Silicon Valley Bank Reviews

Updated September 28, 2014
Updated September 28, 2014
111 Reviews
2.9
111 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Silicon Valley Bank President & CEO Greg Becker
Greg Becker
51 Ratings

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)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 7 people found this helpful  

    Great Bank, Avoid IT

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

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great 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

    Cons

    Too 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 ManagementAdvice

    I 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Our CIO is TERRIBLE

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

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits and pay along with flex work hours

    Cons

    Our 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 ManagementAdvice

    Clearly, 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.

  3. 4 people found this helpful  

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

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

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Our 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.

    Cons

    I 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 ManagementAdvice

    Please 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    CIO is killing entire IT Department

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

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    SVB has a great culture and stands behind their employees with the exception of their new CIO Beth Devin.

    Cons

    IT morale is at an all time low. The CIO has had IT in a re-org for over a year now and still not finished. She has dissolved one of the highest performing departments and split them up across all the other depts. She moved people and created new teams before even having job descriptions or team charters. She spends more time in the business side instead of leading her IT dept. She gives more responsibility to a department that is known throughout the organization to be under performing, then goes ahead and fires the head of that department les then two month after making the change. At the same time, she fires the head of the department she dissolved even though that person successfully build a brand new team and was delivering on his tasks. She is now just cutting anyone that does not agree with her whether they are performing or not.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior management needs to get ahead of their CIO and take the reins before she ruins a great department and lose more people then they already have

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    Warning! While business side may be good, IT is becoming hell!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Does Not Matter  in  Santa Clarita, CA
    Current Employee - Does Not Matter in Santa Clarita, CA

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    SVB as a company takes proud in their clients, our CEO, an amazing leader, makes every attempt to communicate and let the employees know that SVB is all about clients and their success, and everything else will simply follow suit. It is a unique place, unique business model, provides a unique business experience but its all true if you are on the business side, however as soon as you come to IT you enter in hell.

    Cons

    While I have many positives to say for business side, including client focus and the CEO, I am an ITer and therefore my review is mostly focus on IT. The current CIO is clueless, inexperienced and has no vision or direction. Once not so perfect but stable and high performing IT team is completely demoralized now. She (CIO) started the re-org and could not finish it in more than a year now. Its chaos all over. No one, absolutely no one, in IT knew what their new role would be, what job responsibilities, if its changed or not and how does it affect them; except that she continue to say to keep focusing on work. Really!! Which work? The new, the old or something in the middle?
    She also started something called Fit for Future IT, which was primarily focused on IT off-shoring and outsourcing analysis, and she many times told employees that she would share result by Nov 2013, but here we are after many many months and there are no results so far.
    She does not take decisions, or let me say it this way, she takes a decision but no one knows how tomorrow will change it again and she may want something completely different. Completely clueless and directionless!!
    On her F3IT initiative, she has asked IT Management to covert contractors to employees, with no headcount approval what so ever. So then how? Well, just hire employees as long as your budget does not increase. She does not get a a simple formula that when a manager wants to covert an offshore contractor position to FTE, its at least 3-4 times cost? So who the hell will take care of the additional 3 headcounts worth of work load? Now why this is imp to share? Because while she expects something to be done, there is no thinking behind it. In other words she is inexperienced.

    She constantly bad mouth IT to business. I wonder is she really a CIO or actually a CBO (just invented a new term Chief Business Officer to IT). She believes in blaming IT. Business side in any company anyways never encourages IT anyways, and consider it as a cost center, its no different in SVB but last thing we needed was that a CIO also does the same thing, rather than re-positioning IT to business as an active partner.

    She is now talking about changing the whole online banking strategy, and let me predict something it will be a disaster under her leadership, because she is not a leader.
    If you are looking to come to GDB (Global digital Banking) group, please run away from SVB IT and if you do not I wish you good luck! She messages this strategy as if the world hunger will be resolved after that, but my question is that while she could not even deliver a few simple things forget about delivering something so big. Someone who could actually do it, just got fired, because she does not like people challenging her. I thought first lesson of leadership is to make sure you keep your smart people and critics closer, well no she fires them. That's why every employee is scared of even taking and openly sharing the feedback to her or anyone in her circle. Behind close doors people talk about their frustrations, whereas in front of her everyone is smiling, wearing the fake mask. She openly says either you are ready for this change or you can leave the org. I don't understand how to be part of this change when there is no direction.

    Many of the employees will leave the job tomorrow, but so many of us still have hope that Sr. Management will soon notice it and do something about it.

