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AdColony Reviews

Updated January 14, 2018
51 reviews

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2.2
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Lars Boilesen
3 Ratings

51 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work life balance is great and the culture is strong and lively (in 8 reviews)

  • Flexibility to work from home when need be (in 4 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (4)

    "Facing the truth about change"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great people working together to help developers and publishers make money. A culture where we have fun at work but also get to work on tough and challenging business problems. Morale in Performance is improving with the leadership changes in Product and Tech.

    Cons

    It's been a struggle recently with the morale in Brand. Over the last two years executives forgot about the very profitable Performance business and made decisions that put all tech and product resources on Brand. Finally that changed, and AdColony is once again focused on Performance. But, letting go all the Brand people in June and the change in strategy made them angry. HR has their hands full with Brand and is doing their best. Unfortunately, the changes in the market and company focus hit the Brand business the hardest and they are in a dark place.

    Advice to Management

    Stop trying to be everything to everyone. Hold Product and Tech accountable for delivering on time. Continue to focus and do less. Next time, don't take so long in making leadership changes. Goal setting needs to happen in January.

    AdColony Response

    Dec 5, 2017

    Thank you for your honest review and feedback. As the market has changed, we've had to re-evaluate our priorities over the last year to refocus on the products and technology that have been our... More


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Bad company outlook, the management is the worst I've ever seen!"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at AdColony full-time

    Pros

    No Pros. Really no pros right now. Previously, our benefits are good, there are good snack and drink and one catered lunch per week.

    Cons

    Bad company profile, financial numbers keep decreasing. Investors are impatient, executive and employees are losing patience and no one wants to be here any more.

    CEO, CPO, CTO are fired one by one in 2017, and new executive leaders cannot earn people's trust. Good perks/benefits disappear one by one, annual bonus are cut to 1/4, the base is in the low end of the industry, no career development opportunities.

    Pessimistic environments because of two layoffs and many 're-org' events. No scheduled all-hands meetings. Only sudden company calls, which makes employees more concerned and worried! Trust of employees is not existing any more!

    All people are looking for opportunities elsewhere, and no one cares about the company given the bad management and unrealistic promises. Executive team likes to make empty promises and fool people, but this only works once.

    Advice to Management

    No advice to the management. Please anticipate more talented people leaving you and you may be asked to leave in the near future.

  3. Helpful (7)

    "Do not trust the leadership and do not come to this company!!!"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at AdColony full-time

    Pros

    Friendly co-workers, good company-provided snack and drink (though the food could be better) .
    Good work-life balance.
    Promising industry, mobile advertising is growing.
    The first lay off (June 2017) did remove some problematic/lazy employees and I do think it is a good decision.

    Cons

    The executive/leadership has not credit, they always make empty promises and set not realistic plans and targets. They may fool us once, but never do it again! No one trust the leadership, including probably themselves.

    Two sudden layoffs and frequent sudden executive changes occur in 2017, however, the company financials are not getting better (in fact, keep going down). No one can give a good reason for it, everyone is pessimistic!

    HR or manager has no credit! The working visa application and green card application were orally approved but they never do it (they just try every efforts to postpone the process, for example, say they will do it next year). The annual bonus is now cut to only 25% of your target bonus! The employee-HR relation is the worst one as I've ever seen! Once there is no trust, do not even expect employees' hard work.

    Company reacts very slowly to the market change, they did not listen to the marketplace or the customer. This bad behavior will inevitably fail the company.

    Nepotism exists in my office.

    The stock options is totally a joke. They do not tell us the strike price and how/when it is distributed. No transparency at all! The amount of stock is very small and the annual bonus is cut as much as they can in 2018.

    No career development opportunity at all! They will lay off you or find another one replacing you when it is the time.

    Employees like us cannot focus on the work, we have to find other opportunities to survive. No one really care about the company at this time as far as I know. We are disappointed once and once again. Let's go to apply and work at other companies. They are many good companies and reasonable leadership out there, let's leave this sinking ship as soon as we can.

