XO Communications
2.6 of 5 141 reviews
www.xo.com Herndon, VA 1000 to 5000 Employees

XO Communications Reviews

Updated Apr 13, 2014
XO Communications – Washington – “XO (Photo thanks to Flickr user Gem Images with…”

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.6 141 reviews

                             

50% Approve of the CEO

(no image)

Chris Ancell

(2 ratings)

34% of employees recommend this company to a friend
141 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Great people that want to solve problems"
    in 16 reviews
  • "XO has a relaxed environment with flexible schedules and allows you to work from home"
    in 7 reviews
Cons:
  • "The idea of a lay off over your head every year even when upper management said there would be none"
    in 12 reviews
  • "No room for career growth or advancement"
    in 5 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • Disapproves of CEO

 

Sinking ship.......................

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at XO Communications full-time

ProsThere are so very good quality people who work at XO and they are always willing to go the extra mile.

ConsTerrible leadership from service delivery; some higher ups have been there way too long and it is time for them to move on; lousy healthcare with costs increasing year over year; outdated systems; lots of distrust of upper management by employees and layoffs happen every few months

Advice to Senior ManagementSell this company quick

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

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Management continues making bad decisions, Tail wags the Dog.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at XO Communications full-time for more than 3 years

Pros- Flexible working arrangements and some work from home days depending on Group/Manager.

-Incentives for Healthy living choices.

- There are some very good people to work with.
- 80% of Sales Engineers
- 75% of Sales,
- 90% of Finance

Cons- Terrible Healthcare Plans, Very Expensive premiums and/or very high deductibles.

- Company focusing on tail end of customer Implementation (On Boarding) and cutting people working on the front end/foundation activities (Tail Wagging the Dog)

- Front end activity cuts and foundation function cuts make it harder for Sales to do their work and increases the odds for problems down the line when On Boarding customers, thus the increase in hiring for Staff to wrangle problems and issues with customer implementations.

- Company is very vertically organized creating many handoffs from group to group and function to function and increasing the likleyhood of dropped balls, activity redos, and extended times to implement customer orders.

Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on quality and thoroughness in company foundations and front end activities and extend those more horizontal in scope instead of extending the horizontal (On Boarding) organizations from the back end toward the front.

Hiring more people to crack the whip on the fewer people you have doing the work is so dysfunctional.

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

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Some good people, but almost constant change in leadership and direction

Enterprise Account Manager (Current Employee)

I have been working at XO Communications full-time for more than 5 years

ProsMany good people throughout the company. Good exposure to a growing rang of technology solutions, such as cloud solutions

ConsAlmost constant change of senior leadership, and then re-org down through the company. That also means almost constant change in message to employees and direction. This kills employee morale and makes strong customer service much more difficult than it should be.

Advice to Senior ManagementStabilize and stop the layoffs. It seems as though if you can keep a senior executive team, company internal and external messages in place for more than 8-12 months, then revenue will have a chance to grow, processes to streamline business will have a chance to take effect, and employees will have the chance to get better at their jobs so performance will improve. Maybe then cutting costs (people) won't be the only way you can save the financial performance. Change is inevitable at all companies, but remaining employees have been on edge for 3-4 years now.

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

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Overall good experience - great opportunity

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at XO Communications full-time for more than 10 years

Proslots of opportunities, flexibility, lots of change, depending on dept, open to feedback and change. Fun. rewarding

Conslots of change, management challenging at time, internal promotions not funded as well as external hires. depending on dept, not open to feedback.

Advice to Senior Managementstabilize. constant change is wearing on employee base. at least capture lessons learned so they so not have to be repeated when new leader is boarded.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Activist Investor Toy

Sales Manager (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at XO Communications full-time for more than a year

ProsI was able to move above and beyond

ConsUnrealistic goals and the company is ultimately waiting for the right time to sell to the scrap yard. Company is too disconnected from its own regions and the future of communications. Have refused for years to actually improve the quality of its network and services. Band aid after band aid; or as they call it "new product releases".

Advice to Senior ManagementYou're on your own

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

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Unless you have absolutely no other opportunities or desperately need a paycheck, don't take the job!

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at XO Communications full-time for more than a year

ProsI joined XO just shortly after they had gone through a tumultuous time in late 2011 - CEO was let go, big round of layoffs, etc - but believed that they were dusting themselves off and moving forward, hence why I took the job. The company had re-branded itself and was focusing on what appeared to be core, strategic products to bring in revenue and stay competitive.

