Zayo Reviews

Updated April 19, 2015
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3.1
211 Reviews
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Zayo President & CEO Dan Caruso
Dan Caruso
176 Ratings

Pros
  • The final piece that I want to mention is the ability to work from home when it is necessary to do so (in 26 reviews)

  • Zayo is packed with intelligent, hard-working individuals (in 25 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance more difficult for some than other (that needs to shift) (in 33 reviews)

  • The long hours may be tough for some people as it makes it difficult to balance work/life (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Data Integrity Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Data Integrity in Boulder, CO
    Former Intern - Data Integrity in Boulder, CO

    I worked at Zayo as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Super flexible, awesome manager. This was a great experience and I was able to help teach some of the younger interns as well.

    Cons

    I lived in Strasburg and would commute to Boulder. Luckily they let us work remotely most of the time.

    Advice to Management

    Keep John DiLaqua as long as he is willing to stay. He is an amazing manager.

  2. Helpful (29)

    Could be great but needs Improvement

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

    I have been working at Zayo full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Flexibility in workplace
    - work with some great talented folks

    Cons

    I am writing this review not as a disgruntled or unhappy employee but I am writing this review in hopes that the right people will read this. I use Glassdoor as I am often contacted by recruiters. The first thing I do is find out the company name and look at Glassdoor. Let’s face it, to keep fresh in this market, you need to be open to recruiters. What I look for is themes. If there are 3 or more articles that talk about a perceived issue, then I note this as something to consider. To state that any negative review is a disgrunteled employee is wrong. Most folks want to tell others about their experience good or bad so that perhaps they don’t make the same mistake. A recent reviewer talked about a “weeding out” process. I actually think many of the negative Glassdoor reviews will assist people who might consider a career at Zayo. I also note how many people have found a review helpful. A major red-flag to me is a consistent theme of one particular issue and the number of people who found the review helpful. If I look across the spectrum of Zayo’s 206 reviews and note which ones generate the most “helpful” flags, then I take this as legitimate or any other company i may be evaluating. In contrast, if someone writes a review that is obviously self-serving and contridicts the consistent theme and there are little to no helpful flags, then I consider this a deviation and discard it. You can easily spot these. I say this because I have found that when our CEO comments on these reviews, they are seldom taken as constructive criticism. Especially on the topic of compensation, our CEO seems determined to be right instead of looking at the number of reviews that have the same concerns and helpful flags. As they say, ignorance is bliss.

    Here is what I consider a significant CON at Zayo. They run very lean and spend little money on the things it takes to keep employees happy and engaged, flawless implementations, networking running smoothly and enamored customers. As a start-up or pre-IPO where everyone has a stake in the company, then this might be acceptable up to a point. However, post-IPO this theme continues. Zayo has the ability to provide better salaries, perks, benefits, training, vigiourus on-boarding process (as opposed to the DIY), top notch sales delivery, top notch network, processes, coaching, career development… One of the reasons the work life balance is still such an issue is while we continue to grow we don’t add additional support. Zayo is still very much a lean machine where you have to fight and gravel for every sale. If you are not a TAP 100 customer, then it will become an extremely exhausting battle to keep your customers happy and not churning. When an executive asks me to help employees feel "embraced and welcome" and help in the recruiting process, then I expect the same. I need solid reasons a top seasoned sales professional should leave their happy home and work at Zayo. If all things are below par of what they get today, then it's a difficult proposition. As an example, we desperately need more Sales Engineering talent. I personally have tried to recruit ex-colleuges from our rivals but Zayo is not willing to even come close to what they have today.

    Sales compensation is a hot topic on Glassdoor and within Zayo. Again I note we are asked to try and recruit top sales professionals to Zayo. Yet when I explain the compensation plan they quickly say no thanks. I don't understand why Zayo Sales Leadership does not acknowledge this is an issue? In addition, the process to get someone hired at Zayo is extremely long and if someone is looking they don’t have 6 months to dance with Zayo. The two biggest issues with Zayo Sales compensation (1) No documentation on how you were paid. (2) Compensation cap. Zayo asks a lot of their sales people. We are pulled in many different directions, many which distract us from selling. At the very minimum we should know why and how we are paid each and every month. This is an industry standard and is simply bizarre that Zayo's pay plan is shrouded in secrecy. Caps on commissions are a huge no - no and usually are placed by very large companies. Most sales commission consultants will agree that ratcheting quotas and caps on commissions will send your most talented sales people out the door. Not only does Zayo cap commissions but they have a quarterly plan. If you have a major sale that you have worked on for up to a year or more you will quickly hit the double cap (monthly and quarterly) and be immediately asked what are you going to do for us next quarter?

