Symantec Reviews

Updated August 29, 2015
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3.3
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Symantec Interim CEO Michael Brown
Michael Brown
284 Ratings

Pros
  • Work-life balance is the best part (in 224 reviews)

  • v good relaxed work environment (in 123 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance could be better (in 36 reviews)

  • There are also very few women in senior management (in 67 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

2,131 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)

    Who needs leadership, processes and communication, anyway?

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Business Operations Web Analyst in Beaverton, OR
    Current Employee - Senior Business Operations Web Analyst in Beaverton, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Symantec offers one of the best health insurance packages I have encountered in the past decade of job-seeking within the tech industry. It is not often to be blessed with such a low employee contribution (per pay check) AND good insurance coverage. Myself, my husband and my two young children are covered in a plan with $15 copays, $5 generic prescriptions, $1,000 deductible for less than $200 per month. Even the package I had previously, at Intel, was not this comprehensive and affordable. There is also an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which provides a certain number of visits per year to professionals that can assist with anything from work stresses to marriage counseling, for free!

    Cons

    Upper management make decisions that impact the actual work performed by every employee down the chain. This is the common practice, of course. Imagine a place where the common practice is in place but there is inconsistent, limited or disorganized communication of the objectives of those decisions. Leaving the lower species to hobble around on the crutches of over-the-cube through-the-grape-vine information, which inevitably leads to inefficiency, lack of confidence and frustration. But! Often, before one can reach that point, new decisions are made and teams of dozens are suddenly redirected 100% to some completely new project. Or in some cases, an existing project that has been put on the back burner. If that isn't enough, consider that there is a jaw-dropping lack of established processes to get this work done (written or otherwise). Everything is just "wing it". This creates an environment where the idea of team effort goes down the tubes when things get stressful (as they can in any job!). Without sufficient guidance from our leaders, it is left to each person to lead their own work without any idea as to what their performance is measured against! Personal agendas are built, personal quarrels result, meetings are wasted time---OH WAIT! Forget that project, guys! We're moving to something else now. Delete those 500 emails that were critical to save. We've changed our direction once again! In summary, working at Symantec is very stressful and the environment is unprofessional due to that. If you're considering a position, please ask a lot of questions about the group and meet as many of them as possible before moving forward. People can make all the difference.

    Advice to Management

    Skip a couple of meetings and spend the time typing a document that clearly outlines the upcoming projects on EACH level, and how that work aligns with the organizational and company goals. Pretty speeches, town halls, and quarterly emails do nothing for those several rungs down the ladder from you. Your direct reports (group directors, usually) don't guide their direct reports and they don't guide us. It's call the CHAIN of command for a reason...our links are busted. Either you're not communicating to your direct reports or they're just not following through with leading us as they should. At the end of the day, you are accountable, as you are the one who is supposed to be leading us. Ironically, you will not be the ones laid off when Symantec wants to clip budgets.


  2. Helpful (6)

    One day, I'll wake up and they'll have acquired Roto-Rooter because they think it complements their data backup business

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Serf of the Manor in Cupertino, CA
    Former Employee - Serf of the Manor in Cupertino, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    They have a number of very seasoned engineers. It was truly a pleasure to work among such a group of talented developers.

    Cons

    Morale is low. All the groups are little fiefdoms, with management that treats their underlings like serfs.

    Advice to Management

    Stop making acquisitions. Seriously, some of them are completely irrational. I expect someday to wake up and hear that they've acquired Roto-Rooter because they see synergies with their data backup business. They need to be acquired by someone who can manage their assets better or have a private equity fund take them private. I can't believe the board of directors hasn't done anything in response to the poor performance of the company (e.g., the stock has gone nowhere in the past 2+ years). Really, we need to get an activist shareholder like Carl Ichan to bust-a-move over here, blow out the board, and bring out shareholder value. Carl Obe Wan Kanob-Ichan, you are our only hope.


  3. Helpful (5)

    A company in decline, with an HR department that's run by Catbert. Seriously, symc's HR actively creates bad morale.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Principal Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Principal Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Because you can't get a job elsewhere. Seriously, if you just want a big title and a lot of money, then it can be rewarding to stay. There is serious title and salary inflation for people that they think they need. If you're interested in developing skills for the long term, then this is not the place to be.

    Cons

    The company has mature products in almost every category. Most of the best development people have left. The company intends to move all development overseas. You don't want to be at symc when the next downturn hits.

    Advice to Management

    Sell your stock, or actually sell it at a faster rate than you already are.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Good brand name. Questionable work place. Avoid if you can.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Program Manager in Culver City, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Program Manager in Culver City, CA
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good brand name. Adds value to your resume. Good benefits. Some smart people - although many more have left or forced to leave because internal politics etc. Seemed like a ethical company. Does not seem to have crooks at the helm.

