of development is being moved to new office in China, which complicates the process.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to reward people taking initiatives to get rid of the cover-your-back mentality. Currently people are reluctant to proactively making improvements to code and/or process because 1) there is lots of red-tape involved, and 2) you will get blamed if something doesn't work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Director of Business Development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Development  in  Monrovia, CA
    Former Employee - Business Development in Monrovia, CA

    I worked at Green Dot full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Talented group of employees, willing to work hard in an everchanging environment
    - Strong focus on providing a fairly priced financial products to the underserved population
    - Rapid growth and energizing environment
    - Fair compensation
    - Nice perks such as Annual Picnic and fresh fruit in the office

    Cons

    - Due to rapid growth, frequent shift in priorities
    - Didn't feel like employees were freely able to provide opinions and feedback to leadership

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Better intergrate feedback/needs from clients into strategic plans

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Ask questions about what you're getting into...

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

    I worked at Green Dot

    Pros

    Good, hard-working, employees

    The problems are often engaging, even though it sometimes feels like you’re working on silly things

    There has been a movement to improve culture. They’re beginning to offer free lunches, stop layoffs, and return benefits. They’ve assigned culture captains to each site.

    Flexible work schedules and styles. Ability to work from home, etc.

    Friendly and considerate office culture.

    Nice office building. Decent area.

    Good pay/benefits

    Cons

    Leadership:

    - CEO and business leaders are very “idea-focused” and lack management/execution skills. There is little team/personal development in some divisions because leadership lacks the skills to develop and sustain a team.

    - Many projects consist of leaders pitching vague concepts but not knowing how to mobilize the groups beneath them.

    - CEO and other executives commit to timelines without checking with the teams actually doing the work. They also change requirements last-minute. Sometimes for good/bad reasons. But there is very little feedback as far as “how hard is this?” or “how would this affect our timing?” Just orders.

    - CEO goes on a lot of little rants. He always criticizes the CEOs of other companies and preaches cultural things that he’s advised to preach. It’s empowering at first but gets old quickly.

    - They don’t implement operational things well. They hired an agile consulting firm to with subpar results.

    - Leaders are brought in as swarms from other companies. They include Rovi Corporation and Loopt for huge payouts rather than being empowered from within. It sometimes feels like an “old boys club” in leadership and these groups bring in their own share of baggage.

    Organizational Structure:

    - Company is managed in a very “top-down” or “directive/controlling” fashion. Executives generally give direction and minions execute.

    - Tools are chosen by committees of executives as opposed to the teams that use those them on a day-to-day basis. It results in disconnected policies that often result in focuses on making “reports look good” rather than building a good product.

    - Leadership does a bad job load-balancing work / maintaining proper headcount. There are a lot of bad managers and a high turnover rate.

    - There are some questionable characters in the executive circle.

    Engineering:

    - Outdated architecture. Everything is a piece of crap built on a piece of crap built on a piece of crap – often through relationships with terrible 3rd parties. It’s very difficult to build state-of-the-art products on this architecture.

    - Little automated testing. There is a movement to change this that is fantastic.

    - Fixed deployment dates for an out-of-date system. Not possible to push code changes quickly and off-cycles require awful hours for tech-ops teams.

    - A lot of engineering is being moved to China.

    - Overall, this is the most favorable part of the organization.

    Cultural:

    - A lot of leadership and senior employees have the idea that problems are “business as usual” and it’s just how things are done. They don’t realize there are better, more efficient ways.

    - There have been many layoffs the past few years though it is slowing down.

    - Very stock-price focused. Sometimes feels like you’re in the business of manipulating analysts.

    - Benefits (401k matching) have been taken away and merit bonuses have been very limited in order to bump stock price.

    - Currently low employee morale. Folks are leaving.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The cultural improvements are great - keep them up, make them sincere, don't do anymore annoying benefits cuts.

    Consider changing approach to leadership. Empower people at lower levels to make decisions and surround the CEO with people who "manage down" and are realistic rather than "yes" people.

    You need to get off some of this legacy technology. Doing it properly/sustainably is going to cause huge costs that will lower the stock price, but it has to be done.