    The sales plan is overly complicated - again for such a small company. In my opinion Zayo’s one size fits all plan is counterintuitive. On the one hand each sale stands on it’s own in terms of profitability. You could be lighting an entire new multi-tenant building that will benefit many more sales folks to come, yet you alone are burdened with the entire cost of the build. On the other hand, if this same sale where to bring in additional revenue throughout the term - say IP bursting, you are not compensated for this. This is a serious flaw and is completely wrong. Let’s talk a bit about churn. Zayo burdens their sales people with all the things they cannot control - chronic outages, lack of sales support, inheriting accounts that have wildly over-market prices. The companies i have worked where churn is a component in the compensation plan are those that have revenue based yearly plans. In other words, your quota is simply a percentage of the amount you are expect to grown your module/patch. All revenue is accounted for.

    Advice to Management

    - Keep working on the culture issue at Zayo as I've seen minuscule improvement. Despite what a recent reviewer stated, weeding out people after they are hired is a bad and costly way to do business and will never improve the culture at Zayo. Unfortunately, Zayo has a reputation for being arrogant and run by mostly by white males. This is a bit perplexing given we are not a high tech engineering or software company. There is no one position at Zayo that should be dominated by any one gender on both ends of the spectrum. Diversity of gender, race, nationality and thought will help improve the culture. This "weeding out process" that was mentioned again will continue if Zayo does not invest in their people.
    - Open up the pocket book a bit - RSUs are great and if they will be above water when I vest - fantastic! However, it's not all about the personal compensation. It's about investing in the workforce to make them more efficient and willing to work the long hours. If Zayo truly wants to be a "best place to work" company then my advice is to look at the companies that get the highest reviews on Glassdoor and do what they are doing.
    - This is hard for me to say, but I believe that in order for Zayo to succeed into other markets - Cloud and others - it's time for a leadership over-haul. I believe Dan Caruso needs to step down as CEO. I feel his greed and ego will continue to hamper any improvements. There are a handful of extremely talented folks on the leadership team. However, you don't need to dive deep to find that Zayo does not have an open door policy that embraces new ideas or challenges the Zayo norm. This is very much a rack-a-mole culture. Hire sales leaders outside of Zayo who have experience in sales and don't rotate them. Be open to their advice about positive changes. If they don't fit into the Zayo culture mold, accept diversity of thought and allow ideas to be challenged.
    Zayo can go from "needs improvement" to a great company. However, if we continue to stay on the same trajectory, we will remain mediocre. I don't want to work for a mediocre company. I'm staying at Zayo for now in hopes that the tide will soon turn.
    One last thought, be authentic and don't equate all to share holder value. There are many people who are driven by purpose and not necessarily money.

  3. Helpful (24)

    Ultimate Manifestation of Chicago Booth Thinking

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

    I have been working at Zayo full-time

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - location, smart people, unique network assets, work-life balance is getting better, awesome career growth opportunity if you were here pre-Abovenet, effective use of salesforce.com, interesting/challenging work at times, people are held responsible for their results, company is doing well financially which means job security, opportunities to learn a lot are available. Zayo really does have some great things to offer.

