Ciena Reviews | Glassdoor

Ciena Reviews

Updated May 10, 2017
32 reviews

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2.0
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Ciena President, CEO, and Director Gary B. Smith
Gary B. Smith
18 Ratings

32 Employee Reviews

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More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good money poor environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Spokane Valley, Spokane, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Spokane Valley, Spokane, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Ciena full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Money, 401k, and health insurance are great

    Cons

    Very poor management for product development
    Horrible work/life balance - AKA weekends, 12+ hour days
    Siloed development and no culture to speak of
    No opportunity for career advancement/development
    Tools are not given to do job properly

    Advice to Management

    Listen and trust your employees. This is why so many are quitting right now.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "exporting jobs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Engineering Technician in Elkridge, MD
    Former Employee - Engineering Technician in Elkridge, MD
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Ciena (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Learn and work on new technology.

    Cons

    Very low pay, gearing toward exporting all the jobs overseas.

    Advice to Management

    Shame on you, how can you participate in the destruction of the economy and the country that made you what you are now, just a matter of time you will eventually find yourself jobless in the street.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Electronics Technician"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Electronics Technician/Tester in Orchard Beach, MD
    Former Employee - Electronics Technician/Tester in Orchard Beach, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Ciena (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Ciena was a positive family working environment with diversity of products where talented and hardworking people here knew all the customer products .

    Cons

    Unfortunitely, they are moving all products to Mexico and China thus eliminating most of the US jobs..

    Advice to Management

    Keep Jobs in America for Americans too.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    "another lay-off"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Delievry Driver/Forklift Operator in Linthicum Heights, MD
    Current Employee - Delievry Driver/Forklift Operator in Linthicum Heights, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    great management team. better than average salary ranges. flexible hours available. plenty of OT.

    Cons

    company is moving the division that I am currently employed in to Mexico in 2016, forcing a drastic reduction in work force numbers. After the notice of the pending lay-offs, corporate still sent out company e-mails telling ALL employees how good the quarter was going, how profits were higher than expected. Very poor ethical treatment of it's employees.

    Advice to Management

    STOP sending out corporate e-mails informing employees how GREAT the company is doing. How much money(via sales %) the executives will be making in bonuses in 2015.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Principal Test Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Test Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Software Test Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good place to learn new things

    Cons

    low salaries, no RSUs given only to few people.

    Advice to Management

    should identify real performing people and reward them. Internal candidates should be preferred for vacant positions before opening to external .


  7. Helpful (12)

    "From Good to Great, Back to Good, then Mediocre, Now Floundering"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior R&D Project Manager in Linthicum Heights, MD
    Former Employee - Senior R&D Project Manager in Linthicum Heights, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Ciena full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    At its best, Ciena had the best technology, brilliant engineers and a true entrepreneurial spirit. They survived the dot-com bust better than many firms, though there were many layoffs along the way. Still, morale was strong and employees truly trusted the leadership team. Promotional opportunities were available even during tough financial periods. Though bonuses dried up, there was a good employee stock purchase plan and basic benefits were above industry averages. But that was all prior to 2010.

    Cons

    The downfall of Ciena began with the acquisition / merger with Nortel's MEN division. Seems like Ciena sold its soul to make the acquisition work, handing over way too much influence to the Nortel groups. As a result, morale went down immediately for the existing Ciena employees and technology development slowed to a crawl. A transition of the engineering team from a US base to Canada and India continued the deterioration of technology development. In the past couple of years it became clear that the Ciena "classic" leadership team (non-Nortel) had lost their edge and were simply collecting their paychecks (and bonuses and stock grants) and are now hanging in there until something better comes along - or until they are told to leave. Since the Nortel acquisition Ciena still cannot quite make much money, always hovering near break-even. This will likely continue as the stuck-in-their-ways Nortel groups gain greater control of the company and power shifts completely to Canada (look for an inversion by 2016). The HR function had not been stellar the past 5 or 6 years, but has become non-existent since 2013 with a new, UK-based leadership team. They seem to be running HR by reading 10-year old Dilbert comic strips, using every outdated cliché to manage the business. As a result, no one ever goes to HR for help with employee issues - you're own your own. Any job openings at Ciena Maryland's facilities are most likely to replace someone who just got fed up and left. If you are Canadian, then Ciena will be a good place to work: the salary and benefits will be competitive, you won't be expected to perform well, and you can probably stay employed for a very long time as the company disposes of their US resources during the next few years.

    Advice to Management

    It is well past time for a house cleaning. Probably too late to reverse the move of engineering to Canada and India, so you will suffer with poor technology for the foreseeable future. Operations teams are very over-staffed, especially field service teams. Gary Smith was a great guy and lead Ciena through some really difficult years, but it's time to find a replacement - someone from the outside, not a Nortel guy. The only way to get real profitable is to eliminate the dead wood, as without new products it will be tough to grow sales enough to really turn things around. And see if you can make HR a representative of the employees. Ciena once had a fantastic culture - Joe Chinnici once said it was the closest to Silicon Valley you could find outside of the west coast. See if you can get that culture back. Good luck to you all.


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Hardware Engineer"

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

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

    Pros

    Salary is competitive. Good co-works. New technology

    Cons

    The upper management does not know what they are doing. Short term focused and all are about making themselves rich.

    Advice to Management

    The board is not doing the job.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Major part of the quality work is Off-shored,"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Analyst in Hanover, MD
    Current Employee - IT Analyst in Hanover, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexibility. International Presence. Company seems to be growing

    Cons

    Ciena is not a place that will enhance your technical skills. Its a place to do some legacy ownership, and light work. The technical teams are Disorganized, disconnected. This mainly happens because most of the quality work is off-shored, with major control given to off shore teams. The vibes hence is on buying specialized skills from outside rather than build technical expertise, within, but in reality these specialized skills have little experience, and quite little tendency to share the work, or transfer knowledge to those internal to team. Less transparency and reliability witnessed on the culture of the company.

    Advice to Management

    Building internal skills always helps long run. But if outsourcing is the path chosen by company, it maybe a better idea to hire internship managers who can manage this team. Technical people would obviously expect an enhancement of their technical skills, and its only fair hence not to hire them.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Optical vendor, state of the art technology in long haul and metro DWDM optical solutions for telecommunications."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Engineer P&T in Alpharetta, GA
    Former Employee - Lead Engineer P&T in Alpharetta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Best in their niche, one of the few of it's kind that survived the tech bubble

    Cons

    Big H1-B visa house, slave labor for a few years till they get their green card. About 90% Indian at the Alpharetta location. Not a diverse workforce.

    Advice to Management

    Get the majority of your employees from US citizens graduating college, with less that 10% H1-B candidates.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Accounting Department"

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

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

    Pros

    Decent benefits, work life balance, good people to work with

    Cons

    very bureaucratic, still struggling to get back to been a profitable company after the nortel acquisition, layoffs are a common place


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