Centerline Digital Reviews | Glassdoor

Centerline Digital Reviews

Updated April 21, 2017
53 reviews

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2.5
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Centerline Digital Founder & CEO Charles Long
Charles Long
25 Ratings

53 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • More important to me was that during the time i worked there I had the opportunity to make really great work with very talented people (in 10 reviews)

  • Additional bonuses: great Christmas party, open bar at 4:30, free snacks in the kitchen, and pizza catered every Friday (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Everyone is constantly whispering about the ineptitude of middle and upper management (in 7 reviews)

  • It's a hard industry and we put our customers first, so that can lead to a difficult work-life balance (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Experience and Opportunity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Animator in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Animator in Raleigh, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Centerline Digital full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I worked at Centerline for just about four years and over that time I enjoyed the people, the work and the company. As many of the previous reviews reveal quite bluntly, agency work is not for everyone. The deadlines are tight, the hours can be taxing and there are times where you can grow frustrated with clients because, after all, they are clients and not creatives.
    That being said, I really enjoyed my time working at Centerline. They find talented and personable employees and in my experience there was room for development and growth within the company if you are motivated and/or interested enough to pursue it. More important to me was that during the time i worked there I had the opportunity to make really great work with very talented people. I learned a lot, improved and expanded my skill set and my experience there has truly helped me as I moved on in my career.

    Cons

    The cons of Centerline, to me at least, were very much related to general agency work... short timelines, long hours, and sometimes just general frustration with clients. If you have done agency work in the past you will understand. There are plenty of negative reviews to read, but i have none of that to say.

    Advice to Management

    When you find talent, keep it. It's a hard task in this industry but it makes for better, stronger and more compelling work. Making great work keeps most creatives happy and you can't do it without the talent.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "good people, good company, good opportunities for growth"

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

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

    Pros

    - most there are there to succeed and help others
    - some of the most talented people make work easy
    - like mentioned in all other reviews: benefits, pizza Friday's, beer downstairs
    - culture is great

    Cons

    - the pace isn't always ideal, sometimes project timelines are tighter than preferred but that's often the case in agency life
    - complaints and slacking from some of the long-timers who are comfortable in their role

    Advice to Management

    - recognize the talent on hand; don't overlook the ones that are there to excel and not just work to work
    - promote within if the opportunity is presented


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Really consider these reviews before working at Centerline"

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

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

    Pros

    Gives you experience working with a global IT company, you'll meet a handful of good people, and snacks/beer don't hurt

    Cons

    There isn't much to say that hasn't been covered in the other reviews. I worked at Centerline for a little over a year, and there were likely close to 40 people that left the company in that time. For an agency it's size, that turnover rate is incredibly high. But when you don't invest in your employees, or don't give promotions to those that deserve them, why would anyone stay? When you ask about the turnover and these reviews in your interview, they'll tell you that "agency life isn't for everyone". It's really more-so that Centerline isn't for everyone. I was told that "perception gets you promoted" by someone on the executive team, if that tells you anything. Some of the most hardworking people there get thrown to the wayside, while they invest most of their money in those that know how to suck up to clients. I will say that I made some good friends while working there - but you don't go to a new job to make friends. Centerline will not support or guide you in your career - so if that is what you're looking for, it is not the place for you. Also, job security does not exist at Centerline. People are continuously worried about holding their job, and the company's financial security is not strong. They list profit sharing as a benefit, but I worked there for a year and never received a single percentage of it. If you are desperate for a job or this is the best offer you have, consider it but always continue to look for other opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Not that this will change anything, but invest in your employees! The turnover rate will always be high and there will be more of these reviews the more the company continues to be a revolving door.