    Cons

    - Dan Caruso holds an MBA from Chicago Booth and this hyper-analytic way of thinking is present at every turn in the org. The bottom line is Dan believes everyone is expendable and the morale of his troops couldn't be of less concern to him when juxtaposed to shareholder returns. He/senior management is laser focused on lofty EBITDA/equity IRR growth aspirations to the point of staggering myopia. Over the years he has said that if we perform well for our investors, it will benefit the employees, that these interests are not mutually exclusive. This may have been true in Zayo's early days when we needed PE capital, but this argument he continues to make no longer holds water and believe me, I've tried to buy it. Upper management squeezes for EBITDA wherever they can and this is especially true with compensation. They are brutally tightfisted with raises (esp. cash) so the idea that shareholder value isn't growing to the detriment of it's employees is disingenuous, sorry. He is a smart man but his crusade in life/Zayo is to create shareholder value, not a satisfying place to work and that's just the reality of it. Zayo grew during the recession when people would work insane hours for peanuts and it seems that the powers that be mostly believe that this is still the case. The new RSU program is nice but waiting 15 months to see any benefit from your hard work is a long time. Opportunities to make any real money like a lot of people did via the equity grant programs during the early days are gone.
    - This could be a great place to work and that's the most frustrating part. I suspect good people will leave in the coming months. Zayo claims to want the best and brightest but refuse to put their money where their mouth is (unless you have a Booth MBA).

    Advice to Management

    - Can we please stop with the "entrepreneurial" rhetoric. Zayo doesn't bring new products to the marketplace (no Tranzact doesn't count). Zayo was a great business play (and I mean great) by Dan and team based on a strong sense analytics but seriously, call a spade a spade and replace the word "entrepreneurial" with "analytical" and I'm good. We are simply a telecom company that is run better than everyone else because we are lean and analytical, not "entrepreneurial".
    - Be genuinely open to criticism. I've raised my hand and have offered feedback on the current structure of my org to little avail. The Zayo I used to know may have done something about it in the past but, alas. the dynamism that used to make this an ultra-exciting place to work seems to be predictably fading as we mature. Be wary of becoming another stale telecom company.
    - Give real opportunities for career growth like there used to be in the early days.
    - If you legitimately want to compete with the likes of Google for talent, you've got a ways to go.

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  5. Helpful (20)

    So long and thanks for all the stock...

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

    I worked at Zayo full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Zayo is a unique and fast-paced company that does things differently than most other companies in its industry. There are many talented people and they run some innovative platforms such as Salesforce.com (SFDC) and Tranzact. The CEO and the executive management team had a solid investment thesis when they founded the company and had the foresight to invest in fiber infrastructure at a time when these assets had depressed values. They partner well with their Private Equity and other investors and have shown a competence for identifying acquisition targets that fit in well with their overall strategy and integrating them quickly and efficiently. They have performed well financially, continue to have access to additional capital as needed, and there is no shortage of interesting projects to work on. The pre-IPO equity units turned out to be worth more than estimated.

    Cons

    The three most important things at Zayo are the investors, the investors, and the investors. After the Private Equity investors, it is the CEO who holds the largest equity stake in the company. Every company tries to make as much money as possible, but Zayo is hyper-focused on the bottom line. The most important factor in any decision is how will this impact Equity IRR. Their stated goal has been 30% equity IRR and they have consistently achieved that in the past. There are numerous mechanisms built into their systems to ensure that various financial measures are met with every contract and every sale.

    While there is nothing wrong with that, there are trade-offs and sacrifices that must be made to achieve these goals. While Zayo likes to advertise itself as an entrepreneurial, innovative company, they have essentially been running the same game plan since inception: identify undervalued assets to purchase, integrate them as quickly as possible to achieve the greatest amount of synergies (layoffs, cost-cutting, network optimizations etc) and them monetize those assets as quickly as possible. They like to say they act quickly and make course corrections later. They are very good at this and brutally efficient, but as much as the CEO would like to believe that he has built a newer and better type of company, it is more about operational efficiency than real innovation.

    In addition, the company runs very lean and resources are hard to come by. Less money is invested in hiring and retaining quality employees and the other resources that are required to keep a communications company -- even an infrastructure services company -- performing at a high level. As a result customers are less satisfied and employee morale suffers.

    Zayo tries to instill a work hard / play hard culture and many employees seem to wear this as a badge of honor. So what if everyone is working 60-80 hour weeks, you have not received a raise in your base salary in four years, and your family was wondering where you were while you were checking email for 2-3 hours every night on your last "Zaycation"? I think that a lot of employees put up with this because it is so common and they look on the bright side and hope that the things that they don't like will get better.

