LeapFrog

  www.leapfrog.com
  www.leapfrog.com

LeapFrog Reviews

Updated December 17, 2014
Updated December 17, 2014
105 Reviews
2.6
105 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It's definitely a great brand to work for, and has a stellar reputation, and dedicated employees (in 14 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)

  • Lots of finger pointing, especially from lower to upper management (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3.  

    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
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  5. 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
  6. 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.

  7. 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
  8.  

    Inconsistent management

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

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

    Pros

    Good product line
    Great co-workers
    Fair compensation

    Cons

    Bad senior management - revolving door of executives, each bringing their own style and changes which causes continual churn
    Lack of consistency
    Lack of work/life balance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value your employees and don't view them as disposable. Set clear goals and objectives

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great products, crappy culture

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

    I have been working at LeapFrog

    Pros

    Great people at the rank & file level - fun to be around and really dedicated to making the products successful. There's a definite sense of camaraderie that helps you get through the day.
    Products you can be proud of - you know they are really making a difference in kids' lives.
    Stock is finally on an uptick, though who knows how long it may stay that way.

    Cons

    Does the previous reviewer work at the same company as me? I can't imagine how he/she can be so ecstatic about this place. If you spend any time working with the CEO on a regular basis, I can't imagine how you'd have that point of view. He can be great one minute but decides to berate you the next. He forgets what he's said/seen from one meeting to the next and completely contradicts himself from one meeting to the next - and what's worse, he micromanages every product and marketing decision, so it's next to impossible to get anything done. If you're looking to have any sense of ownership in your job, this is not the place for you.

    Things are very political, particularly with the VP-and-above levels. Senior management (VP and above) lacks leadership and visionary skills, and the CEO seems to be doing little to address or change the issues. Most of the VP's are terrible at managing people, so don't expect any real career development here.

    For a toy company, you would think this place would be family friendly, but that couldn't be further from the truth. It's a workhorse culture - ridiculous amounts of work given to understaffed teams with totally unrealistic expectations, which makes for long hours both in the office and once you're home. There is no on-site day care, no maternity benefits, and little to no schedule flexibility (any that you do have is totally dependent on how interested your manager is in giving it to you). The company is run by men (most of whom have stay at home wives), so there is little understanding of or appreciation for working moms in particular. Given they're competing with Silicon Valley firms, you'd think this would be a no-brainer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Switch out your senior management for people who actually know how to manage people, lead, and know how to create a real future vision for the company and inspire excitement in their teams. Start caring more - in words and actions - about making the company family-friendly.

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

    Excellent company, great leadership, amazing people, best employers I've worked for, ever.

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

    I worked at LeapFrog

    Pros

    - JB the CEO has come in and made great strides to make LeapFrog the best company to work for. He is a wonderful leader, extremely charismatic and gives recognition where it's due.
    - The people are amazing, passionate, smart and loyal
    - Everyone is impressed when you tell them you work here
    - Company meetings are interesting and efficient
    - Fun parties and events
    - LeapDays mean you get out at 12pm Fridays before Holidays
    - The past year has been a major "turn around" point at the company since JB started working here
    - Competitive Pay
    - Generous metrics based Bonuses
    - Generous Benefits
    - They brought back 401k matching!!
    - Work you do is meaningful and impactful in helping children reach their full potential
    - Stress-free environment relative to other companies
    - Normal work-life balance, hours are dependable and average, plenty of flexibility
    - Smiling faces
    - Education has been put at the forefront
    - Resources are available when you ask for them
    - People genuinely love coming to work every day
    - The stock is doing tremendously, and stock options/discounts
    - HR team uses metrics and company survey results to try to make improvements, constantly reflecting on how to revive the energy of the group
    - Start-up vibe with backing of a major company
    - Free LeapPad!!

    As you can see, I absolutely love being at LeapFrog. I cannot think of a better place to work in the Bay Area. When I started I had heard mixed thing because of all of the leadership changes but this company has been nothing like that now that JB is here. I sincerely give this company my highest recommendation and hope that it continues to attract incredible talent and inspiring leadership.

    Cons

    - For me it was the commute, but that's not LeapFrog's fault :)
    - It can be hard to move up, but I've seen a lot of people get promoted since I've been here.

    I really can't think of anything else.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    JB - everyone is so thankful you have stepped out of retirement to lead our group! My only advice is to continue with it, because its working!

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Terrible leadership, constantly changing priorities, no vision

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

    I worked at LeapFrog

    Pros

    Really good people (but the best don't last long)
    Interesting products

    Cons

    Terrible leadership that is constantly changing, so the priorities are constantly changing.
    Not people-centric. Inept HR leadership, who quite frankly, are downright mean and condescending.
    Not competitive in terms of salary or benefits.
    Highly politicized culture. The "suck-ups" are the only ones with upward mobility.
    Did I mention terrible leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a hard look at yourselves and make the difficult changes necessary to save this once interesting organization.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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