Ancestry Reviews | Glassdoor

Ancestry Reviews

Updated September 21, 2018
322 reviews

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3.1
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Ancestry Chief Executive Officer Margo Georgiadis
Margo Georgiadis
24 Ratings

322 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Excellent benefits and solid work/life balance" (in 44 reviews)

  • "The people I work with are fantastic and there are great benefits" (in 30 reviews)

Cons
  • "no sense of upper management direction" (in 20 reviews)

  • "They don't say it when they hire but it's a call center" (in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (7)

    "Love the new direction of the company"

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

    I have been working at Ancestry full-time

    Pros

    New leadership team is finally getting us organized and aligned to operate at full speed.

    Cons

    Growing space pains. SF office space and conference rooms are limited, but this may be due to the current construction and build out of additional floors.

    Advice to Management

    Really great to see what the new P&T leadership team is putting into place. Before it felt like we were all silo'd. Now we're operating as one agile/efficient engine with all parts moving in the right direction. P&T's leader, Nat, takes the time to listen to employees and then thoughtfully makes changes that have improved our work flow. I'm excited to see the strategy now that Margo is in place.


  2. "Global Buyer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ancestry full-time

    Pros

    GREAT company. Ancestry truly cares about its employees and it shows in the generous benefits. The job allowed me to utilize strategic thinking

    Cons

    Routine can get dry, As the department develops, I am sure this will change

  3. "Leadership heavy"

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

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

    Pros

    Senior leadership passionate about the product and brand.

    Cons

    Salaries are not competitive with Bay Area, high tech market


  4. Helpful (11)

    "If you believe in the company's mission or want part of a soap opera, Ancestry is perfect"

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

    I have been working at Ancestry full-time

    Pros

    * Product:
    I believe that Ancestry’s business actually does good in the world. Ancestry’s product helps connect their customer with their loved ones. How often do you have customers who crying tears of joy from your work’s mission?

    * CEO:
    Margo, our new CEO, started recently. So far, she has been doing a pretty good job at cleaning up the mess that the previous execs made. I have faith in her ability to lead the company towards a better light.


    * Internship:
    Interns are spoiled and learn a lot. I think Ancestry’s internship program has matured a lot and would be a good place to apply to.

    Cons

    * Glassdoor Reviews:
    A lot of the recent 5-star reviews here are BS. With the influx of bad reviews, a lot of managers have been asking employees for good reviews. They go out of their way to ask the interns to review the company because interns have good experiences with their internship here.

    * Product:
    In my opinion, there’s some limitations to how an engineer can contribute to the product. DNA is mostly selling DNA kits and the family history platform is built out. Most of the work is just either adding some features to the bread and butter or building tools to try to clean up the mess at the company. I like the mission but I don’t feel like I’m part of it.

    * Management:
    With the exception of the new CEO, the execs are terrible. They are so out of touch with what goes on with regular employees. When an anonymous employee asked a genuine question about this, the interim CEO called his question BS in front of the whole company.

    * Recently, the company had a massive layoff in February. The layoff was sudden and didn’t follow any procedures like PIP that was in place and as one employee described it, “it felt as if we were dragged out in the middle of the night and shot.” Some execs responded that the people who were laid off are welcome to reapply to the company for open positions. Some of the responses were so ridiculous that it felt like they were trying to cover up bad decisions the way that they would with their children.

    * Engineering:
    There is no standard other than “do this and figure it out yourself.” It is an uphill battle to get anything done and some teams find loopholes in order to be able to do their work. The company is 25 years old and the amount of technical debt and poor engineering decisions is staggering. It feels that some engineers are making technical decisions based on paradigms from the early 2000’s.

    There is tension between the teams between Utah and San Francisco teams.

    * Recruiting:
    The company is bleeding talent. Experienced engineers are leaving all the time. The company is starting to offer RSU’s to employees in general (before, it was only for directors) and it is of my opinion that this is a move to counter the exodus of engineers.

    The recruiting here is so disjointed that sometimes you don’t know what kind of engineering position that you’re interning the candidate for. Some of the worst engineers that I have had the displeasure of working with do interviews and I can only feel empathy for the candidates on the other side.

    * Benefits:
    With the exception of HR-sponsored benefits like health insurance, a lot of the perks are bare-minimum offerings so that they can put them on paper.
    
1. Snacks and drinks? The SF office is overcrowded and the refrigerators and snack bars are empty by lunch.
    2. Gym reimbursement? Have fun getting all of your inquiries ignored. Your claim also won’t be declined. Instead, it will just be ignored so you’ll never know the status (since your emails are ignored).

    Advice to Management

    Overall, I think you guys are on the right track. I feel that there are still so many upper management who have the "it's not me, it's them" mentality. Please continue the work and prove me wrong. I will happily eat my words and update my review.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Custpmer Solutions Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Lehi, UT
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Lehi, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ancestry full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Really fun to work with customers from around the world.

    Cons

    Very few opportunities for promotion

    Advice to Management

    Treat as valued employees.


  6. "Wonderful mission, changing culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Wonderful mission -- helping people discover their past and better understand themselves. Great people -- who are smart, driven, and motivated. Excellent career growth opportunities for those that are self-driven and show initiative.

    Cons

    The company has been undergoing drastic changes in management, org structure, and culture for the past couple years.

    Advice to Management

    Empower employees to drive initiatives. Better communication both within departments and cross-functionally. Set clear priorities.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Positive Outlook"

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

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

    Pros

    I've been working for a year now and have been learning a lot. Best job I have ever had. Technology stack is top notch.

    Cons

    Compensation is pretty low, but the products and outlook are awesome.

  8. Helpful (13)

    "Great place to work"

    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 Ancestry full-time

    Pros

    Great benefits for some
    Opportunities for only some.
    Pay is average for the area or slightly above depending on the position and location.
    Bonus program is great.
    Diversity is their new *thing*.

    Cons

    Most benefits are really only intended for middle or upper-level employees
    Unlimited vacation is a total accounting scam since managers routinely deny or they hold it against you when you get a review. When you leave you get no vacation and no sick time paid.
    Easy for people in middle management to hide in this company and do pretty much nothing.
    Surveys every 6 months are just a lie and they harass people to submit positive responses (and are not at all anonymous, despite claims)
    This is a very male-dominated company.
    HR is a joke and they do nothing to solve problems

    Advice to Management

    Maybe start looking at Management as the problem instead of the employees at the bottom. You have a lot of wonderful people but Middle and Upper management want to just stand on them and grind them into the dirt.


  9. "Great Company!"

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

    I have been working at Ancestry full-time

    Pros

    The people I work with are fantastic and there are great benefits.

    Cons

    Some VP's lack connection across teams.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Never believe manager says in this company."

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

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

    Pros

    If you are good at playing around office politics, it is a good place for you.

    Cons

    1, A lot of meetings in this company, people is playing around communication skills and do nothing. managers/directors try to manipulate people instead of lead people for company's success. you can only say good things in the meeting, otherwise you will get punished behind.

    2. Not sure about high level leaders, middle level managers/directors are terrible. they are paid well, treat themselves well(always work from home), their only work is to give a look-good report.

    3. 401k company match is like stock, only got 25% of 3% match after you work company for one year. that's almost like nothing.

    Advice to Management

    If you really want to do a success transformation, you should hire new managers or domain leader


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