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  5. Helpful (7)

    "Trust the Reviews"

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

    I worked at Centerline Digital full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pizza Fridays
    Fitness hours
    100% paid health insurance
    You gain a lot of experience in a short amount of time.
    Decent vacation time

    Cons

    Pretty much everything else. There isn't much that hasn't been covered in previous reviews. Unfortunately the owner is letting the unqualified executive team run this company into the ground. You'll find that while every other employee begs to get promotions and raises, the executive team receives constant title changes and probably still makes at least 40% more than any of there highest paid non manager employees. You will feel completely micromanaged and treated like a child on a daily basis. Career growth is completely depenedent on how close you are to the owner and so called managers. The turnover rate here is higher then I've seen at any other company. Don't trust them when they tell you "it's just an agency thing"- not true! I've worked at plenty of agencies and this is a whole new level of turnover. If you asked the 80+ creatives, you would only find 3 that have been there longer than 2.5 years. Trust the reviews!

    Advice to Management

    Require your unqualified managers to take management training.
    Get rid of the majority of the executive team.
    Pay employees what they are worth.
    Acknowledge when employees work late and on weekends.
    Treat your employees like adults
    Stop micromanaging
    Promote employees when they deserve to be promoted and stop giving raises and promotions to the executive team- they make more than double everyone else and it just annoys the people that really do their jobs and deserve promotions.
    RESPECT your employees- it really goes a long way!


  6. Helpful (11)

    "Fear does not trump positive motivation...there's enough of that today don't you think?"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Art Director in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Art Director in Raleigh, NC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Centerline Digital (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people, creative collaboration, and the support of people who are genuinely creative...gems within their field...like the army, in the thick of it you're not fighting for your cause, but the person next to you. And there has been no better battalion than the creative team at centerline.

    Cons

    False sense of security.

    Say an employee was let go last week from centerline completely confused by what happened or why. And say that person gets close to 30 messages from frustrated remaining employees in various states of anxiety, asking for insight into what happened (so that they can go about their day in relative peace of mind). This employee may not have had any such advice to give. But he does have this to say below:

    To everyone left there (especially on the creative teams), I just wanted to say thanks for all the hard work and the good times collaborating on things under tremendous pressure. Those are all times that one could cherish from this company for years to come...and even some lifelong connections and friendships. I sincerely thank Centerline for that. If you're still there, and you've reached out scared about your future, please know that you are extremely talented, that you work with an exceptional collection of good people, you work in a great field and an extremely awesome setup. You are some of the best people to have ever called themselves artists. Support each other through any tough times and just try and make it through...together. And for god's sake protect each others' creative processes...because that's the heart of what we do, and the field we've all given ourselves too. Being an artist is difficult enough because you wear your heart on your sleeve...please be there for each other.

    Advice to Management

    If you're in a leadership position, lead by example. Don't play hot potato with responsibilities and jump into the trenches. Your creatives are not stupid and can figure out if you know what you're saying or not.

    The abuse of the creatives, the encouragement of such abuse from the accounts and project management team, and the continual unwillingness to improve your own processes has to stop. It just has to. A great place to start is to appoint a VFX producer. The studio managers won't be paying attention to that level of detail on the projects...you have have HAVE to put that position into place or things will continue to get worse on every shoot you do (and you're doing a lot). But that's just ONE set of problems in field of many.

    Don't treat your artists like second class citizens...they feel it. They know you're doing it. There is no way you will continue to be able to do this for much longer. There's gonna be an epic moment that everything unravels and it won't be pretty...many will come dangerously close to mental breakdown...and the ugliest of how people can treat each other will become known to the world. In this new political climate we are facing, there has been, and will continue to be, plenty of opportunities for humanity to show its worst. Why continue to trump (pun intended) how badly people can treat each other by treating the very people you depend on for YOUR livelihood so poorly, and with such disrespect?


  7. Helpful (8)

    "A Stepping Stone At Best"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Raleigh, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Centerline Digital full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You get to work with some of the best video/animation/composer folks in the area. Free snacks and drinks. Great location. Opportunity to pad your resume.

    Cons

    Just about everything else. Everyone is constantly whispering about the ineptitude of middle and upper management. The salaries for the creatives are a joke. If you have a family I would highly recommend steering clear. The benefits are below average if you need to include a spouse or children on your plan. The work schedule is geared towards single people with nothing better to do than be at work all of the time. If you bring up the long hours the excuse is usually that everyone has to do it at some point, but it won't last forever. The time suck rarely changes and often times gets worse once you prove yourself capable. You never know if a suggestion to better the company will suddenly turn into losing a job because you've upset the apple cart. The biggest issue is the inability to discern a clear path to advancement. The rules and expectations are loosely defined and then changed when they realize that you have met the requirements initially given.

