AKQA Reviews in San Francisco, CA | Glassdoor

AKQA San Francisco Reviews

Updated October 21, 2017
137 reviews

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San Francisco, CA Area

3.0
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AKQA CEO Ajaz Ahmed
Ajaz Ahmed
42 Ratings

137 Employee Reviews

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  1. "xxx"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Database Architect in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Database Architect in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Modern Technologies Flexibility Location Culture Snacks

    Cons

    I dislike open space setting


  2. "Good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Web Developer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Web Developer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Decent benefits (50% matching up to 6% on 401k after a year), great coworkers, cool clients, fun office culture (with awesome perks like weekly massages, free yoga, haircuts on site, beer on tap, coffee, lunches and snacks ahead of company meetings, towels in the shower, etc). Working from home is permissible on occasion, schedules can be flexible, and overall the work life balance has been great for me.

    Cons

    Not as many opportunities for technologists here as for creatives. Scoring more development work would make it a better place to learn as a developer.

    Advice to Management

    You're doing a great job.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Sink or swim."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Art Director in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Art Director in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great work if you're willing to wait out the lulls and fight to get onto the better accounts and projects. If you do well being thrown in the deep end and taking whatever comes your way you'll make some good work for big name clients.

    Cons

    Not for those who aren't willing to speak up for themselves, raise their hand and fight to get onto the best projects. Lots of politics and perception of what you're capable of is everything. If you can't play the game, you wont go far.


  4. "Poorly managed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Free breakfast and yoga, cheap massages and acupuncture

    Cons

    No communication or guidance. Requested feedback numerous times and never received any.

    Advice to Management

    Train your employees and communicate


  5. Helpful (1)

    "It's what you make of it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Supervisor in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Account Supervisor in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities to work on great client accounts, and learn from top tier talent if you make the effort to meet people outside of your team and aren't afraid to put your neck out there.

    Cons

    It's a large agency, so you can too easily isolate yourself in your work and within your team.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to create opportunities for junior and mid-level staff to prove their value, and to learn from senior staff.


  6. Helpful (28)

    "Like everyone else, run"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - The people and friendships are literally the only thing currently saving this place.
    - New ECD has potential, but it is still far too early to tell.
    - Client list sounds "good".
    - If you're looking for a stepping stone, you might be able to do well. But for seasoned veterans, stay away.
    -Media and search are continually hiring.

    Cons

    Where do I start?

    - Sexual harassment, trespassing, and lack of leadership empathy.
    - Skewed and inconsistent standards. Apparently some alcoholics can work at AKQA while others are fired.
    - Clients have drawn back their work and budgets to a trickle. Don't expect to sell in or work on big, innovative experiences. You'll likely work on banner campaigns, social whatever, or various website updates.
    - Leadership continually tries to sell in old ideas across multiple clients.
    - Leadership doesn't know the basics of: running a campaign, understanding the skills their subordinates, how to read anyone emotionally, how to strategize product vs. lifestyle vs. social campaigns, budgeting, organizing resources, how to function like normal human beings.
    -The blame game has replaced any sort of basic communication. You'll like play and never know it until you have your first review.
    -Zero career development. You'll likely guess what your title really means or be asked to work on projects that are well below your wheel-house.
    -Favoritism is felt far and wide. Good luck if you work in creative or strategy.
    -You might see a tumbleweed or two. The continual empty office resembles a ghost town.
    -The best have left. And some left without being with the company for more than 6 months.
    -No one knows what AKQA stands for. Values and beliefs has been "evolving" for more than 5 years.
    -Big name hires are hoping to undo years of bad press and bad morale. But they'll likely be spread too thin too quickly to make a difference.
    -Underperforming employees are kept around for whatever reason.
    -Basic questions are never asked. What kind of talent do we have? What's the budget? What's the timeline? What was the client feedback? HEY WHATEVER IT DOESN'T MATTER. WE NEED THE MONEY. SAY YES TO EVERYTHING.
    -Communication between departments is non-existent.
    -Big cultural differences between on-site teams and SF office employees. It's like two different companies exist. Happy and well oiled machine vs. toxic wasteland.
    -Stereotypes live big here. Only those who play their part loud and flamboyantly will be remembered.
    -You'll likely interact with multiple sociopaths. Better yet, your whole team might be full of them.

    Advice to Management

    The work that we made was unrivaled in the beginning. But unfortunately many, myself included, have been continually disappointed. Mass exoduses, unfair layoffs while repeat HR offenders are able to play politics, and complete incompetence has hindered talent, opportunities, and relationships. AKQA needs to do some soul searching or in the very least purge.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "marketing agency with good designers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - User Experience Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - User Experience Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work with smart hard working designers.

    Cons

    I don't know if the creatives are compensated properly for their time.

    Advice to Management

    Care about your people. This is really more of a marketing think tank that has good graphic designers.

  8. "Great if you can manage politics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    Pros

    AKQA attracts interesting clients, has a creative and tech-forward culture, and produces good work. Employees are a diverse global mish mash.

    Cons

    SF management wasn't the best, often unaware of what it takes to deliver on an idea/a project/an initiative. As with most agencies, long hours are the norm.


  9. "Great Place to Work - If You Put in the Effort"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Strong client list
    Smart and diverse people
    Room to advance your career with good work and collaboration

    Cons

    Some infrastructure and operations need improvement
    Always room for more training and career mentoring

    Advice to Management

    Take time to support teams, make sure they feel heard


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Not for everyone"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Met some wonderful people here

    Cons

    Leadership seems disinterested/aloof
    Guidance and mentorship nonexistent
    Sexism and misogyny are rampant and remains unaddressed
    Underperforming employees aren't held accountable


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