HBO

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HBO Reviews

Updated Jul 19, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 140 reviews

86% Approve of the CEO

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Richard Plepler

(29 ratings)

79% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Having such a strong product is great and emphasis on work life balance is great for morale (in 18 reviews)

  • Great benefits, wonderful programming, good people (in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • Not too many opportunities for advancement (because people tend to stay and be HBO-lifers) (in 6 reviews)

  • Lack of upward mobility and opportunity to move laterally (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights
140 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    Great place to work, great place to grow and have a career

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsGreat products, nice size (smallish), midtown NYC, Santa Monica, and Seattle locations. Leadership is top-notch. HR and policies are typical but on the generous side.

    ConsLots of outsourcing and movement to Seattle

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    where accountants go to die

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Proscool company, great product - not much else

    Consno upward mobility, extremely anal managers

    Advice to Senior Managementlook at the big picture and not at immaterial irrelevant details.

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

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    Low morale, Stifling Environment

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsGreat company as a whole and some very smart, nice people to work with but depends on department.

    ConsStuffy work environment, uninspired management just churning out work because that's "they way it's always been done". No consideration for IT contractors, just herded around where ever there was an open corner of a room. Environment was bit depressing and management was stiff, rigid.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
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    Account Representative

    Account Representative (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsGreat palce to work for. Everyone believes in the brand. Work to family balance is great and the company gives a great work atmosphere.

    ConsVery hard to get promoted because once someone get hired they dont leave.

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

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    Sales Development Executive

    Sales Development Executive (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsThe perks are legitimate and it is a very collaborative environment in which management wants you to succeed. Great opportunity for growth and development.

    ConsSometimes the pressure could be very overwhelming. Working at a large corporation like HBO can have its stressed and if you mess up, there are bigger consequences. Very competitive atmosphere so you must have thick skin.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTo be more proactive in coming up with new tactics.

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

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    Great place to work, but very little growth and it is now becoming too corporate and political.

    Middle Management (Current Employee) New York, NY

    Pros* Great benefits
    * Great company stature in the industry -- in content and in historical treatment of employees
    * Friendly work environment, culture
    * Great social / community programs and very good educational benefits (outside of the company -- tuition reimbursement).

    Cons* Almost no movement / promotions in any area of the company. Upper management, executive levels are so focused on themselves and their positions that there is very little or no staff development in many areas. Stagnant.
    * Company is slowly (quietly) eliminating whole support departments and "outsourcing" by hiring companies paying cheaper wages to their workers. Employees wishing to stay at HBO must take huge pay cuts to work with new company that has taken over their job group.
    * Environment is becoming more corporate and top heavy and not as diverse as it has been in the past.
    * For a company known for such strong creative content and for programs seeking fresh talent, there are no programs to tap into talent base within the company. You have a better chance of working on an HBO project (creatively) if you don't work for the company.
    * Too many "cooks in the kitchen" in the decision making process, therefore it is difficult to try different approaches to some things. This is sometimes causing more political maneuvering than was needed in the past. This really started after Chris Albrecht left and has only gotten worse.
    * As part of the larger corporation, Time Warner, even though HBO is quite profitable, it doesn't trickle down to the workers because so much money goes to executives and the corporate office.

    Advice to Senior Management* Pay more attention to staff development (or lack thereof) within departments.
    * Try creating a program that develops creative talent within the company (not just outside programs for non-HBO folks on the west coast).
    * Create more synergy between the east and west coasts. The West coast group controls so much of the decision-making, yet has only select connections to the east coast.
    * Create ways to get more input from all employees, not just upper/executive management.
    * Keep up the programs that encourage cultural and co-worker interactions as well as healthy living programs.
    * Keep up the support of educational growth.

    I would recommend this company to a friend with a caution about the lack of movement within the company and the slowly encroaching corporate mindset.

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

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    CRO

    Supervisor (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsNo Pros-there is not one positive thing that I could think of to post.

    ConsTHE worst job ever had. Micro-managed by a mentally ill manager.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet over yourselves-just because some of you have been there all of your adult lives doesn't give you the right to be so mean, nasty and self entitled.

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

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    Coast your way to irrelevancy!

    Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee) New York, NY

    Pros- Very little demands on you or your time. The place was pretty much a ghost town every evening at 6:30. And I could roll in around 10 or 10:30 or so. No one really ever seemed to care where I was, as long as I got my work done, but I can't remember a single time when I wasn't able to get my work done on time, so, that was never an issue.
    - Terrific work/life balance. There's so much time off given, as well as summer Fridays (and we even got the whole week off between Christmas and New Year's a few times, making for an 11-day break out of nowhere), that you can pursue interests outside of work, in the evenings and whatnot. Heck, since it was generally so easy to accomplish what you needed to do for work, it was also possible to pursue outside interests during work hours sometimes.
    - Generally friendly people.
    - Benefits. The tuition benefit was my favorite benefit by far. You can take any class you want through a local degree-granting institution, like a university or trade school, and HBO will pay 75% of the cost, even if it has nothing to do with your job role (but if it does, HBO will pay 100%!). I took advantage of that and took classes left and right in things that seemed interesting.

    Cons- Inertia, inertia, inertia. The entire IT department is run based on fear. It's impossible to try anything new or take any sort of risk, because all anyone is concerned about is covering their rear ends and making sure that, if something goes wrong, they have some sort of document that shows that they tried to address that before it happened. As a result, you spend upwards of 95% of your time producing business requirements documents, functional requirements documents, and technical design documents.
    - Waterfall development process. See above.
    - No growth of your technical skills. Since I spent almost all of my time writing documentation and almost zero actually writing code, my technical skills did not grow anywhere close to where one could reasonably expect them to over the course of several years in an IT department. And I got no help from my superior, either, who was not technical at all. As a result, whenever I tried to interview anywhere else, I did really poorly at technical interviews.
    - Babysitting hopelessly outdated software. Want to work on technology that's cutting edge? Not there. Well, how about relatively recent, then? Nope.
    - IT is treated like a second-class department. The clients (users at the rest of the company) are treated with such obsequiousness that those users are sometimes allowed to make technical decisions they have no business being involved in.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe entire IT department needs to be completely overhauled. And I'm not talking about your basic re-org. I'm talking about massive layoffs, getting rid of anyone who is incapable of writing a Hello World application. Then read David Heinemeier Hansson's book "Rework" and Kent Beck's "Extreme Programming Explained" and base the new culture on those principles.

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

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    Great content, great company

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsHBO's content keeps everyone in the company and the industry buzzing. Having such a strong product is great and emphasis on work life balance is great for morale.

    ConsOpportunities for advancement are not always available even to high performers. It can be a steady and fun job but not ideal for those looking for a quick climb up the corporate ladder.

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

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great opportunity for growth and success

    Senior Business Analyst (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsThe company provides great opportunities to further your professional education: mentoring program, on site training courses, off-site training, and university reimbursement. Projects are well funded, and appropriately resourced. Large mix of full-time staff and on-site consultants. Peer review program is fair and a good way to justify year end compensation increases.

    ConsVery hierarchical. Approvals from project inception to deployment are very lengthy. Challenges justifying to management risks and benefits. Employee hourly time tracking system is a huge burden.

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

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