    Advice to Management

    If your goal is to make huge sums of money off of the backs of young creatives that you intend to burn out and toss aside, keep doing what you are doing. If you want to create a truly unique agency that is concerned with retaining top level talent then fire the group of yes men and women in middle management and get someone who will challenge the egos of upper management. The creatives are willing to bend over backwards to make quality art. If you gave them leaders that were loyal to that end and not to being the echo chamber of dear leader I think everyone would be better served.


  8. Helpful (12)

    "This company makes no sense."

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

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

    Pros

    Alcohol, pretty girls, cliques galore to enjoy said pretty girls if you're popular.

    Cons

    Alcohol, pretty girls, cliques galore to enjoy said pretty girls if you're popular.  Oh, and a CEO that has no idea what's going on AT ALL.  

    I've been struggling with this one all night.  Please, if you're considering Centerline, read all the past reviews here on glassdoor and then come back and read this one.  Here is the natural progression of things at centerline. 

    Management just inexplicably and coldly fired one of the nicest, most talented, and definintely hardest working guys they have ever emlpoyed.  That is not hyperbole at all.  The guy was here late all the time, his work was great. And he was definintely being set up as one of our star artists.  Nope.  That's done.  No reason has been given, which is the case with everyone they fire. And yes, that happens a lot.  Everyone who works closely with him has been left disturbed and sracthing their heads, now living in fear, afraid to ask questions, voice any concerns, and wondering if we will get shown the door if we say one wrong thing to the bullies who run this sweatshop with an iron fist.  This is very much the hostile working environment all the reviews say it is. Absolutely horrible conditions for creativity to thrive!

    And then there's our CEO, if you can call him that.  I've had CEO's of past companies with 500+ people who were easily in tuned with, aware and sensitive to even the lowest level employees and what they were struggling with.  Our CEO has no idea, does not care.  He's an engineer who thinks he's running a creative agency.  And then when called out publicly about these things, he breaks the first rule of management and took zero responsibility or accountability for himself or his management team's role in what the problems were.  All he did was extend his office hours to a whopping three hours a week, and then kept playing golf or hocky or whatever he does the other 4 days of the week.  The very second he was called out, like a baby, he effectively placed blame back on his employees and literally said "it's not me or my bros who are doing anything wrong!  It's definitely all y'all who are screwing up by not communicating. So I dare you to say it to my face during my office hours...or don't say anything at all".  Are you kidding with me!?  After the firing today, who in their right mind is going to walk into baby CEO's office and tell him that his employees are mistreated?  Not me!

    And then all that trickles down to his management cronies, because they're even more clueless and smug than he is -- ready to put the pressure on you without warning.  They sent an email out a few weeks ago about a huge project that was going to eat up everyone's time, and then some.  It basically said "centerline won't be spending any money hiring outside freelance help for this event, so rah rah go team! and let's all pitch in and stay late for queen and country! And oh by the way, you won't be getting any OT pay for it, so don't ask!"  Huh? I wouldn't want to be caught with these guys in the zombie apocalypse.  They'd ruin humanity and would probably build the next Waco TX or Woodbury.

    I'm just completely stressed out and kind of depressed.  I have to go in Monday and put on my happy face and be a good employee.  While underneath, I'm actually shaking from stress that I may not have a job by the end of the day.  I'm not one of the popular girls in the accounts department, or one of the creative directors who drool over them constantly.  My job isn't safe at all.

    Although, come to think of it, there are a handful of people here at Centerline with completely poisonous attitudes, poor work ethic, and zero manners WHO GET TO KEEP THEIR JOBS.  And with that point, we're back to the title of my review: this company makes no sense!

    Advice to Management

    Give a crap about your employees. That'd be a start. A good second step is to not fire people willy nilly for attempting to criticize you.


