LeapFrog Reviews

Updated July 21, 2015
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131 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    Great products and talented people with diverse background and expertise

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Emeryville, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at LeapFrog full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - There are talented and motivated people cross all departments - Friendly, open, and cooperative culture (in general) - The products are amazing - If treated properly, could become an even stronger company that others cannot easily replicate

    Cons

    - Overly aggressive development schedules increase the risk and potentially lower the quality of the products - Management is too focused on marketing instead of quality of the products

    Advice to Management

    - Senior management need pay attention to overall direction instead of implementation details. Mid and lower management need to be empowered to figure out the best way to reach the overall goal. - Encourage individual creativity. Avoid micro-managing. - Promote cooperative and entrepreneurial culture. - Work on attracting and retaining talented people.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Inspiring but occasionally frustrating

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    This is a good team with an amazing mission that is doing truly cutting edge work. The office culture is friendly and entrepreneurial.

    Cons

    Small group going through growing pains while trying to invent a new industry.


  3. Helpful (2)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Emeryville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

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


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Leading children's technology

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


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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Emeryville, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at LeapFrog full-time (More than a 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 Management

    please respect the people that make things happen


  7. Helpful (4)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Accounting in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Accounting in Emeryville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  8. Helpful (5)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Emeryville, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    - 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.


  9. A company with heart

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Producer in Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Associate Producer in Emeryville, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    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


  10. Helpful (2)

    Now is a great time to be part of LeapFrog!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Emeryville, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at LeapFrog full-time (More than a 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 Management

    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.


  11. Helpful (2)

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    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 Management

    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.



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