Since I joined, key business leaders have either quit or been fired which means the strategic oversight has totally fallen to the wayside. At other levels, folks in the trenches have left, with their positions not being back-filled, which has left either projects stagnating or other employees, who themselves are overburdened with their own projects to complete, trying to pick up the pieces where possible. This has also left a huge gap in terms of productivity and ability to get things done, as you end up spending just as much time trying to figure out who is doing what now, than you do on actually getting any true work accomplished.

The company just got a new CEO, and I will place that in the "pro" category, with the caveat that a huge round of layoffs are planned in just a few weeks, which again is going to throw morale and productivity into a nosedive. It's stressful right now, with people doing the jobs that were once done by two or three people, and it's going to only get more stress-filled as we watch our colleagues get let go and we are left trying to handle our already overburden workloads. There really is no "fat" to trim anymore so when they start reducing staff in order to meet their $$ targets, they are now cutting deep into the bone.

One thing that is striking is that, for the most part, the people I work with are kind, friendly and helpful. Given the stress that we experience, you'd like it would be more cut throat but most will try to help you out and are pleasant. Granted, that might change soon as we get more and more stretched thin.

ConsBeyond what I wrote above, another component to consider is that XO is owned by Carl Icahn, who is not know for his entrepreneurial, business-building acumen. He's a corporate raider and XO is not a strategic part of his portfolio - except where he can use the company for tax write-offs. He definitely does not want the company to fail but it is also not necessary for him to put in the money needed to see it to succeed, either. He'd probably prefer to just sell the company at this point, but no one is making him an offer. So, he'll put in just enough to eek by. You can see this in the very few "perks" or basic benefits that XO offers employees. Our healthcare plan is abysmal and it slowly erodes every year.

Before you take an offer with XO, think very long and hard. This honest perspective I have given is one that I wish had been shared with me before I decided to join the company. Now, I spend my energies on getting my exit strategy in place and looking for someplace else to work.

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

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Okay company

Sales (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL

I have been working at XO Communications full-time for more than 3 years

ProsNetwork is very good and the support is there if you kick down the right doors.

ConsCloud practice and colocation facilities are weak offerings.

Advice to Senior ManagementProvide more sales support

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Drowning in process

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Herndon, VA

I worked at XO Communications full-time for more than a year

ProsThe techies were razor sharp and frequently pulled magic out of their gear to keep the customer happy. Most of the people I worked with were fundamentally decent.

Cons- XO is not so much a telecom carrier as a financial vehicle (owned by Carl Icahn). Therefore there is not so much a long term vision informed by technology, such as you might find at AT&T or Level3, as a determination to keep the magic EBITDA number looking good whatever it takes. Layoffs, risky deals, ruthless price-cutting that makes it impossible to satisfy clients, etc.
- the IT systems and the bureaucracy that has grown up around it are strangling the company. They're actually losing good people whose dream of implementing real improvements for customers get grounded in 50-person conference calls and 9 month development cycles just to put a line item in the product catalog. Meanwhile, XO's rivals park their tanks on their lawn.
- churn in senior management is a concern. The CTO has gone, the chief process office has gone, the CEO just got demoted to CFO, etc. I suspect that the CEO decision in particular was a human sacrifice on the altar of EBITDA, but it starts to look bad.
- at a personal level, the healthcare plan is absolutely terrible. If you are offered at job at XO, review the out of pocket costs for the plan extremely carefully and know what you are getting into before you sign.

Advice to Senior ManagementStrip the assets, break up the company and sell off the pieces.

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

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Worked in Operations as a Field Service Technician

Field Service Technician (Former Employee)

I worked at XO Communications full-time for more than 10 years

ProsAmount of vacation time given after 10 years, Company provided vehicle, Decent 401K program, great coworkers, expanding footprint in many markets across US.

ConsLots of turn over in many areas

Advice to Senior ManagementBe more proactive in auditing lower level managements skills and expertise in their position

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Stagnant...

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at XO Communications

ProsGood People to work with

ConsNOt good people to work for

Advice to Senior Managementhire technical people to run your technical company,,,

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

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at XO Communications reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for XO Communications CEO Chris Ancell. All 141 reviews posted anonymously by XO Communications employees.