    Advice to Management

    If you keep doing what you did, talented employees will eventually leave, and I hope you really listen well to the market and your employees.

    Please read through the Cons above, and think about your business practice! It is really a shame to work at company like this! I do not know if you can change, and I personally do not feel unexpected if you lead the company to bankruptcy.


  4. Helpful (10)

    "Business Dev/Marketing/Product"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AdColony full-time

    Pros

    global company with established business relationships with clients;
    relatively smooth sales in the marketplace

    Cons

    HR is dysfunctional. low morale


  5. Helpful (10)

    "Not a good company due to bad management"

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

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

    Pros

    Good work-life balance, managers do not push a lot
    Nice snack and beverage are provided every week, and one catered lunch.
    Colleagues are very friendly and easy-going.
    Flexible working hours and work from home policy (for most teams I believe)

    Cons

    The company has 4 values: transparency, empowerment, one team, do the right thing, but to my knowledge, it is a shame that they are not executed well or not executed at all.

    1. No transparency. There is no transparency at all. Teams are working like silos, e.g., my team need other team's result, but there is no information sharing between teams, I do not know the other team's work and update unless I keep asking. This often make discrepancies about our results/products. Layoffs are always a sudden call, and people leave the office quickly, or plan to leave as soon as possible!
    2. No empowerment. There is little opportunity to stand out and lead a project and become a leadership. Promotion is rare, very rare. Only high-level managers have visibilities. High-profile projects are owned only by VP or SVP.
    3. Not a one team. It is indeed a joke that we are one team. I do only see several divided teams, very few collaborations. Some people do not know or even talk to people outside the team.
    4. Always do the wrong thing. I am talking about leadership. Two layoffs, sudden execute change (e.g., CTO, CEO and other executives resign), promising a stock options and 25% bonus but later no follow-up, promising a working visa application but refused to do so and a lot of other things. I really doubt whether executive team have business ethics or know how to manage a team or do business. Not need to mention the revenue loss, customer losing and stock keep dropping!

    I advise people be very cautious about this company.

    Advice to Management

    I really do not want to share my advice, as I do not have experience of management, but if you list your 4 values (transparency, empowerment, one team, do the right thing), and you do not observe them and employees do not even know them, it is meaningless. It is a shame! It is totally a joke!

    Leadership, especially the executives really need to think about how to earn the trust of the people! As I can tell, all employees already do not trust you, due to frequent executive changes, not realized promises (e.g., give stock option, 25% bonus, etc.) and urgent all-hands meeting (this generates more rumors). Instead, if you really want employees work in the environment of full of rumors, keep doing what you did and do not change.

    Find the problem and plan well. I believe we can come back and be competitive if we plan well. There are several times the changes you made are without careful thought and without discussion with other teams (collaboration), and so they have caused bad consequences.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "In bad shape!"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at AdColony full-time

    Pros

    I think there are still talented employees working for company, and the company is in a good market (mobile advertising) which is growing.
    good snacks and drink, catered lunch once per week.
    benefits are OK.

    Cons

    1. From end of 2016, company starts to have problems: revenue drops quickly and we are losing customers (both advertisers and publishers).
    2. Leadership change every quarter in 2017, however, the problems are not fixed. Leadership change make employees worry about their job security and company outlook. People are uncertain about themselves. A lot of people are laid off or resign.
    3. Leadership has no trust. In Seattle office, the leadership told us that we will move to the new Bellevue office in mid 2016, then Sep. 2016, later by end of 2016, then ... eventually we moved in at the end of March 2017. There was supposed a social event in Sep. 2017 (cruise), but then cancelled without any follow up. Leadership kept convince us in 2017 that they find the problem of growth and they can fix it, which turned out to be false.
    4. Lars (opera CEO) held an all-hands meeting on Dec. 7, 2017, asserting that he will simplify the management and blabla, he promised stock options by end of Dec and 25% bonus next year. However, on Dec. 21, Lars sent a company email that Will (our CEO) will leave the company and he will be the interim CEO. Lars did not even come to AdColony very often, how come he can make such a decision? Employees are more concerned about the company (too many political movements and leadership change) and more worried about themselves. In the latter of 2017, all all-hands meetings are held without notice ahead of time, and this make employees not trust the leadership and feel very uncomfortable.
    5. Nepotism is significant. Nepotism is everywhere in Seattle office (major engineering team) as the previous CTO brought a lot of his alumni from the Arizona college. The situation is not acceptable because the clique makes the collaboration very difficult. Even the previous CTO resigning does not really solve the problem.
    6. Rumors are everywhere, since CPO, CTO, CEO and many executive members are resigning (perhaps forced to leave). Employees cannot work, really hard to work.
    7. No team collaboration because of the clique and because people move so slowly.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees, and really keep promises, share stocks and share profits with employees. You probably know you are losing trust of employees and we are losing credit in the industry. Frequent executive change and lay off do not really resolve the problem but make it worse.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "What can we trust?!"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good location of HQ. Great snacks, catered lunch once a week, friendly colleague, not very pushy environment. Benefits are OK.

