Silicon Valley Bank

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Silicon Valley Bank Reviews

Updated Jul 19, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

3.1 104 reviews

76% Approve of the CEO

Silicon Valley Bank President & CEO Greg Becker

Greg Becker

(46 ratings)

57% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good people, very focused on their employees and work life balance(in 11 reviews)

  • good benefits, interesting work(in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • They've taken the "Client First" mantra to the extreme where there is no work-life balance(in 5 reviews)

  • Its too late in IT, its to damaged thanks to the depredations of the new CIO(in 7 reviews)

104 Employee Reviews
in
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Ambitious company with an amazing Brand and client focus

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsDedicated senior managers
    Great culture and values
    Amazing business opportunities
    Credit policy discipline
    Global business

    ConsIT challenged to keep up with bank growth
    Sales team paid by commission = bad habits
    Fast changing environment - need to be even more nimble

    Advice to Senior ManagementThink differently about IT - adopt a new cloud based flexible/easy to customise platform and ditch old ASAP
    New CIO is a very good person and will lead us to new great things

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

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    Great company to work for.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsStrong, collaborative/team oriented culture; management has good strategic focus/objectives; strong benefit package; ability to move around to different roles internally; work/life balance

    ConsVisibility around employee compensation relative to competitors; can be overly slow to make big decisions; minor growing pains (real estate challenges, hiring strategy) as bank continues to rapidly scale

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to promote from within, proactively take care of "best people" through empowerment, compensation and attention from highest levels in organization.

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

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    One of the better ones

    Operations Analyst (Current Employee) Santa Clara, CA

    ProsGreat company, great culture, good benefits, and lots of perks.

    ConsVolume of work is high, requiring a lot of overtime. Adequate training is lacking in some areas.

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

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    • Culture & Values
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    Proud to be an SVBer

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Santa Clara, CA

    Pros*smart people
    *great culture
    *AWESOME benefits
    *community consciousness
    *challenging environment that embraces creative thinking and willingness to take risks
    *the most hardworking, committed, and fun place I've had the pleasure to work
    *sincere concern and relationships among peers, managers, clients and partners
    *an amazing bank, working with amazing clients who strive to do amazing things

    Cons*amount of projects/changes can feel excessive- can be a lot to manage and keep up with at times
    *work/life balance - due to workload and the overall desire to go the extra mile (it's just the DNA of an SVBer)

    Advice to Senior Management*allow for more time to digest change before the next big change hits
    *take time to celebrate the wins - big and small

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

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    Global Services is a place of fear and loathing

    Global Operations (Current Employee) Tempe, AZ

    Prosits a job, the company has an interesting niche

    ConsToo numerous to list, but here it goes. Our COO is very smart (knows operational banking backwards and forwards but he has an unfortunate mean streak that everyone is now clued into) however he is making devastating hiring calls within global services. Is it his ego driving it? He has appointed a CIO that has ruined IT--its a company wide joke. Im glad I don't work in the IT department and have to listen to her all the time like my IT colleagues. Total wind bag who fired a really good senior leader for not "transforming" our online banking system. I think he had like two months. Funny thing is everyone that ive talked to who was actually doing work on the online team really thought a huge difference had been made. Oh well, welcome to the new SVB---your FIRED!
    The COO has appointed a head of global banking operations that almost everyone hates working for. He is a dreamer, talks big and thinks by talking everyone around him will magically make it happen. When things don't go as expected, he blames his team and technology partners. Message to this guy: its not bank of America, you don't have the budget or personnel to bridge the gap of your lack of tactical knowhow. The bottom line is the COO is very good at the details and vision, he doesn't hire well and doesn't understand that he needs inspiring leaders who people respect and want to follow, not leaders who prescribe to "the beatings will continue until morale improves" mantra. Its too late in IT, its to damaged thanks to the depredations of the new CIO. Still time to get the global operations group on track but the window is closing.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCEO, you have a mess frankly of your own making to clean up. You have given your COO to much power and unfortunately he has messed up huge areas of your bank. Clearly, you don't know much about the technology and operations areas and felt comfortable letting your COO do as he pleases but my god man, its all falling down around you while you schedule town halls. You need to go a little deeper and farther than just talking to your senior leaders who are actually the problem to start with. Do your job and clean up the COO, CIO, and HGO. Your accountable.