    Cons

    Do not expect any loyalty from your employer. Pure 'hire and fire' culture. Knee-jerk management. Very reactionary. Still very entrenched in shrink-wrap software mentality. Management does not communicate much. Some old timers are notorious for sabotaging new comers by being passive aggressive. Some managers are not fit to lead people. Work can become extremely stressful because managers are so ineffective that they do not communicate at all and are always ready to batter you when you make a mistake. Software development processes suck. No concept of modern software practices such as agile development or XP or SCRUM etc. Waterfall based software development. Extremely distributed without adequate support to bring teams together or travel. Senior managers are gantt-chart aficionados and view software development like a manufacturing activity. 'Kiss up and kick down' is very common. Full of cronyism. Culver City, CA office sucks. It lacks even decent restrooms. Organizational chaos all around. Secret sauce is diluted. Kasperesky is a much better security solution. Bloated software. Little or no risk management. Key competencies (such as E-commerce), which should have been done internal, are all with some companies which may go bankrupt anytime. Some groups are full of cow boys. Key systems such as Wiki were not backed up and one organization within CPS lost all information accumulated over more than a year on a Wiki when the server crashed. This is when the concerned VP was hounding everyone to post every little thing on Wiki. So much so for his leadership. Worked for some great people and all of them left in such a short span. IT group has some really smart and dedicated people who are over burdened by much heavier process. Veritas acquisition has been a disaster. Stock price has gone no where in many years. Since everybody needs some security software for their peace of mind, cash flow is reasonably good and company continues to survive. Otherwise, effectiveness of its products has gone down over years. I chose Kaspersky software after Symantec's security products did not detect and could not clean a Trojan that infested my PC via a torrent download.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate better. Some VP level people never had any all-hands meeting at all. Add more rest rooms to Culver City, CA office. Allow people to focus and do not create so much artifical stress because of your ineffectiveness. Examine the intentions of some old timers carefully. Watch out - they may be busy more with their job security than adding real value. Get a clue of modern software development practices. Make processes simple in IT and let those smart people deliver some value than delivering tonnes of useless paper documentation.


  6. Helpful (4)

    I pray for Carl Icahn to come bust a few caps into our board...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Director in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Director in Mountain View, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The ship is taking on water from every porthole, but if we can be rid of the leadership who keeps letting on more water and instead start bailing this thing out, the franchise could still be lucrative, profitable and vibrant.

    Cons

    See above--this cannot and will not happen without an activist board and the swift decapitation of the CEO and at least two of the major business unit leaders.

    Advice to Management

    It's not a question of numbers, it is a question of a.) innovation and b.) ethics. At the Senior Director level both become scarce, and at the VP level virtually non-existent.


  7. Helpful (7)

    Symantec was a fantastic place to work 10 years ago - now its headless chicken

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consulting Services Engineer, Asia Pacific in Springfield, OR
    Former Employee - Consulting Services Engineer, Asia Pacific in Springfield, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    (I am actually AsiaPac, but the site won't accept that) As a techie, you may, with a bit of luck, get a LOT of very good training and experience

    Cons

    Over work; exhaustion; thanklessness; buck passing; lack of direction; idiotic, incomprehensible acronyms and code speak and other attocities against language - used primarily to let managers make employees feel to dumb too actually ask questions.

    Advice to Management

    Stop acquiring products that work and work well and destroying them. Stop telling employees to limit expenditure and non-essential travel while having one continuous around the world drinking and whoring binge after another masquerading as "off site management meetings".


  8. Helpful (4)

    They bought Veritas and ruined it

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Durham, NC
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexable hours and work schedules for family time

    Cons

    Little communication from upper management, very little support for growth

    Advice to Management

    Stop destroying the Veritas products. Fix the bugs before you ship. Making them yellow and black does nothing to help the customer, whereas a buggy product makes people upset. Hiding away the software behind licensing walls also makes things difficult for customers used to an open policy


  9. Helpful (2)

    work environment STINKS

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Cupertino, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Cupertino, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    excellent Technology and tools, excellent learning possibility if the work env was good

    Cons

    contractors are treated like dirt, no respect, old timers have no respect for new comers; no support. some of the mid level managers have no clue what is expected of them. job assignmnets are done by one-liner emails, no team spirit; hire -no support -fire; That is why there are so many contract position on symantec; because of constant fires and kills. There is this "great" group with a director and an annalyst, with zero communication with hired contractors - the feeling seems to be new person may outshine them in the group. atleast a few people have quit and literally run away. They really make any new comers life miserable.

    Advice to Management

    train managers to be leaders, focus on work ethics and good working atmosphere. People would love to stay on if the work env is healthy and happy


  10. Helpful (6)

    If no one else will hire you, then as a last resort work for Symantec

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Culver City, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Culver City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    It is very easy to get hired at Symantec. It looks good on your resume. You can go weeks at a time without being given any work to do. There are some very smart, very nice people working there.

    Cons

    Symantec manages its employees via fear and intimidation rather than by praise and rewards. The result is that most people are very angry with mgmt. Moral is very low. So, even if you are one of the few that is treated well, your pals are all either in fear of a layoff or upset. Most of our time was spent complaining about how bad things were. In other words, it is a very depressing place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Look to your competitors for guidance. Look to them and see how they treat their employees.


  11. Helpful (5)

    Politics drives the company, not technology

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Director in Mountain View, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Easy to hide in your job! Actually, most middle management is. Good resume builder if your next manager knows nothing about the inner workings of Symantec. Plenty of opportunities to attend all day meetings.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy & culture of CYA. Limited real productivity. Not for someone who wants to make his mark... maybe good for someone approaching retirement. No coordinated product direction across silos- was much better when job functions were horizontal across product lines. The silos result in duplication and ultimately shortage of scarce resources. Many well intentioned, educated, top tier MBAs with no technology/product experience jockeying for higher mgmt jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Drop the no-experience ivy league MBAs from middle management and hire smart people who have actually used the products and are successful. Need new blood.



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