    Cons

    -Bad management, we do not have all-hands meetings every month as before, but we had sudden all-hand meetings from our CEO Will talking about layoffs, and another sudden all-hands meeting by Opera CEO Lars Boilesen earlier in Dec. 2017. All of these made employees losing trust/patience of the company and the leadership. The all-hands meeting by Lars is hilarious, that nobody really understand what message he wants to send, and since our CEO Will did not come, rumors are everywhere. People are talking about leadership change every day given his vague all-hands speech. I really worry about the leadership and their capability to lead. Lars promised that everyone will get some stock options at the end of the year and he tried to ensure we have 25% bonus next year, but he said it with reluctance. Who is going to believe him, given that he almost never show up in adcolony meetings?! A leader with joke!
    - Revenue continues dipping every week, leadership team is working hardly but still things do not become better. We see advertisers leaving us more than often.
    - The Seattle office previous CTO Ty had brought so many his Arizona guys to create an engineering team. I feel shame of this nepotism. They do not listen too often to business (PMs) and react so slowly to the business change. Now Ty is off the position, but there are still so many of his Arizona guys working here, not sure if things can change.
    -Siloed teams and data, each team work independently with very few communication and very few collaborations. Once the system breaks (we cannot scale) and ad server is down, nobody knows why and we have to wait and pray.
    - There are people starting to point the finger to other teams and are very defensive.

    Advice to Management

    Be nice to employee, try your best to keep your promise and make the company transparent.
    We keep seeing employees leaving. Some of them are really good and talented colleagues.
    Again, can you observe your promise of 25% bonus and stock options? Can you?

  8. Helpful (12)

    "Oslo Takeover"

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits, Product and the people.

    Cons

    The CEO of the company in Oslo has no credibility. He spoke in front of the entire company and made a comitment to provide a paper for our stock options but no legal paperwork. Ever simce AdColony was bougjt by Opera, the company has declined, It's very clear after hearing the Oslo CEO speak, that he knows nothing about Adtech or the employees at Adcolony. Oslo is killing the company . There is a culture of fear in Brand and ops under new exec "leaderahip". No stability. Fear of layoffs.

    Advice to Management

    Stop the rumors. Create stability. Fet out from under Oslo.


  9. Helpful (11)

    "Sinking Ship"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at AdColony full-time

    Pros

    Benefits, Food, Flex Time, PTO

    Cons

    Sinking ship. They are getting rid of good talent. Trimming politically rather than effectively. Execs look miserable and stressed. Too much gossip and negativity

    Never know which day will be your last here

    Advice to Management

    Retain good talent - be transparent


  10. Helpful (12)

    "A cautionary tale of arrogance"

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

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

    Pros

    - Good work life balance
    - Good team of employees
    - Great snack/food options

    Cons

    - CEO worried more about being a rockstar than leading
    - Low company morale
    - Outdated tech

    Advice to Management

    Consider uniting the company, rather than having each region and team work in silos
    Remove the CEO, and get a C-Level team that understands how to operate a company and drive innovation


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