CannonDesign Reviews

Updated May 29, 2020

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3.4
56%
Recommend to a Friend
72%
Approve of CEO
CannonDesign Chief Executive Officer Brad Lukanic, AIA
Brad Lukanic, AIA
33 Ratings
Pros
  • "Good salary, good benefits, interest projects(in 9 reviews)

  • "Great people cool projects international work good benefits and pay in an interesting office environment in the center of the city(in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • "Top heavy, uninspiring place with a deep lack of focus(in 19 reviews)

  • "Long hours with little to no compensating reward is the norm as well(in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Good company to work for"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Facilities Assessor - Mechanical Systems in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at CannonDesign part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Employee oriented employer with flexibility

    Cons

    Cannot think of any negative remarks

  2. "Cool"

    5.0
    Current Employee - Business Architect in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at CannonDesign full-time

    Pros

    All is good I love it

    Cons

    Nothing is bad It’s gerat


  3. Helpful (8)

    "Serious favoritism based on personal reason rather than performance."

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Interior Designer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at CannonDesign full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I initially was very excited to join the team as a CannonDesigner! When I started there was great functional leadership and a relatively friendly atmosphere. There was also an intermural sports team that we participated in and was great team bonding.

    Cons

    The quality of the work environment quickly declined with the strong leaders began resigning one after another. The office grew stale and the people seemed less and less authentic. Favoritism was very clear in my group and alienation was a daily thing. It was such a bad experience I was forced to listen to positive affirmations in my earphones each day just to get by and protect my mental health. Nonetheless, my last day at Cannon was one of the best days of my career.

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    CannonDesign Response

    April 24, 2020Associate VP

    Hi there. This is Rich Kahn, the leader of CannonDesign’s NYC office. Thanks for taking the time to leave us a review. Any feedback, good or bad, is appreciated by our firm—and I wanted to be sure to personally respond to yours. First off, I’m sorry you didn’t have a more rewarding experience while you were with CannonDesign. It’s hard to decipher what might have prompted the issues you noted—or when they occurred—but I don’t take feedback like this lightly. All I can say is that the leadership team we have in place today (including wonderful leaders within our interiors groups) is not at all like what you describe. I’m proud of the familial environment we have in our NYC office and we continually strive to make it a rewarding place for everyone on our team. I wish you the best in your new position. I’d also appreciate hearing more about your experience if you feel comfortable sharing. Please shoot me an email so I can better understand how we can continue to improve the experience for employees in our office.

  4. Helpful (11)

    "Proceed with Caution"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Architect in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at CannonDesign full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    I made many continuing friendships with talented and engaging people during my time at Cannon Design, which I still maintain. Most are not with the company anymore. I enjoyed many of the clients and consultants I had the privilege of working with over the years. Working on varied projects in different areas of the country and with different types of clients was very rewarding. Clients were usually the bright spot, while company leadership created obstacles.

    Cons

    Cannon Design continues to deny responsibility for the actions leading to the $12 million fine paid to settle the Criminal Enforcement Agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, for remediation of the Company’s criminal conduct in the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal. It’s false that the conduct was “isolated to one former employee.” The Agreement (publicly published and available online) makes it clear that scores of other officers of the corporation were involved in the greedy criminal conduct and avarice resulting in devastating financial loss and a huge number of layoffs. Cannon Design agreed to a $12 million fine to avoid further criminal prosecution, for which there was ample evidence. Cannon Design states “the issues with the federal government are behind us.” The $12 million criminal fine payment schedule extends into January 2022, unless it has been paid off early. Former Cannon Design employees have suffered not only job loss but pennies-on-the-dollar payouts of their devalued stock, much of it purchased from individual payroll. Although there’s a new CEO, most of the officers of the corporation involved in the criminal conduct are still fully ensconced in the company. Financial woes and mismanagement predates the problems created by the federal criminal conduct. Cannon Design made no 401k contributions, gave no raises, awarded few promotions, or paid no bonuses for years to hardworking employees who worked thousands of hours of unpaid overtime to ensure project completion and ensure company profits, with which leadership lined their pockets in self-interest. Sure, it’s an employee-owned company, but that’s of no consequence unless you are a higher positioned “officer.” Cannon Design remains an old-boys club. The company makes token attempts at diversity but falls woefully short in hiring and engaging women, minorities, and LGBTQ staff and leadership. Dividing walls are fully in place. Cannon Design openly practices employee ageism. It’s no secret that the management philosophy is to hire younger personnel, purportedly under the guise of youthful exuberance and encouraging fresh ideas. It’s really to lower the payroll average and keep the company from being “top-heavy.” Self-righteous designers and self-anointed, clueless blow-hole leadership ensures mediocre project design and an aura of short-sighted and tone-deaf project execution. Cannon Design is a revolving door. Yes, the company does hire many talented and earnest people; it just doesn’t have a clue about how to engage, support, and keep them. Hundreds of layoffs and staff departures have greatly lowered the average tenure. It becomes abundantly clear to staff that staying with this organization will ultimately lead nowhere. Your years of hard work and devotion will not be acknowledged or rewarded. Cannon Design employs the management practice of replying to each review and encouraging employees to positively review the company, in a PR attempt to placate and stem negative comments. Carefully consider the replies with a grain of salt, and fully research the company before deciding to join.