    Hope is not a strategy. Sometimes you have to take an objective look at your surroundings and make a decision. Zayo can be good for some employees -- especially if you are young, work in the Boulder office, and are looking to develop resume experience as quickly as possible and don't necessarily care about being paid at market rates. But it is dangerous and naive to think that the CEO, executive management team, or your manager care about you personally or your career development. They don't. This company cares about the investors and how you can contribute to the bottom line. They don't care about employees or even really the customers -- those are just a means to an end.

    Zayo also expects that you do as you are told and is not open to many suggestions, even constructive ones. The CEO assumes that he has all of the answers and that if something did not meet his high expectations then it must be someone else's fault and a change must be made immediately. He is not open to other viewpoints and does not react well to any bad news. As a result most people will try to sweep anything negative under the carpet or blame it on another group or person if it cannot be concealed which does not least to any lasting change or meaningful improvements to the company. That's not leadership.

    The prevailing attitude -- which has been demonstrated by the CEO's responses to previous Glassdoor posts -- has been to disagree with any negative observations where possible and then simply dismiss others by saying that person wasn't the "right fit" for Zayo -- basically don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    Obviously Zayo could have changed certain things if they had wanted to --- the sales compensation plan, regular employee reviews and merit-based raises, adding resources where needed. Actions speak louder than words. It will be interesting to see now that the lockup has expired and as pre-IPO equity continues to vest if anything will change in the future.

    Advice to Management

    Don't change a thing, I'm an investor now.

  6. Great place for self-starters and hard workers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - FP&A Analyst in Boulder, CO
    Current Employee - FP&A Analyst in Boulder, CO

    I have been working at Zayo full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Zayo is a great place if you are a self-starter and hard worker. The hours can be long but the work is never boring. You will "own" your scope of work from end to end and NOT be just a cog in the machine.

    Cons

    This is NOT a place for people who like to sit around and talk about work. This is a roll up your sleeves and get it done kind of place. The timid and lazy need not apply.

    Advice to Management

    Zayo hires a lot of young adults right out of college. We need to set up some formal training on systems and telecom specifics to help them be more effective and not have to lean on the more seasoned veterans as much.

  7. Helpful (4)

    Extremely challenging, but also very rewarding

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

    I have been working at Zayo full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Zayo’s has done a fantastic job of integrating over 30 acquisitions. It should be noted that acquiring companies is NEVER easy. Headcount synergies (and thus reductions), merging of processes, integration of data… all present challenges where the best practices eventually come to fruition. That said, the initial few months of any acquisition are never perfect. Even with the challenges associated with the acquisitions, the company continues a very strong growth trajectory. With past history of being at other organizations that were less adept at integrating acquired entities, I’m certain that no company could do it better. The majority of people working at Zayo share common values of a strong work ethic and a drive for success. New employees (acquired or organic hires) are embraced, however a new employee who is not proactive in seeking answers on how to prosecute their job will not succeed. Further, employees who are negative and not willing to even attempt to embrace the culture are weeded out of the organization (I suspect, leading to many of the negative posts on Glassdoor). Employees that add value are recognized and rewarded, and there are many of them. There have been many, many successes where the employees have come together to overcome major obstacles, which is incredibly rewarding. The strategy for success in the quarters and years to come seems unstoppable. Zayo’s “bandwidth infrastructure” business model is solid.

    Cons

    The large number of acquisitions does create data challenges, but there are constant efforts underway to address those challenges. In fact, with the processes in place, Zayo’s data gets better every day through the “crowd sourcing” efforts of all employees. A consistent drive to be the best in the industry has also provided us with new software and mechanisms to drive efficiencies and responsiveness. This willingness to invest in helping the org be the best it can be provides motivation to continue to efforts.

    As can be seen in many posts on Glassdoor, the comp plan often receives negative responses. No comp plan is (or ever will be) perfect. It’s somewhat comical to see posts suggesting that the prior plan was a good one. Short term memories…not remembering that the prior plan also had many subjective factors and inadequacies. The latest comp plan provides incentives for individuals covering many important fronts of the business that help drive the growth of Zayo. Factors relevant to payment include NPV produced, caring for the embedded base, ensuring expenses are kept within budgets, treating MRR appropriately (where deals with lower NPV are purposefully brought in for strategic reasons), and also allows for treatment toward individuals who are value-producing, when the fruits of their efforts are not yet in the numbers. It is clear that the individuals posting many of the negative comments do not care to think through the strategy and long-term benefits of such a well thought-out plan, and thus are unable to achieve the successes of such a plan.