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

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Great Bank, Avoid IT

    Principal Software Engineer (Current Employee) Santa Clara, CA

    ProsGreat compensation

    Great growth story

    International expansion

    Talented IT team (except leadership) People on the ground run this company and make things happen through their sweat and blood despite challenging and incompetent IT Senior leadership

    Great at philanthropy - Make a difference to the world

    ConsToo many clueless leadership team members in IT
    Incompetent CIO - CIO has declared a war on IT
    CIO lacks experience in filtering through , understanding problems and making correct choices
    Too many bad choices = Fire the CIO
    Lack of open transparent discussion to acknowledge and start fixing real problems
    Lack of parity between IT and business resulting in over worked and always criticized and under appreciated IT team

    Advice to Senior ManagementI agree with all the past reviews . CIO needs to be fired and replaced with someone who can unify the team and bring in more positivity

    One comment - CIO is no longer new. . Average CIO tenures are 3-4 yrs . At 13 months in, clueless CIO has already finished 30% of tenure and has nothing to show for delivery.

    Accelerate CIO's departure. You have hired someone who doesn't understand and fit into the companys values and culture,
    CEO Greg Becker needs to step in to stop the rot impacting employees ,

    CEO- please end the CIO's misery by taking her out and also take IT away from COO

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

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Be aware ... Great story but bad culture

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat benefits, work with interesting companies , good work life balance

    ConsBecker is so aloof unaware of the poor employee morale. It is a huge white boy frat club. There is no diversity. The new CIO and CMO are both simply building mini empires to manage. High turnover, no career guidance unless you are one of the chosen few. Huge hidden perks for another class of employees.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCulture is changing too fast in a bad way. Curb employee turn over not through useless focus groups but with mentors... Invest in non revenue generating employees. Becker please show that you care asides from you prepared speech you give every qtr at the employee town hall. You are not approachable. Managing out of fear has become the norm

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

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Current employee at hq

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Santa Clara, CA

    Pros1 good benefits for
    2. Competitive compensation
    3. On site gym
    4. Working with entrepreneurs
    5. Employee stock

    Cons1. Lack of diversity in management. Company unable or unwilling to change managers who do not demonstrate company's core values
    2. White boy club
    3. Manager manage out of fear
    4. Employee morale is low
    5. Current CEO is out of touch
    6. Only the pre selected people ever rise. Promotion and opportunity are dreams for most people
    7. Only revenue generators have a potential for advancement

    Advice to Senior Management1. Focus groups do not change the low employee morale
    2. Provide real opportunities to non lenders asides from just lip service
    3. Current CEO needs to stop and be sincere (if possible)
    4. SVB is not a Goldman Sachs and will never be one.
    5. Offer mentors who can help people navigate svb

    – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Our CIO is TERRIBLE

    Senior IT Project Manager (Current Employee) Santa Clara, CA

    ProsGreat benefits and pay along with flex work hours

    ConsOur CIO Beth Devin has turned out to be a nightmare. I used to be filled with hope when she first joined a year + back, but she has steadily proven through her actions that she doesn't have a clue--and doesn't care to get a clue. She let go one of our best senior leaders in engineering recently and that seems to be the nail in the coffin. He was the only one seemingly with a vision as our CIO keeps flip flopping from one priority to another depending on the week. Now, nobody in the senior management team is trustworthy and they are all tainted--everyone is scared and out for themselves at the expense of the company and IT which is the real tragedy unfolding here. The CIO actually gave a speech after she made her "breath of fresh air" moves that if your not with her on her latest moves, get out of the company. Inspiring. Great values. Message: agree with me or get fired. Others in the company who are really outstanding contributors and know their stuff are getting sidelined and marginalized---a disaster in the making as they scramble for the exits. Who is going to be left to do the work? Im sure the CIO will continue to blame others for her own failures as she likes to prattle on constantly about taking more ownership and accountability yet doesn't follow her own rules. The two posts on here applauding the CIO are very poorly done plants--its well known in IT that she asked her remaining leadership team to post positive items due to prospective recruits reading what is really going on. Don't listen to them, IT is truly hell. CIO has done nothing in over a year except demotivate and disrupt the entire IT operation. Her new hires in management are weak--either know nothing about IT or are slow, scared, and ineffective. Don't know much about the last CIO, but it had to have been better than this!