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    CannonDesign Response

    March 3, 2020Associate VP

    Hi there. This is Roland Lemke, the leader of CannonDesign’s DC office. As we do with every review we get, I want to thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. I hear your frustration and I’m sorry that’s how you feel. But the firm you describe is not the CannonDesign that I and my more than 50 colleagues in D.C. pour our hearts and souls into every day. Yes, our firm was under federal investigation back in 2015 for the actions of an employee. This isn’t something we hide. CannonDesign assisted in the investigation and accepted responsibility for its shortcomings. The employee responsible was held accountable and no criminal action was taken against our firm. At the time, CannonDesign did not have a compliance program in place, but today, we have one of the leading programs in the industry. We wish it didn’t happen, but it did, and our firm is stronger because of it. To that end, if you have specific concerns, I encourage you to contact our Chief Compliance Officer (Paul Moskal) at 716.774.3295. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may do so by contacting Navex EthicsPoint at www.reportlineweb.com/CannonDesign or by calling 1.855.502.1878. To the reviewer, I sincerely wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors – and I wish I had the opportunity to address your concerns in person as opposed to on Glassdoor. While your words don’t reflect the CannonDesign I have been apart of for more that 20 years, they also don’t fall on deaf ears. I will continue to work each day to make CannonDesign the best design firm in the industry for our people and clients.

  5. Helpful (4)

    "Bad reputation..."

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at CannonDesign full-time

    Pros

    CannonDesign is a good place to get your career off the ground. As architects, they do good, innovative work.

    Cons

    Majority of management in Boston is rude. This place has a reputation for being 'toxic' which is true. Young staff keeps things light.

    CannonDesign Response

    January 28, 2020Associate VP

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Our Boston leadership team works hard to create an inclusive and welcoming culture, and we’re sorry you didn’t experience that while you were with us. We take comments like this seriously and use them to continually strengthen our practice. Thanks again for leaving a review and best of luck in your future endeavors.

  6. Helpful (3)

    "Good experience at the expense of pay"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at CannonDesign full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Experience, you will get to touch a lot of project types

    Cons

    Pay is below average. Pay is not commensurate on reviews, effort, or quality of work produced

    CannonDesign Response

    January 28, 2020Associate VP

    Thanks for taking the time to leave us a review. We’re glad you’re gaining valuable experience with us, but are bummed to hear you feel your pay is below average. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to have an honest conversation with your supervisor or HR representative about your pay. As a firm, many factors play into salary, such as experience, geographic location, etc., but we are proud of the competitive salaries we offer employees. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts – and thanks for contributing your talents to our firm!

  7. Helpful (4)

    "Denver Office September 2019"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Architect in Denver, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at CannonDesign full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Consistent paycheck Principals are retiring and new generation is taking over

    Cons

    • Typical ruthless corporate mentality • The HQ is only looking out for monthly office revenue and never pays attention to the culture • Extremely cheap company that doesn’t provide necessary office supply, cleaning and sponsored events • Extreme push on employees to take over more responsibilities every day and minimal 3% annual raise • Many staffs are quitting Denver office and you can easily track that online • Dirty small dark office environment with obvious signs of sick building syndrome and leaking ceiling with a promise of the better is coming • Very little design and mostly production work of renovation and addition to an existing building So when the other reviewer says that Denver office is nothing but heaven, all I can say is, go get hired in a day and see it yourself and then come back here and make your honest opinion. It worth nothing to argue.

