Samsung Research America Reviews

Updated March 25, 2015
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3.3
87 Reviews
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Daniel Eum
18 Ratings

Pros
  • They're hiring good people, and they're challenging them to do great work (in 4 reviews)

  • Fair salary, good benefits and good bonuses (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • The management level is eager to please our Korea HQ, but constantly fails to convince (in 8 reviews)

  • This is a korean company within Silicon Valley - literally (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. dont be a contractor

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

    I have been working at Samsung Research America as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    nice campus. clean facilities, good coffee machines

    Cons

    too much work. contractors are treated horribly, avoid being a contractor at all costs, they don't care about you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    hire technical leaders and not just people who can suck up well.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    Good notch in the CV, don't plan on staying here and growing

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

    I have been working at Samsung Research America full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    New Campus in the south bay. They pay above average. Travel and conferences paid for.

    Cons

    Engineering-led. Working with HQ is beyond difficult. Design leadership absent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire rockstars and quit hiring good enough sub-par or junior people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  3. 4 people found this helpful

    Great products but not a great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director of Research in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Director of Research in Dallas, TX

    I worked at Samsung Research America

    Pros

    I really like Samsung products. The reason I went to work at Samsung was because I already owned a large number of Samsung devices ranging from televisions to DVD players and a washing machine. Samsung is a strong fast follower in any market they put their mind to. The pay was strong but without stock options. Bonus paid out at about 85% of target.

    Cons

    After working at Samsung, I am amazed that they are able to be successful. The culture is dominated by fear (do this or you won't have a project next year) and micromanagement from headquarters (Korea). Samsung claims to value innovation but provides the most suffocating culture I have ever worked in. The overall environment was based on vague requests in another language and an inherent bias against asking questions (just do what we say).

    Equally important is that all decisions (important or otherwise) are made in the Korean time zone using the Korean language. Results are not send out so US employees are pretty much in the dark. As far as I could tell, its impossible to influence strategic thinking from the United states. My boss was the President of an SRA group and even he had little to no influence over directions, assignments or funding.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want Samsung to be a leader, you must drive innovation. More importantly, you must provide an environment where innovation is possible. You should reward risk taking, establish long term research goals and empower a team to reach those. Stop with the daily reports and enable senior leaders in the US to actually build and run innovative teams.

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

    A smattering of talented junior/midlevel people trapped in a hellish prison of inept leadership and cultural impasse.

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

    I worked at Samsung Research America full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    **This is specifically for Samsung UXCA/SDA in San Francisco**
    They pay you a lot of money.
    The hours are very much 9-5.
    They have great recruiting.

    Cons

    **This is specifically for Samsung UXCA/SDA in San Francisco**
    You will never release a product in the market. They do not– and probably never will– have any support from headquarters in Korea to actually make products. They are either a tax loophole or an ideas factory that has no say in actual shipping products.
    You will be asked to do redundant or nonsensical projects.
    Leadership will constantly tell you what a great and unique position the lab is in.
    Atmosphere is peculiar at best and toxic/poisonous at worst.
    Any additional bonuses or compensation will have 2+ year vesting clauses that trap you once you realize you must escape.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    **This is specifically for Samsung UXCA/SDA in San Francisco**
    Stop pretending everything is ok. 70% attrition is not normal.
    Stop pushing out the creative leaders who don't agree with you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful

    N'y allez pas... Don't go there...

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

    I have been working at Samsung Research America full-time (more than a year)

    (Translated from English)

    Pros

    Le seul « point positif » qui me vienne à l'esprit, la raison pour laquelle les gens restent chez Samsung plus que quelques semaines, c'est le salaire. Alors à moins d'avoir le dos très rond et de pouvoir accepter des conditions de travail délirantes en é

    The only "pro" I could think of, the reason why most people stay more than a few weeks at Samsung, is the salary. So unless you're really bendable and could accept crazy work conditions in the name of that good salary, Samsung is not for you.

    Cons

    Tout le reste... Des managers catastrophiques, les RH sont inopérants, le management se fait par la peur et la culture du secret, l'entreprise espionne vos courriels et toute communication électronique, les « collègues » rapportent tout ce que vous dites au management, il est impossible d'avoir un impact sur les produits Samsung parce que les non-coréens ne peuvent oser avoir une influence sur les coréens eux-mêmes, et ces derniers font passer vos inventions ou vos documents pour les leurs.