    Last note... It is often very difficult to maneuver through product groups when opportunities or orders cross product units. The intentions of the product group structure are sound (including providing a more responsive organization to our customers), however this is an area that needs some additional attention and focus.

    Advice to Management

    Please be mindful of the how difficult it can be to maneuver through the product groups, especially when leadership is changed. Though it is understood that certain changes are necessary for growth and scaling, we’re hopeful that these changes will continue to be minimized in 2015. We must also continually develop cross-product process improvements to help streamline those processes for future success.

  8. Helpful (26)

    Cog in a machine.

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

    I have been working at Zayo full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Coworkers/peers are very warm, welcoming, and easy to work with. Even immediate supervisors (for the most part) try to establish a good working relationship and get to know you for you.

    Cons

    They very much treat you like a cog in a machine. You're not a person, you're a number and easily replaceable. Don't try to share your thoughts; even constructive criticism is met with hostility. To upper management it's all about the bottom line.

    Advice to Management

    Work on your communication, being more personable, and realize it doesn't take much to provide a happy work environment that ultimately will result in greater productivity.

  9. Helpful (13)

    Absolutely no expectation were ever set whatsoever from upper management.

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

    I worked at Zayo

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    The company is headed in the right direction technology wise

    Cons

    The pay is a little low and they need to update their way of doing business management wise

    Advice to Management

    need to set expectations for new project managers. I mean at least have an employee handbook

  10. Helpful (2)

    I am proud to say that I have worked at Zayo through 29 acquisitions.

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

    I have been working at Zayo full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Work environment and location. Flexibility to work from home for personal emergencies. Opportunities to move to other groups and positions. Manager communication. Surrounded by many intelligent and hard working employees and managers.

    Cons

    In the past compensation and reviews almost never happened. Zayo now has quarterly reviews set up and managed.

    Advice to Management

    Set policies as opposed to suggested policies would cause less confusion.

  11. Helpful (16)

    Denver Post "Top Place" Award Undeserved

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Colorado Springs, CO

    I have been working at Zayo full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Denver and Boulder offices are in great locations. Most of my colleagues are very hard-working, sincere, intelligent folks.

    Cons

    There are very few leaders (the CEO is not one of them). Due to the frequent shift in management, lofty titles are often handed out not based on merit, but just so the new org of the minute will make sense. This means a lot of people that may have potential but not exactly the experience to suppory their new Director, Sr. Dir., or VP title, end up running a group of folks comprised of veterans and fresh out of college babes. This creates frustration for the seasoned folks and breeds bad habits for the "freshman."

    Typically if someone's role and responsibilities are expanded, their compensation is not adjusted accordingly. Executives are always more concerned about $$$ and squeezing blood from a turnip, rather than rewarding smart, hard-working employees accordingly.

    Advice to Management

    For the quarterly review (RAD) sessions, let management be anonymously graded by their employees, its only fair. And then, do something about those who received poor reviews... a true leader recognizes they have not learned all their is and there is always room for growth.

    Pay good (and great) employees fairly. Give an annual salary increase to offset cost of living inflation, just as every other company does. Giving RSUs that can't be cashed in for 15 months doesn't count or help pay the mortgage due this month.

    Say thank you every once in a while to hardworking folks, including those in the field/working remote. Not in email, not on chatter. In person (or video chat). Thank you for working the weekend. Thank you for trying so hard. Thank you for completing x job. It goes a long way.

    With the recent addition of Rachel D., its great to see the focus on Zayo's brand, with the increase in social media and visual improvements around the Denver and Boulder offices. However it doesn't have most people jumping for joy, because we all know its a facade, a dog and pony show for investors. Start putting in the focus and where it belongs: People and Culture. Do something to actually deserve the Denver Post's Top workplaces award.

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