  9. Helpful (22)

    "Listen To The Reviews, Don't Waste Your Time"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Writer in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Writer in Raleigh, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    HR does a good job at hiring really awesome people. Your coworkers will help you get through the absolute monotony that is making the same video over and over and over again. You will all bond at how much you hate your job and your superiors.

    Cons

    I feel like I could write a novel-turned cinematic trilogy about the cons of this place. Management doesn't value you, your superiors do not value you, you are a number and a brain. You will come into work every day and plug in to your station on the assembly line and create the same boring piece of work every day. If you take one thing away from this review it's listen to the bad ones. The company offers incentives to people who write good ones so the good reviews are from people who are brainwashed by this place.

    They do not value creative. They do not value timelines. They do not value personal lives. They do not value you. Don't work here.

    Advice to Management

    Let your creatives be creative. Teach your accounts people how to stand up for creative. Get some clients who respect you and your timelines.

    You're not an agency right now, you're a sweatshop production house.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Motion Graphics Animator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Motion Graphics Designer in Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Motion Graphics Designer in Las Vegas, NV
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people and perks at this company are great and I loved every minute I worked here. As a matter of fact if any of my former coworkers reads this and visits Vegas you know who I am, get in touch and we'll have a drink.

    I was worried after ready the negative reviews before starting and actually brought them up during my interview. The managers answered my questions head on and didn't dance around any unpleasant answers.

    The projects have ample time to complete and you're almost always busy creating. If you're not busy on a client project they have a creative contest running to keep your skills sharp and varied. If you have any technical questions one of the other creatives is bound to have the answer. If you have any doubts about working here, don't, they are unfounded. I moved across the country to work here and would again if I had to.

    Cons

    Blue and gold gets boring, just kidding I have no cons. The only issue I ran into had nothing to do with the company. Nit picky clients are part of the job anywhere you go.


  11. Helpful (21)

    "A Depressing Hole of Sameness"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Creative in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Creative in Raleigh, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Your co-workers: creatives and project management staff alike. Centerline often hires ridiculously talented people. Stay long enough and you will learn - at least on a technical level - some pretty serious stuff. You'll get better at what you do because you'll have a lot of projects to practice on. As a depot for picking up some beginner to intermediate trade craft, you could do much worse.

    Cons

    Nearly everything else, and it starts and ends with management. This is management that policed the internet and demonstrated near panic at any negative online reviews, so much so that they demanded employees post positive reviews to counteract the downward slide. This is management that tracks your movements - and makes you do the same - for time spent in the parking lot or in the john. This is management that has a track record of "all stick, no carrot" when it comes to motivating employees (over time, electronic gifts and booze are poor substitutes for a few, simple attaboys). And it's a management staff that consistently earns the same comments from those fortunate enough to get out intact. In short, Centerline does not value you, only your work. They do not keep you around for your talent, just your loyalty. They do not pay well for the work expected. They, and therefore you, do not have a life outside of work. They do not rule by clearly articulated guidelines. They do not inspire, do not have a viable long-term business strategy, and do not innovate. They do not practice what they preach. They do not have a thick enough skin to hear valid criticism - some that could actually help the company succeed. They do not play well with others. They do not have the perspective to understand that those who start companies are not always the best people to run them. They do not set realistic expectations, do not have a realistic view of their achievements or capabilities, and do not trust their own people.

    Consider: Would any company secure in itself and its future earn these types of comments over and over again? Would Coca-Cola? Would Apple? Would the frozen yogurt place down the street?

    And do you really want to devote your life and talents to a company that does?

    Advice to Management

    Your company is not a high school, so please stop treating it like one. And stop treating the world like idiots. To call yourself an agency means you should behave like one and do what real agencies do. Unfortunately, you don't. So I say, embrace what you are -- a production company. Period. You make stuff. Sometimes really good stuff. Let that be enough and leave the grand vision to those companies who are run by grand people - people who hire well, turn the hires loose to be creative, and then reap the rewards of that innovation. Don't be a company who hires great people then immediately hems them in with arcane rules and policies, and then gets bitter when they question why you hired them in the first place.

    You are not the easygoing, free-spirit, fount of creativity you think you are. But for the sake of everyone you hired today, try.



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