    In 2014, she took 4 months to set IT goals and then when employees were supposed to write their goals and align with IT goals, they were given a week. Phew!

    I can go on and on, but if you are thinking of joining IT, let me tell you, as long as we have same CIO (joined in May 2013) , let me warn you again, IT is becoming hell, so do yourself a favor and look for the job somewhere else. We have a very weak IT Leadership now, who just knows how to suck up to her to survive. Leaders who could do something are already fired.

    Don't join this hell. God please save IT.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please please ask the CIO, what has she done in last one year. And I am sure when you ask, she will just have superficial answers. Notice it please. What are her accomplishments?

    OK fine, IT was and will never be perfect overall, but can someone please evaluate her individual performance?

    Mr. CEO and COO, please do something. IT employees are choking, and you need to take action now or your globalization strategy is at high risk, since IT employee's morale is all time low. Its only a matter of time before it will be too late to fix IT without avoiding the broader impact.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    IT has gone from being a decent place to total misery

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Systems Analyst  in  Tempe, AZ
    Current Employee - Business Systems Analyst in Tempe, AZ

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Competitive pay package/salary
    Flexible time away from work policy

    Cons

    Agree with all the reviews stated before. CIO has completely lost it. She is clueless about how to run an IT shop. Fired 2 Leadership team members this week, after promoting both of them 5 months back. How can someone be so fickle minded. Apparently they were not exhibiting OneIT culture and whatever that means. One of them was known to express his dissent if he didn't agree with her opinions. The clear message is that you either suck up to her and not have your own opinion, or leave the bank.

    Don't think we even need her, she is never around for her employees anywyas. She is either attending conferences or going around bad mouthing IT to the business. How messed up we were before and how this transformational journey is going to take us to the moon. Someone should question what has she accomplished in the last one year. Besides completely messing up the morale of the team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice to COO: you need to take over IT. You have appointed a leader who is totally clueless and creating a culture worse than what we had before. Intervene now before it's too late.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    IT Is An Awful Place to Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Systems Administrator  in  Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Systems Administrator in Santa Clara, CA

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    -Great individual contributors
    -Inspiring business model
    -fast paced

    Cons

    New CIO is in over her head. Totally disconnected from IT, promotes and hands large sections of her IT group that was highly motivated, cost effective, and functioning well to the worst IT leadership members in the group but great talkers which seems to now be the only way to now get recognized. Meanwhile, a few good IT leadership members (engineering and client services) that have fallen out of favor (not surprised) and im sure wont be around for long while the IT leaders who kiss up and talk about what they are going to do get love. Meanwhile, folks that have been in IT before the CIO came on board are constantly reminded how bad we are at what we do. That comes from the new CIO. Don't worry, ill be leaving soon.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice to the COO and steering committee: Get your CIO some coaching or fire her. She treats people like dirt and casts the wrong shadow, seems to pump herself up at others expense. Real inspiring. Advice for the CIO: Stop promoting and giving more functions (at the expense of your competent leaders) to your incompetent leadership members before the whole department collapses. Try spending time in IT and finding out the entire story rather than jumping to conclusions off snap judgments. Your the problem, recognize it and seek help.

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

    I would not recommend this company to an IT engineer

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

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    If you are looking for a career in finance and banking, this is a good place because SVB is primarily an investment bank, and not a retail bank. For this same reason, there is never a *stressful* push to continuously improve the IT function, add more features or fix the less critical bugs - primary interaction with customers is by customer facing employees. In that respect, life for an IT engineer is relatively stress-free.

    Cons

    IT dept is chaotic and has not enough SVB people - a lot of IT functions are outsourced to multiple agencies with consequent lack of interest in working together and unhealthy politics.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is OK to hire SVB people who are then motivated and incented to work for the bank, and do not owe their loyalty to their hiring agencies.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great niche, distracted execution of strategy.

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

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank full-time

    Pros

    Fantastic niche - dominant player for venture backed start-up companies which drives great deposits, fee income, loans, warrants (albeit a finite market).

    Cons

    Spread too thinly and chasing too many initiatives that seem unprofitable (e.g. global offices). Reorganize the company frequently and retain poorer performers. Distracted execution.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Growing bank

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

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    SVB gives the opportunity to work in a high growth Bank. The comp and Ben is very good and the people are very friendly with strong integrity.

    Cons

    As with growing companies the infrastructure is still catching up and resources are limited. There are not too many internal opportunities to grow as the Mid-Senior Management does not change.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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