AOL Reviews | Glassdoor

AOL Reviews

Updated September 25, 2017
83 reviews

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AOL CEO Tim Armstrong
Tim Armstrong
49 Ratings

83 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • good culture and work life balance (in 172 reviews)

  • The culture/ the work environment is awesome (in 89 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "Senior Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AOL full-time

    Pros

    Work and balance are good

    Cons

    No clear direction on any projects


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Xbox Advertising Team in Seattle"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Xbox Ad Services in Seattle, WA
    Former Contractor - Xbox Ad Services in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AOL as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Cool content and some of the Jr. team members are kind, lovely people put in a terrible situation.
    At one point there was a proactive, positive member of the management team but they have exited stage right.
    Working with a dev group with some impressive proprietary skills who are great problem solvers.
    They bait you with food and fun items to try to distract you from the misery of working there.

    Cons

    Where do I begin..?
    This was far and away the worst job experience I have ever endured. Note I say JOB because this is not a career path.
     The management is extremely negative, focuses on stumbles and imperfections rather than innovation and growth.
    If you're outside of the small management team you have little to no control over your own destiny. The projects you work on get handed to you, the skills you develop are dictated and you're constantly threatened by a reduction or even wage garnishing. They also keep lots of people on contract in perpetuity because they never have budget for additional FTEs which means limited benefits and next to no time off.
    The job has very little flexibility compared to others besides some work from home benefits. It's common to have 10 total days off a year including sick time, jury duty, etc. I had a major family circumstance and was told I could take regular PTO but would be penalized if I let it get in the way of any more work.
    Additionally, if I took time off I would work right through it because I regularly worked 60-80 hours and had too many projects for any one individual to cover OR a week or a holiday would come up and suddenly there would be fires to put out left and right.
    Workloads were not balanced appropriately - some people had a lot more projects than others resulting in follies, mistakes and quality of work worsening over time. There was no benefit for taking on more work. Additionally, the role at the bottom of the pyramid had a disproportionate amount of critical work associated with it that resulted in less than ideal checks and balances on the projects going out.
    In sum a lot would get put on your shoulders, you would often get pinned for poor tech or decisions by leadership and the training and career growth mechanisms were abysmal.
    I feared going to work on the daily and was absolutely miserable in this role.

    Advice to Management

    -Don't use fear baiting tactics and power tripping to manage people.
    -Consider inspiring direct reports with management training and opportunity building.
    -Be consistent in your messaging with direct report.
    -To higher, higher management - don't put people skilled in operations but not people management in charge of a large team of people.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "layoffs"

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

    I worked at AOL (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good severance package and pay.

    Cons

    layoffs! layoffs!! layoffs!!! I lasted 7 months after being reassured by the hiring manager that all the re-orgs and layoffs are done.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "AOL Doesn't Build Brands People Love. AOL Only Builds a Hostile Work Environment."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Brand Ambassador in New York, NY
    Current Intern - Brand Ambassador in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at AOL as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    The famous celebrities that are invited to appear on AOL's BUILD Series will treat you with more respect than what you get from your own bosses.

    Cons

    You will never have an opportunity to grow within the company. If you start gaining forward momentum, out of pure jealousy, upper management will pull the rug out from underneath you. Never before in my life have I experienced people with so much power act like elementary school children...until I started working for AOL. Instead of encouraging people to help build a healthy company, management creates a toxic, cold and lifeless environment. Avoid working for AOL's BUILD Series at all costs. Don't walk. Run.

    Advice to Management

    There needs to be an investigation on upper management at BUILD. The people running the show have no clue as to how a real production studio works. They also treat their interns and employees horribly. Management needs to recognize employees who care about the company and want to do great things for AOL instead of pretending like they don't exist.


  5. "Stay away from AOL and Verizon's "Media Co""

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Some big brands with lot of eyeballs like Huff Post and Tech crunch. The world's most amazing mapping site - mapquest. Yep. mapquest.

    Cons

    It has the hire and fire culture of startup with the agility of a big corporation. Verizon is trying to duct tape together a media co to take on Google and Facebook but it does not have the product or engineering DNA to pull that off. Internally, AOL is a bunch of acquisitions that have not been integrated. To really understand the company Google "Tim Armstrong" "patch" and "leaked audio". Yep that happened.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to build a media co you need to put the right executives in place. Cutting an pasting teleco sales people as tech vice presidents does not work. Treating engineers like disposable razor blades will get you a reputation in the valley.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Says they care but they don't"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Fast-paced work, if you enjoy it.

    Good people and culture (but then again...see below)

    Cons

    - Like what one other reviewer said - the company says they care, but they really don't. Redundancies at the end of the year leading to Christmas is crazy. Talented employees get booted out just like that with a meagre package. You need to look for a job within a month at least to be on your feet again...which is almost impossible, unless if you've already had some kind of backup plan. I've also seen newly hired colleagues being let go a short while after they joined the company.

    - At All Hands in the weeks before, everything is presented as fine and dandy and awards were also given out to employees. Then this happens. Something is totally disconnected with the company's leadership.

    - Very U.S. focused. Not global at all, even if they say they are.

    Advice to Management

    Very short term thinking. What kind of employer treats its employees like that? How can you not think all this will not affect AOL culture with the remaining employees when they see what happens every year?


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Business Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at AOL full-time

    Pros

    Relaxed culture ... that's about it. Just typing out extra words to fill the 20 word minimum at this point.

    Cons

    Salary sucks
    Lack of interesting and meaningful work
    Lack of upwards mobility
    Leadership who has no idea what they're doing makes important business decisions
    Constant restructuring

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the people below you more, place more value in their input
    Stop playing so much politics
    Learn the PRODUCT that you run

  8. "Na"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AOL part-time

    Pros

    Company atmosphere, free drinks, lovely office

    Cons

    No room for growth,

    Advice to Management

    Be kind


  9. "Account Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at AOL full-time

    Pros

    Compensation is competitive to other companies

    Cons

    Still stuck in the 90's, no movement or growth (or growth but it takes 4 months to process.)


  10. "Don't do it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at AOL as a contractor

    Pros

    Good people, flexible time, the capacity to do great things despite actively choosing not to.

    Cons

    The idea of advancement is a joke. You get forced to work at a level above your superiors for no money and empty promises. Run as fast as you can the other way or get left in the lurch,

    Advice to Management

    Follow through when you say you care about talent. People working above me can hardly use excel and yet you expect cohesive teams and happy people.


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