Zinio

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Zinio Reviews

Updated Feb 28, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

2.0 30 reviews

18% Approve of the CEO

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Rusty Lewis

(11 ratings)

16% of employees recommend this company to a friend
30 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Doing the Right Work

    Administration (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsThere are lots of great people at Zinio, from top to bottom - committed to doing great work and the company has reorganized itself (which is painful, of course) to be able to allow employees more ownership of the product and the results; and to grow our customer base with a product we can all be proud of.

    ConsZinio has tried to be all things to all stakeholders in the past and this has spread us too thin to work efficiently. The new managemenet is changing that. Recently Zinio had to make some hard financial choices and layoffs were involved, as well as cutting back on the number of projects, hard choices. When the dust has settled - this company will be extraordinary.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI think the management is doing the right work, which will not make everyone happy, but thejob is to make the company profitable and meet the needs of employees in ways that support them doing the right work, as well.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Bleeding at the seams

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsSome helpful employees, decent pay.

    ConsNot a lot of respect for employees, regular lay offs.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Profound Lack of Leadership, Direction, and Awareness

    Senior Project Manager (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsConvenient location, average benefits, mostly good to great co-workers.
    App could be the next great thing.

    Cons- Lack of a comprehensive staff management plan: No regular reviews, salary increases, or training. "Upgraded" titles are often given rather than pay raises. No tuition reimbursement. Very little staff development. Staff retention is an afterthought. Recruitment appears to be crisis based.

    - A complete and total focus on marketing and partnerships rather than a balanced set of initiatives focusing on users and groups, incremental (and consistent) app development, and innovation -- along with marketing.

    - A culture of silos and territories. Within each silo, work life can be somewhat satisfactory but when trying to create a "multi-silo" movement or effort, politics seems to rule the day.

    - Executives do not understand roles and responsibilities of product and project managers, stakeholders, and owners. Often, product and project managers are the developers, testers, HR department, accounting - it's a mess.

    - Management, past and present, seems to mostly come from the marketing side, rather than the tech or development side. The focus on promotion rather than refinement and innovation is the one of the key problems.

    - Because management is marketing and sales, appearances and politics matter more than actual results. This is a huge concern.

    - Executive team appears to be focused on crisis management rather than on growing the internal teams and facilitating excellence.

    - More SVP, VP, AD, etc. than needed. Flatten the org chart.

    Advice to Senior Management- Show up in the office on a regular basis.
    - Get involved with your key managers, all through the company.
    - Become a welcome team member rather than a harbinger of doom.
    - Spend more time on developing your staff, app, and culture. Another inane marketing scheme will not save the company.
    - It's not about bagels and coffee. It's about listening.
    - Create a less sexist centered workplace.

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

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Bad decision, after bad decision followed by even worse solutions

    Operations (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsFree bagels every Mon, Wed and Fri.
    Great location, close to BART and Muni. Great for going on interviews during your lunch hour.
    The people are truly amazing, fun, cultured and interesting to be around.
    Extremely talented core group.
    If you ask nicely, the office manager will get you almost anything you want within reason.

    ConsThe bad managers are being replaced with worse managers.
    The good managers are being told they don't matter and are prevented from doing good work.
    The new CEO shows up even less than the previous CEO who was only here 3-4 days out of the month.
    More than likely you will be underpaid and overworked. And don't expect a raise when they tell you raises are coming soon.
    Product Managers end up project managing their own products which causes conflicts of interest.
    You will break your back or ruin your personal life for this company.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop sitting at your desk openly perusing LinkedIn and disappearing for 3 hour lunch breaks *cough* interviews *cough*. No one wants to work hard for an executive team getting ready to jump ship after just a few months on board.
    Pay attention to what is happening, your letting your only engineers with institutional knowledge walk out the door. Has any of you ever learned why "retention" matters so much in software engineering?
    Take care of your prized employees, reward them.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Not so Happy New Year

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsIt is in San Francisco, ummmm that's it.
    Job market, like the db team, is smoking

    ConsUpper management & their knee jerk policy of cutting good employees in the name of profitability, instead of fixing the product.
    No reviews for star employees or salary increases
    Decisions made based on the whims and fancies of a few favored
    Clueless marketing team that tries to sell ice to Eskimos
    Ever expanding database team all while there are no developers
    Marketing team that pushes FREE articles.... Nice.....
    Complete disregard for a growing international market
    Know-it-all pompous VP's

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop reengineering again
    Stop playing buzz word bingo during meetings
    Read some of our business publications on management
    Stop reengineering AGAIN
    We are a small company- why VP and C levels?
    Stop reengineering....... You get the idea- maybe......

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    O Captain! My Captain!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsFree magazines, bagels every other day. Great location and nice office. Great healthcare. There are some really smart people working here, but I am not really sure why. Not sure why I still work here.

