Word & Brown

www.wordandbrown.com
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Word & Brown Reviews

Updated February 1, 2015
Updated February 1, 2015
32 Reviews
3.1
32 Reviews
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John M Word III & Edward "Rusty" Brown
19 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great people, but pay could be higher.

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

    I have been working at Word & Brown full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Working environment is outstanding. I love everyone I work with and work for. The Christmas Party and Employee Appreciation Day are the highlights of the year. Owners are accessible and pretty down to earth.

    Cons

    The wages are not as high as other places in the industry. There are some issues with management playing favorites. Some occasions where family members work under one another.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look to give opportunities to people within the company. There are a lot of talented people who work for the company and are not given the opportunity to prove themselves.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Word and Brown

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

    I worked at Word & Brown full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Excellent Benefits at this company. Great owners. Terrible mid and upper management. Employees have a sense of entitlement.

    Cons

    Very poor morale. Lots of activities but morale is superficial. Many people are constantly upset and frustrated.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of mid management. too many vice presidents and directors.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Welcome to La-La Land

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

    I worked at Word & Brown full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Excellent health benefits (company pays 100% for employees and almost all of the cost for dependents as well), terrific company events (Catalina Day, Christmas Party), non-management employees are some of the best to work with. It's a great place to start when you're young and trying to launch a career in the insurance industry. But get your chops and move on. This is no place at all for a lengthy career as you will become bitter and start to feel trapped by the sense that you can't do any better for yourself.

    Cons

    Unless you're in executive management, the level of pay is actually almost insulting. They label their positions pretty cleverly so that, when you try to compare with the rest of the job market, it actually looks somewhat competitive. When I first started working there, which was many years ago, the company had already been in business for nearly twenty years and never once had any downsizing or layoffs. The owners (John Word and Rusty Brown) were easily accessible to all employees of the company and they were very generous-- we had annual bonuses that would add anywhere from 2%-5% onto your salary. Then, in 2003, they bought a company in TX named CompLink to grow their COBRA/FSA division (renamed it CONEXIS after the acquisition), hired Michael Close and made him the President and it all started falling apart almost immediately from there: the entire division began running at a staggering deficit year after year, round after round of layoffs ensued, until finally they shipped half the jobs in the CA office out to TX and bid farewell to employees who devoted many years of their lives working faithfully for them. Michael Close called a meeting with the remaining CA staff shortly afterwards, in which he included Rusty Brown, solely for the purpose of swearing up and down to everyone that they would never transfer any more of the CA ops to TX, ever. Then, construction began on the top floor of the building for an airtight executive suite for John and Rusty to begin spending their days sealed off from the rest of the company and left the job of running it exclusively to their grossly unqualified executives, who resumed running the entire company into the ground. Then, not two years after Michael and Rusty made their solemn oath, they shipped all the remaining CONEXIS ops out to TX and shut down the CA branch. Their solution to every shortfall in the ledgers and every breakdown in production was to lay off some their best and brightest employees, keep the sycophants and others who were too spineless to refuse being forced to perform the jobs of multiple people to pick up the slack they created... and never ONCE was any one of their executives truly held accountable for the utter failures that took place under their leadership. They eliminated employee bonuses and several of the most popular company events because "money was tight". They expanded business hours, and all the while, layoffs continued as they kept buying more companies and hiring outside consulting firms. Their 180-degree turnaround in their attitudes and treatment towards their employees was simply baffling. It is one of the saddest tales I've ever seen in the progression of a company. Nowadays many of their staff-level employees work long hours and endure all manner of abuse and intimidation from executive management. If you're not a workaholic who's willing to make significant sacrifices in your home and family life in order to mollify the outrageous demands of the executives in the midst of their self-made crises, they generally have no use for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    John Word and Rusty Brown need to hit the reset button. Time to wake up to the fact that their golf buddies have been running their business into the ground for years. How many financial crises does it take before you realize that your executive leadership team does not know what they are doing and that they are only interested in taking advantage of you and your employees as much as they possibly can? Stop blowing your money on buying companies you don't understand and hiring consulting firms that literally steal your plans and intellectual property while convincing you all the while that the solution is to just keep giving them more money. Go back to the basics of leading your own employees by investing in them, because they are the only ones besides you that have a stake in the success of your company. As it stands right now, the workers who care the most are the ones who are punished the most, and that's just wrong.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Be wary of this company

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

    I worked at Word & Brown

    Pros

    I found nothing that was good. The onboarding in IT was horrible and the department is run by small cliches. The cliches are truly experts in fabrication to make anyone they don't like or are not related to quit. Very hostile work environment.

    Cons

    As above. Pay is very low compared to industry averages and the benefits "stink" if you're over 60.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leadership of the company needs to wake up before they get sued in a big way.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Financial Analyst

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

    I have been working at Word & Brown

    Pros

    Great working hours, good benefits with varieties of options, casual environment

    Cons

    very limited advancement opportunity, poor management, managers need to step up and really need to work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great place to work! They truly care for their employees.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Orange, CA
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Orange, CA

    I worked at Word & Brown full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    They go out of their way to make your work experience great. There are a number of employee activities and events.

    Cons

    To be honest, there are very few cons to working there. They promote a wonderful work-life balance and each department is like it's own little family.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Surprised we're still around

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

    I have been working at Word & Brown full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great people to work with on the staff level. Fun events that will get you drunk and give you lots of things to talk about the following Monday (SHE stayed in Catalina with John?!)

    Cons

    Management doesn't know what they're doing. We often scramble to abide by their wishes. Compensation is LOW for the amount of work that is expected. Keeping people around after the acquisition for the sake of keeping them and putting them in roles they have no grasp on is pretty ridiculous. Very much a boys club. So much so that a former employee was sexually harassed and the harasser is still working in Finance. Promises are made and never kept leading to bad morale. I have seen some of my coworkers have commissions delayed due to poor management and delays in "approvals" which just shows you how much they value their employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a breath. Stop trying to start up new things to give your son a project (wbid/wbmb) do your due diligence before having all of us suffer to keep your pockets fat.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Too Little Too Late. ..

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Word & Brown

    Pros

    Employee Appreciation - Catalina and Christmas Party. That about sums it up.

    Cons

    Ongoing theme here, nepotism at its finest. Too many family members in management positions within the same department. No matter how it's sliced and diced, this will always be a conflict of interest. There is a reason why this is listed in the employee handbook. Too bad it's not taken seriously.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember that it's the staff that keeps the lights on, not the stuffed suits. Policies should be enforced for all employees, especially the stuffed suits.

  10.  

    Was fun at first, but it's a "Boys Club" so you soon realize how bad the place is.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Word & Brown

    Pros

    Catalina trip & Christmas Party

    Cons

    Nepotism. Horrible senior management that gets away with terribly planned out business decisions that causes the company to lose money. Others lose their jobs because of it and the guys in charge keep on making bad decisions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean up you executive team regardless of how long they have been there. If they are losing the company money let them go and not your hard working employees.

  11.  

    It was a good company until Neudesic got involved

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

    I worked at Word & Brown full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Training and growth opportunity was available
    Fun parties if you loved to get drunk, stoned - if not then you avoided them like I did
    Technology grew at a good pace in IT

    Cons

    Too much nepotism
    If you were a good looking and did "favors" you got promoted fast
    Management fears people with technical knowledge
    Placed the wrong people in important positions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I hoped you learned your lesson when you brought in Neudesic and swapped one bad CIO for another.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Word & Brown Photos

Our offices are conveniently located in the City of Orange, near freeways, shopping, recreation, parks and restaurants.
8th Floor of the Word & Brown Building

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