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    CannonDesign Response

    October 30, 2019Associate VP

    We’re very sorry to hear about your experience. Our Denver office has gone through significant changes over the last 18 months, largely driven by merging three distinct firm cultures into one. We’ve learned a lot through the process and are actively making changes to ensure we better support our employees and create a dynamic work environment. You identified some of these leadership changes in your Pros. We recently hired a new leader for the Denver office who’s number one priority is addressing cultural challenges. While change does not happen overnight, the feedback from staff has been positive that things are heading in the right direction. We’re also gearing up to move into a new space in the RiNo Art District in early 2020 which will help unify the staff even more. All to say, we’ve taken comments like yours to heart and are making significant changes to strengthen our Denver office. Thanks for leaving us a review. We wish you well in your new career.

  8. "Denver Office - August 2019"

    5.0
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CannonDesign full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The quality of staff always makes the place. The Architects, Engineers, FOS members, Leaders and Administration are top notch. The company itself has comprehensive design services and also expanding services of Visualization, Construction Consulting, Innovation Incubators, Modular Design and the list goes on and keeps growing. No office will ever be perfect, nor should it be. The question is are there positive, engaged, dedicated people and systems to solve what comes at us. At the Denver office the answer is yes. Over the last few years Cannon brought together two Denver design firms that were established in the area for over 30 years and that were previously competitors. Cultural differences are natural and expected; resolution takes time and continuous intentional effort. I have been with Cannon for over a year but only just in the Denver office for a few months and I do see differences yet also cooperation as the projects that were carried from their previous separate offices are nearing completion and the two companies are merging with common endeavors. We are in the process of building a new office space to accommodate everyone and provide a place for growth of the individual and the company. As I look on other reviews in for the Denver office, I think there may be some information updates required: 1. The marketing strategies are active, inclusive, successful with an expanded client base. New ground-up projects include schools and healthcare. 2. The Denver leaders are early adapters of innovative concepts and this office is well vested. It advances Cannon's national incubator in both leadership sponsors and project participants. 3. This office has for 30+ years running, company camp-out where we all just had a great time at a few weeks ago. We also have summer ice cream truck breaks, beer cart Thursdays, casual dress / breakfast Fridays, and don't forget an adorable office dog that comes around your desk for a friendly greeting. 4. Communication and accountability is important so we used things like a sign-out sheet for lunch and shared PTO calendars so we know how to work with each others schedule. 5. Good citizen responsibility is a courtesy we give each other by having rotating common area clean-up assignments. Not to mention restrooms are always in good condition. 6. I can only speak for myself having been with Cannon for over a year but just started in the Denver office two months ago that the OPL/BPL leadership have been open and welcoming with a genuine interest in developing the person, the group, and company's service offerings with a vested interest in retaining contributing employees. 7. Having the opportunity to sit near the retiring founders, it is a pleasure to see the respect and admiration from their employees as their succession to the next generation unfolds. They will be missed with a strong sense of gratitude for their guidance, wisdom, and vision over the decades. On the company camping trip we just had, unbeknownst to me, my teenage son was so taken by the sense of welcome and inclusion that he asked a number of people how he could become an intern when he reaches 16. This is an amazing place where people want to be.

    Cons

    Parking options. Printed Drawings, personal preference pdfs. Latency with VDI usage which is to be solved in the new office.

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    CannonDesign Response

    January 28, 2020Associate VP

    Thank you so much for sharing your perspective. When mergers take place, it takes time to bring cultures and people together – and we’re thankful for teammates like you who help us make the process successful. We’re excited about the future of our Denver office, and with new leadership in place and a new office location set to open shortly, we have no doubt big things are in store for our teammates in Denver.

  9. Helpful (3)

    "Salary"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Interior Designer in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at CannonDesign full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great exposure to big projects and a lot of talented people

    Cons

    No respect for personal time, if there is a deadline they do not care if you work VERY late nights. Compensation doesn't equal amount of work produced.

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    CannonDesign Response

    October 27, 2019Marketing

    Thanks for taking the time to leave us feedback, and we’re glad you were able to work on meaningful projects while you were with us. We’re sorry to hear you felt your personal time was not respected. We strive to create a healthy work/life balance for all employees, though we realize the deadline-driven nature of the design industry can sometimes lead to more than a 40-hour work week. We ask all employees to have candid conversations with their supervisors if they feel there is too much on their plates. Those conversations are key to figuring out how we might be able to shift priorities or delegate work to others to provide more balance. We appreciate you sharing your talents with our firm, and we wish you well in your new career.

  10. Helpful (3)

    "Architecture at CannonDesign"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Architect 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at CannonDesign full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The people make a great community

    Cons

    The projects are far from groundbreaking and they pay is significantly less than what DC housing dictates.

    Continue reading
Found 145 reviews