    Advice to Senior ManagementClearly, fire your CIO and save IT. At the same time, hold your COO accountable as well---he is the mover behind the scenes allowing this nightmare to begin and continue. CEO needs to be more involved and accountable.

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    Surprised by the "Fresh of Breath Air" review, because IT really stinks. Time for IT Employees to speak up.

    Manager (Current Employee) Tempe, AZ

    ProsOur CEO Greg puts employees and SVB's clients first. He thinks that employees are true assets. But lets talk about the IT, since it really is a place that stinks because of its CIO.

    ConsI was really surprised by the positive reviews here, as it looks like somebody is smoking weeds here. I am even suspecting these reviews are written by the CIO herself or her close aids. The reality is that breath after all is not so fresh, particularly when nothing has been done after a year. It actually stinks.

    In past few years, IT organization was not perfect, but it was working well enough to make SVB successful. But the new CIO ruined it all. By the name of change, she has created a culture where no one can question her, a culture which promotes difference between new vs old employees. She thinks that anyone who has been here before her is incompetent, and does not want to change. The reality is that she has no skills to recognize true talent or manage any kind of organizational change. Because of her, IT in its current state stinks.

    She complains about old employees and IT as a whole as if she is an outsider. She never even attempted to learn IT, the team or what was actually done. This IT team is the same team who worked extra ordinarily hard to open SVB's 2 international branches in China and UK. And the true recognition is that branch in China was opened in a record time, while the UK was one of the most complex operation ever. But she continues to see this team as a bad team, and team who resist change but over here work speaks for itself. These employees had delivered truly amazing stuff.

    Now look at her record. What has she done in last one year? This question has been asked constantly in many reviews. Nothing, except she continued to fire people because they challenged her. Many people think that these folks were fired because they were incompetent, but truth is they challenged her style of work and her decisions as she continued to ruin the IT. She likes to talk, and just talk without substance, because she has nothing tangible to show. So she distracts business by bad mouthing her own team.
    All negative reviews speaks collectively of who she really is.

    Now let's some talk about Old Vs New Employees.

    Something about Old Employees - these are the same IT employees who worked very hard in making this company successful. Worked hard enough that even during the greatest recession after the great depression, SVB continued to grow and earned profit. So one day, new employees can come and join this organization, and be part of SVB's growth story. Our own CEO has been here for more than 2 decades, does it mean he is incompetent too?

    Message to New Employees (Well, I am not that old either) - Ask yourself, if you really think you were joining a team of incompetent people, if so then why did you even join? What problems were you hired to solve? If you think you are such a true reformist, the only company you chose to join was SVB! Really? Please look within before you point fingers. Respect the fact, that you are given an opportunity to work with some of the brightest minds. I am not saying all are good and best, but this is how teams are formed all across the world even in the most successful organizations. Let me not question you, because I know you all new hires bring amazing talent to this company and has good intentions but think about it. Do you really think that the person who was your onboarding buddy, who welcomed you to SVB, who helped you understand the company, who helped you understand the technology stack, and shared who is who of this company, is a stupid!!!!! Its a great compliment to have this good mix, while these employees working together to take this company to next stage and not create new vs old culture. Please don't fall for new vs old debate just because the CIO is so damn incompetent. Because she just creating a distraction. Don't consider her new anymore, she has been here for more than a year now.

    Many of the IT Employees who have been here will tell you that almost everyone has worked 15-16 hours daily, weekend after weekend to make this company successful. Not because they were being paid, but because they always care. They care for SVB, they care for SVB's clients and care for each other.

    I wish if I could recommend this company to my friend, but IT at its current stage stinks. So unless this is resolved please stay away.

    I would request every IT employee to stand up and raise their voice. I know you are reading this, so use the power of social media and let the management know that its time to Fire the incompetent CIO and save IT.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease save IT. It is a great company, so please do something about IT before its too late. And before we all started to look for a job outside.

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

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