    Everything else... Catastrophic managers, completely broken HR, management by fear and secrecy, company spying on your email and all electronic communications, "colleagues" reporting to management everything you say, complete inability to have any impact on Samsung products or projects because non-Koreans cannot dare having any influence on Koreans, Koreans stealing your inventions or documents under their name.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Changez les choses et les gens. Beaucoup. Et même plus. Dont vous-même.

    Change things and people. Hard. Harder. Including yourself.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful

    Leadership Vacuum

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

    I have been working at Samsung Research America full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Relatively high pay
    Brand name is considered important and successful
    Co-workers are very nice people

    Cons

    The planning function is ridiculous. There are a team of young Koreans who attempt to lead the organization on behalf of an almost absent President. This is not a global company. It is a Korean company that is attempting something far beyond its capabilities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leadership is VERY important. The current President is essentially a manager. They also should stop getting rid of their successful leaders with strong personalities.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful

    Unless you're ready to retire, don't work here

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

    I worked at Samsung Research America full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    cheap benefits
    great salary if you have a Masters of Phd from a top tier college (that's all they care about)

    Cons

    Very Korean, if you can't conform, you will fail.
    Management doesn't take ownership and will throw you under the bus if given the chance.
    If you're not an engineer or UX designer, you will get paid pennies.
    No recognition for hard work, only brown noses prevail.
    Human Resources dept is HORRIBLE and corrupt, they continually break policy and would rather bury their head in the sand than deal with real issues head on.
    HQ in Korea run everything.
    Always in crisis mode.
    Turn over is about 33% of employees leave in less than a year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Instead of hiring people based of their education (paper status) and hiring on the spot, actually sit down and really see if the candidate you hire is worth the money you're going to pay. Give higher salaries to people who help run the company instead of only engineers and designers. Some interns make more than regular full time employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 8 people found this helpful

    Confusing, Dysfunctional Mess

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

    I have been working at Samsung Research America full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The one upside to working at Samsung is they throw money around like its nothing. I am well compensated and have a nice paycheck. Of course, the downside to throwing money around is that you'll travel back and forth to Korea without any real agendas or rhyme or reason. Lots of travel, money wasted on hotels & arrangements, while projects are no better off for any of it. Everyone at Samsung is adverse to making any sort of decision, so things never move forward until another company does it first.

    Cons

    Without question, the worst company I have ever worked for in my 15-year career. The amount of incompetence in a company of this scale is staggering. While our office in the US was setup to incubate ideas and work autonomously, everything still goes through HQ - where design concepts are butchered, stolen outright, or disappear into the abyss of mismanagement.

    To anybody considering a job with Samsung in the US, steer clear of this debacle. Every interaction with the company is painful. Just scheduling time off is a complicated process that involves launching a virtual windows environment to access an intranet portal that only works with IE8, which is hidden under layers and layers of tabs within tabs. Just a nightmare getting even the simplest of things done.

    I joined Samsung because I thought I'd be working on cool products and I'd be able to have some influence. What I've experienced is a cluster-**** of a poorly structured company without direction or a clear vision. It's amazing how waiting until the last minute to do something, combined with outspending any other company on the planet to market products, Samsung has been able to establish itself as a major player in the industry. It's all a joke and I fell for it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust the professionals you've hired to do the work they've been hired to do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful

    Korean driven only and beware

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

    I have been working at Samsung Research America full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Pays pretty well and there are people who care

    Cons

    This place is Korean driven and the most segregated company I have seen. I don't mean to sound bitter but it's the truth and that's how it'll be. HQ/Korea wants to make every decision all the way down to what office supplies. Those who are Korean are wired to become devoted lifers and willing to shift around in any role possible. I must warn anyone that being non Korean it is very toxic. Trust me!!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being so stubborn and timid. Allow those in the Silicon Valley and people you bring in to do what they're good at. You can't just sit around and wait for competitors to invent something and copy it. That luck will run out soon

    No opinion of CEO
  11. 7 people found this helpful

    Confused and indecisive MSCA Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director, Department Head in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Director, Department Head in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Samsung Research America full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Ample opportunity to contribute if the MSCA management gets time off power struggle and if the management decides to do anything.

    Cons

    Confused management, no direction and no vision, plays favorites, top down, no communication. It is difficult to know who is doing what. Execs are tied up in power struggle.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get your act together and define a vision, stop playing favorites, and execute. At least empower those who are delivering.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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