LeapFrog Reviews

Updated September 24, 2014
Updated September 24, 2014
98 Reviews
2.6
98 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
LeapFrog CEO John Barbour
John Barbour
37 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It's definitely a great brand to work for, and has a stellar reputation, and dedicated employees (in 12 reviews)

  • Leapfrog it's a medium sized company with talented people which really love what they do (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior management doesn't know what's going on and their decisions reflect their lack of insight (in 17 reviews)

  • Upper management does not seem to know what is going on in the trenches (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Summer internship at LeapFrog

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

    I worked at LeapFrog as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Very warm and receptive culture, even for lowly interns. The company went out of its way to provide an educational and fun learning environment. Interns were allowed to select projects and presentations that could contribute real value to their respective teams.

    Cons

    Emeryville is a bit of a sleepy town. It's really small and there are not many choices for lunch within walking distance. Like many other companies, the day to day works seems driven by a steady stream of meetings, some of which are not essential for everyone. The company seemed to be taking steps to streamline the meeting schedule to make it more efficient for all departments.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management does a great job structuring and running the intern program. I am glad to see the number of internships across departments grow from year to year.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Want a laidback stable job with no development opportunities! Leapfrog is the place

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

    I have been working at LeapFrog full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Brand value. People love Leapfrog.
    Job is not cutthroat.
    Good upper management.

    Cons

    Compensation is very low compared to market value.
    Not very good for commute unless u stay in Oakland.
    Career development is close to nil. They hire people from outside when people leave and promotions are rare!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give promotions to employess who are doing well.
    There is no incentive for staying unless you have no career motives!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Leading children's technology

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

    I have been working at LeapFrog full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Motivated and Inspired employees
    Fair benefits

    Cons

    Traditional hierarchy with multiple levels of management
    Little room for growth

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review
  5.  

    good company, smart people, and great products to be proud of

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

    I worked at LeapFrog full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    friendly and comfortable working environment, smart and hard-working people, and great products that align with personal values

    Cons

    if the company is going through transition, be expecting chaos

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    please respect the people that make things happen

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Would be a great place to work if not for overly emotional managers

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

    I have been working at LeapFrog full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    LeapFrog is a company with an incredible mission - helping children achieve their potential. We make a difference in children's lives everyday!

    The flexible working environment allows me to take care of personal commitments and still hold a professional full time job.

    The company has gone through an incredible transformation and is profitable after losing money for several years.

    The new CEO has a big heart and does a great job instilling confidence and recognizing the teams that work hard behind the scenes.

    Our products rock! We consistently win accolades from the most respected toy industry associations

    The ESPP is great. It's helped defray some of the compensation gaps.

    Cons

    The compensation and benefits are not up to par with other companies in the area.

    We need better prioritization and focus - we have about 15 "big eggs" which makes it difficult to know which are the most important.

    The Company openly talks about the challenges and what needs to get done, but it's hard to see whether we are making any progress against the key initiatives.

    Cross team collaboration is discouraged, instead we are focused on discrediting HR, Legal and other parts of finance to ensure the accounting team looks good. I've been encouraged to cover up mistakes, which i feel horrible about, but not doing so would have put my job at risk. This behavior would not be tolerated at any other companies.

    There is a veil of secrecy with respect to getting things done. Far too often there are too many closed-door meetings through out the entire organization. While business has improved, there is a sense of paranoia that there will be more layoffs once growth slows.

    The lack leadership and maturity in the Controller's team. Incredible mood swings, different personas when CEO/CFO are present, openly complaining about senior management, and fostering a confrontational relationship with the groups we interact with the most makes it challenging to align as part of her team.

    The morale of our team is deteriorating quickly. Our new CFO hasn't reached out to get to know anyone on the finance/accounting team other than a few select people.

    It's unclear what our team strategies are and where we are headed. At most meetings where my VP is present she is completely silent. Instead, leads in Supply Chain and IT drive most of the decisions. If there is input from Accounting, it always comes from one of the accounting managers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please help with setting a manageable number of priorities.

    We also need to do a better job tracking progress of how we are accomplishing our goals.

    Take a very close look at the ranks below the most senior executive team. Some functional key leaders were placed in critical roles a few years back. It's time we recognize that they are in over their heads. If we want to become truly world class we need to make additional personnel changes quickly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    A company with heart

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Producer in Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Associate Producer in Emeryville, CA

    I worked at LeapFrog full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Dedicated, talented people working hard
    The products work, children benefit from them and enjoy them
    All teams are highly cross-functional, you'll get to understand a lot about how other people do their job.
    Pleasant work environment with a supportive culture.
    Bay Area location

    Cons

    Lots of layoffs have led to a somewhat depressed culture only now bouncing back
    Typical disconnect between upper level and lower.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People are getting overworkerd. Hire more low-level people.
    Spend more on R&D
    FIgure out a robust web structure that is a place for moms as well as kids

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Too much drama; too much of "an old boys club

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

    I have been working at LeapFrog full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - products are fantastic and are impactful. My children have benefitted from these first hand.
    - people are generally positive and aligned with the mission.
    - employee benefits are improving, though still trail the competitve set by a long way.
    - consistency & outside trust. We have beat the street for several quarters, largely attributed to our solid forecast process.

    Cons

    - Senior management. The CEO initially re-energized the company when he came in nearly 2 years ago, but the masses are becoming tired with the rhetoric. Morale spikes a bit during the monthly company meetings, but shortly thereafter we realize the meeting was glitz, with little back-up.

    - Turnover continues to be very high. We have lost some exceptional people lately. Things haven't really changed from the days of people disappearing in the night.