    Hire people who have experience leading large organizations and developing team-members. You have enough "idea-people", you need people who can get stuff done.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Crazy sometimes, but it's exciting and keeps me engaged

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

    I have been working at Green Dot full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Get to work on building banking products, so it always feels like my work is relevant to the everyman. Better than in entertainment or other fields, where you are pleasing people but not changing something they hold personally and vitally important.
    There's a strong effort to create fun at work, with ad hoc team-specific events and learning sessions, as well as lunch served downstairs 2 days per week.
    We have huge ambitions to accomplish big things. The management team really has a strong desire to shape the industry and create better products/experiences.

    Cons

    Because we're dealing with people's finances, there is a lot of pressure. If any mistakes are made, we could be harming somebody in a way that really hurts -- their wallet. Sometimes that can get stressful, but hopefully there's a good result from that stress.
    Would love free lunch every day :)... but there are a lot of lunch places around, and it's nice to have it in the office 2 days per week.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    free lunch! more career training, more all-hands meetings. They are so helpful each quarter. Would like to do more.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Company has potential, but has a serious gap in real leadership

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

    I worked at Green Dot full-time

    Pros

    Green Dot is an interesting company with lots of potential. Employees work hard in a very fast paced environment. The relatively new offices are nicely decorated, but don't expect any privacy.

    Cons

    Executive leadership is seriously lacking. They aren't willing to hire experienced leadership, and when they do, they won't let them make changes. Also leaders are constantly focused on the wrong things. Even the Board of Directors is in the CEO's pocket and are just as much yes-men as the senior leaders. Note that while the open office space is nice looking, it is crowded and germs travel fast. Either have good immunity or start taking vitamins if you work here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a serious look at your executive leadership, time for some changes, refocus and rebalance the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Good if you are in the right groups

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager  in  Pasadena, CA
    Current Employee - Manager in Pasadena, CA

    I have been working at Green Dot full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Smart people (mostly)! Decent pay.

    Cons

    Confused leadership. You need to be on the right side of management!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Talk to the developers and value them!

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Living HELL...

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

    I have been working at Green Dot full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I guess that would be the healthcare which im sure will be cut off soon.

    Cons

    Where to begin. My manager was horrible couldnt even tell me what was expected of me then later wrote a list of things that i didnt do. All the co workers are 2 face playing the game behind your back while all along they are telling your manager what you say to protect themselves. No one knows whats going on around there. Everyone is running around like a chicken for what little money you do get. Forget raises thats only 2% thats if you kissed the right butt . Otherwise your looking at nothing and long days with no hope for any kind of change

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Just let the company go. Not sure where it went wrong but it wasnt this bad a few years ago.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    I hate my job! Everyday it's a sickening deterioration of myself.

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

    I have been working at Green Dot full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Starbucks coffee and the witty handful of co-workers that get me through my day.

    Cons

    It becomes frustrating when you get reprimanded for your outfit but the lead falling asleep at her desk is never fired, the co-workers that do not have any positive input to the team constantly are a disruption, and your manager will not take any initiative to lead the team without consent of her puppet master. Politics over job qualifications, that's what gets you promoted. They prefer a person of the lowest order in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation to promote because you'll obey anything they say, without questioning it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get the balls to address lazy and incompetent leads and peers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    A very smart group of engineers working together as a real team

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Performance Engineer  in  Monrovia, CA
    Former Employee - Performance Engineer in Monrovia, CA

    I worked at Green Dot full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Knowledge sharing and credibility

    Cons

    Management was a little disconnect with the employees, specially after going public

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to show the employees that they do care

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    good learning experience at great price

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

    I worked at Green Dot full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - good learning experience

     - decent pay and some good co-workers

    Cons

    - incapable CEO

     - incapable IT management all coming from the same previous company
    and not based on qualifications. they seem to be more interested in politics
    and making room for their ex-coworkers

     - work is done with short term vision and 'it is good for now' attitude, resulting in re-write pretty much every year

     - more political games are played and less work is done by the IT management

     - instead of fixing the issues, problems are hidden under new process and procedures

     - lot of good people left and more are on their way out. low employee morale.

     - management talks about transparency but it seems to only apply to employees

     - poor communication between different groups and no clear vision

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    to any board member that cares: lot of people are complaining about the same thing around the same time and that has to mean something. it is still not too late to fix what is broken

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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