    ConsZinio is demonstrating a last attempt to give CPR to magazines - I loved magazines growing up, but the internet gives me all I need. Being the biggest company in a dead industry is not enough. Innovation is our only savior.

    The company doesn't care about you - endless layoffs, They also make sure to time the layoffs just at the end of the month so they don't have to pay for your healthcare.

    The company will not care what you think - if you see a problem, a major problem with the company, its best to keep it to yourself, they don't care.

    Above all, the company is a ticking time bomb - 12 years in business, and never once a profit... red flag.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFirst off, if the company headquarters are in San Francisco, that means its your headquarters. Where are you? The best thing I can think of is that you know Zinio is going down the drain and you want nothing to do with it. The sad thing about Zinio is that there are many people here that want to see Zinio succeed, including myself. Of course you wouldn't know that, you are never here. O Captain! My Captain! Where are you? Oh and the VP(first mate), you are also absent, is this a trend we should all except?

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Ready, Fire, Aim!

    Customer Service Representative (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsGood people / Good product.

    ConsToo many to list.

    If you enjoy getting shot out of a cannon and, then, wondering where you will land, this is the place for you.

    During my time there I felt like a farmer on a tractor being pulled by a mule.

    Huge aspirations supported by missing or dysfunctional fundamentals.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou have my deepest sympathy.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Bursting bubble in slow motion shot with a high speed camera.

    Customer Support (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsGood pay, good location, some good people. Very popular among iPad owners who buy magazines.

    ConsZinio is where magazines and good workers come to meet their destiny in a tragic way. Questionable sales and marketing practices. Politics overshadow real work. If you're not friends with the right people, this is Labor Hell.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire experienced people, and learn to recognize talent and keep it. Promote people based on experience, not on seniority or politics. Value people for their work, not for personality or appearance. Stop killing your own worker's faith in your own company. Make real and not just superficial changes that come too late.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Get your act together

    Software Engineer (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsNice app. Tons of magazines (though Google Play, NextIssueMedia have the same selections)

    ConsLots of politics. Constant layoffs. No trust in the employees. Horrible middle management.

    It's not hard to understand the reasons behind all this. Some of the 'tenured VPs' are absolutely spineless. They make a ton of salary and are just not incentivized to make the company a success. You get no mentoring from the managers. All you get is stakeholders who don't know how to run the company. It's futile I tell you, working here is just futile.
    Based on the open negativity and comments made in closed circles, makes me think that some of the 'discriminatory' remarks from previous posts are true. I tried to overlook all the racist stuff that goes on. But given the way they dealt with me makes me want to file a complaint with the ACLU against zinio.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSober up. Or move out. Need a better leadership team who is more in tune with today's culture

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    No respect for people, abysmal culture and a dangerous place in case you want to make a career

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat app (designed by all but fulltime employees)
    Great location (right above Walgreens in case you need to buy meds to choke yourself)

    ConsThis place is choked by pettiness and lassitude. Indentured servitude is rampant in this place.
    Zinio could foster the death of print journalism. You ask why? Every day in Zinio is an episode apt for TMZ. The bickering of stakeholders, the inability to come to a decision, spineless middle management.

    I have worked at Zinio for over a year and after building tight relationships, I feel all my efforts have been wasted. I'm looking for a way out. The 'People' aspect is one thing that Zinio least cares about. Every month I see new faces and just when I have networked with them, they are either fired or they quit.
    FYI: In case you didn't know, previously fired Zinio employees have already filed a suit against Zinio. I think they are still fighting that battle.

    The castrated Product team is extremely weak. THere has been so much churn within the Product team within the last year. People in upper management dump verbal napalm on your ideas every time you go into a meeting with them.

    Then we have stakeholder meetings every other day to discuss..no wait..'discuss' is the wrong word. They talk and talk without any meaningful vision and all you can do is (quoting Frank Underwood in 'House of Cards') "just imagine their lightly salted faces frying in a skillet" .
    Politics is the one word that defines Zinio. In fact, zinio's culture is politics. There is nothing else that defines Zinio. This company is built on very precarious and flimsy foundations.

    HR is yet another joke in the company. The lesser said the better. My interview with HR went like this:

    HR: So, I see you have experience building apps.
    Me: well..no. But I am confident enough of taking ownership and leading the team on it.
    HR: But I see you use the word 'application' in your resume.
    Me: Uh..ok. yea sure.
    HR: Well, I'm glad you have the app experience. We'd like to give you an offer
    Me: <silent>

    Advice to Senior ManagementAs other reviewers have mentioned, it's time to jettison older ideas and bring in new ones. Get someone in charge who is in touch with the pulse of today's software. Foster good employee morale.

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

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