    - As a company we continue to be exceptionally weak at planning ahead. The company continues to turn in good results, but these are largely a result of products designed well before the CEO joined. The real test is going to be whether we can sustain this pace 18 months from now.

    - The disparity in pay, especially for some of the recently hired Senior Managers. These are available on the SEC filings (look for the one's titled 8-K). It is amazing how much stock and bonuses that are handed out and guaranteed when the rest of us doing the work are dependent on results.

    - Bench Strength. Across the board there are some very talented people within the organization, but once you get deeper into organization the bench strength is fairly thin.

    - Business Systems and most other processes are weak. At a company meeting in January this was discussed but even now that we are 3/4 through the year there is little progress to show.

    - Rather than becoming part of the solution, the HR business partners spend time in my organization asking team members to pile on with how had things really are.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Hire based on qualifications, not personal relationships. This is true for both fulltime employees and consultants. We continue to bleed money paying way above market for friends of JB. One more of these and there will be several people who will leave.

    - Develop cohesiveness across the Management team. The CEOs style is to have discussions 1:1 with his directs rather then of driving cross team alignment.

    - The Board needs to get their hands on the wheel...once you start digging there are chinks in the armour everywhere.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Now is a great time to be part of LeapFrog!

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

    I have been working at LeapFrog full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I joined LeapFrog hopeful, but skeptical. I heard stories about poor leadership and moral. These days, I'm thinking I got lucky and I'm grateful and happy to be working at such a terrific company with talented and fun people. LeapFrog is the best place I have ever worked (in my 20 plus year career). I think some of the negative reviews are from years past or from people who do not know what a bad culture is.

    I am inspired by so many things at LeapFrog. The engaging, personable and inspirational CEO. He is making a huge difference, hiring the right leaders and driving us in the right direction. I'm truly inspired and motivated by him. I get a lot of what he communicates because I've been in several companies where we were in "turnaound", a difficult job for any CEO. I've witnessed bad leadership and poor cultures at companies that have equally wonderful people and great products.

    The HR team is really great at LeapFrog. They are all highly intelligent and engaging people who seem to really care about the people and culture.

    There are many very creative teams that produce truly beautiful products. Most everyone, present or past, who has worked at LeapFrog says they are product of the products and the mission to be the number one children's learning entertainment company.

    I've never worked for a company that has such a large team of diverse, intelligent, inspiring, talented and nice people. It is a joy to come to work. The work environment is bright and cheery. People treat each other with respect. You walk around and people smile and say hello. The place is friendly and there is a lot of laughter. The company meetings are fun. There is tremendous opportunity for those with a positive and team oriented spirit.

    The compensation is fair and the benefits are good, and getting better. They match your 401K. The have stock purchase. We work hard, but we have a fair amount of time off. We shut down for two weeks during the holiday. Paid holiday shutdown so you can enjoy your holiday and family. In the summer, we have summer Friday's where you can leave at 2pm. The Friday before a holiday we have a Leap day and can leave at noon.

    I find that most people are responsible and work hard to contribute to the teams success. They have a very nicely executed Christmas party and a summer BBQ for the employees. I've been very impressed with the dedication of most of the employees.

    Cons

    We do work extremely hard, but there is flexibility when you need it and no one is unreasonable with expectations.

    Processes in several key areas are not what they should be so this is an extra effort. Still, I enjoy the collaboration and a chance to take part in building the company we all want to work for.

    Strategic planning is not starting soon enough in some areas so the timelines for execution are too short and this puts us at risk from a time to market pov. This seems to be recognized so hopefully it will improve.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work. Stay focused on what we've discussed as our strategic initiatives. Invest in infrastructure, but take the time to do it in a smart way so the processes and systems will last.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    So much potential, but cannot get past the poor leadership and broken culture

    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA

    I have been working at LeapFrog full-time

    Pros

    - Great brand, great products. Truly proud of the impact we make on childrens lives
    - Pockets of talent and great teamwork at lower levels in the company
    - Office space is open and conducive to creativity

    Cons

    - Leadership is lacking. The CEO is involved in every minor decision, rendering the VPs, Directors, and Managers completely powerless and ineffective. Decisions are made in a vacuum with no respect for the data delivered as part of the process. As a result, decisions are rarely permanent - direction changes daily, leaving the talented hard-working design and engineering teams left to scramble to meet deadlines.
    - LeapFrog is losing talent by the day, all of the good ones have left or are at least in the process of leaving. HR and Sr Leadership do nothing to keep talent.
    - While the company was founded on innovations in kids learning products, there is no longer a culture of innovation. Management does not support internal innovation, and are not willing to take risks to put new ideas into the market. Do not be fooled - the team responsible for coming up with and executing the LeapPad is no longer at LeapFrog...they have been chased out by the new CEO.
    - The talented, hard- working people in the company are not respected, rewarded, or recognized. Marketing is King, but the Marketing leadership is extremely weak.
    - Silos rule the office. Information and ideas do not flow between cross fuctional team members, there are big walls up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The VP level needs to be flushed and replaced with strong, talented leaders who understand product development. The Dictatorial culture must be replaced with real cross-functional reviews that are not just marketing pitches, to give the company the best chance at making smart decisions. And please, try to keep the talent that has not left yet - treat your employees like you value them.

  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Improvements being made but still need more employee focus

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

    I have been working at LeapFrog

    Pros

    Brand is very good. Can be proud of product that we develop. Most people are great to work with.

    Cons

    Huge imbalances in work between functional groups and even within groups. Senior management does not seem to be focused on changing that. Often people rewarded or promoted when work effort/accomplishments do not support it. Other show great effort and work very hard to make improvements and are not acknowledged.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get to know your employees. Reward those people driving for improvement and working collaboratively. Make the hard calls and decisions when employees are not.

    No opinion of CEO

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