Dolby Reviews | Glassdoor

Dolby Reviews

Updated February 15, 2017
45 reviews

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2.0
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Dolby President and CEO Kevin J. Yeaman
Kevin J. Yeaman
27 Ratings

45 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • years) and new employees, a modern, fresh, work environment in San Francisco, 9/80 work schedule, ability to contribute to important initiatives (in 39 reviews)

  • The company has a true work/life balance, without sacrificing either (in 33 reviews)

Cons
  • Slow decision making with very little accountability (in 19 reviews)

  • Too many decision makers with contradictory agendas at upper management level (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Bad leadership and senior management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director Business Development in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Director Business Development in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great tech and business model, full of tech talents

    Cons

    Bad leadership, lack of business sense .

    Advice to Management

    Bring new business blood


  2. Helpful (18)

    "Increasingly irrelevant"

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

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

    Pros

    Dolby's engineering organization is capable of novel & relevant technology (e.g. CES 2016), but fails horribly to bring the innovation directly to customers. Instead they misguidedly pursue standards committees (like it is 1985) & a licensing model that is increasingly outdated, especially when its partners are themselves struggling 2nd or 3rd tier technology companies, who themselves hope to ride the Dolby brand.

    Work life balance is decent and the 9/80 (every other Friday off) is excellent!

    Cons

    Dolby is a old engineering boy's club and tragically, there is a very real glass ceiling. The HR team are not employees and are generally not invested nor competent at retaining talent. This of course, hurts Dolby's chances to modernize and remain relevant.

    I'll be surprised if Dolby makes it to 2020 intact. Your kids certainly won't know the name Dolby.

    Advice to Management

    It is too late.

  3. Helpful (8)

    "Disappointing"

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

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

    Pros

    9/80; employee gym; decent work/life balance; central location

    Cons

    This place is truly uninspiring. Very risk adverse. Pay and benefits seem be less than other local tech companies. Don't be fooled by stock grants issued when hired. You can pretty much count on the value declining or staying flat if lucky (take a look at DLB performance). There's not a lot of opportunity for advancement. There are a lot of people there for 5 + years in the same position. This problem is even worse if you are a woman. Lest you think the reviews on this site are from some 'bad apples' or disgruntled employees, the employee satisfaction surveys are just as embarrassing. Overall, there's a lot of talk about the future of the business, but not a lot of action.

    Advice to Management

    No so much advice to the management but to the board. It's time to shake it up. Hold the execs accountable.


  4. Helpful (14)

    "The Good, Bad, and the Ugly"

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

    I worked at Dolby (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Dolby is transforming the way entertainment looks and sounds -- and that's no exaggeration! There are brilliant engineers working hard as I type to expand the audiovisual palette for film directors, game designers, and others -- while ensuring the entertainment we enjoy looks and sounds just as the creative artists intended. It is no surprise that many of those engineers are artists in their spare time and that can make for a wonderfully rich work environment. Some more pluses: Every other Friday is off, though most people end up working from home. Cool new HQ in mid-market. Great marks for age diversity compared to other SF Bay Area start-ups: 20 somethings work alongside 50-somethings. (There are so few people over 40 at some SF tech companies, one begins to suspect older folks are taken out and shot...)

    Cons

    Bureaucratic. Political. S-L-O-W. Homogenous (except for age). And especially bad for women: There is only one female board member. Zero female EVPs. Zero female SVPs. A handful of female VPs (compared to dozens and dozens of men with similar rank). Marketing department is out of touch with the times. At one point they hired real marketing mavericks, but they got frustrated and left within a couple of years. Stock is doing extremely poorly and reflects the company's lack of growth.


  5. Helpful (23)

    "Great Brand, but not so great strategy, or managers."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING MANAGER in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING MANAGER in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Dolby (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing brand to have on your resume of course. Potrero office (soon to remodel) is a cool building with amazing history and vibe.

    Some amazing products that could (do) change the world if they were marketed well. People would be asking for Dolby products in droves instead of 4K TVs.

    Cons

    The new building on Market is cool, but workspaces are cramped and there aren't any of the typical "tech corridor" perks in sight except for some light snacks.

    The company has undergone an overhaul of sorts and it's clear who has fresh ideas and who is dragging their feet.

    Every other Friday off is great, but not really 'off' - You need to work 9 hours every other day and then most people end up working part of the Friday Day off.

    Have found management to be stifling. There is an expectation of doing things "The Dolby Way" which is fine, but there's really no patience for interest or questions and no direction or documentation on what that Dolby way is... So watch out when you don't do it as expected.

    Was referred in, and then last-minute the position was changed to contract instead of FTE and had to go through management agency with a TON of paperwork and slow processes... 4-weeks in and the job suddenly appears re-posted. NO discussion or addressing from management, HR, or agency... poor taste and somewhat rude behavior.

    There's no experience in Experiential Marketing here... Lots of "shove this peg thru this hole - fast' mentality. Executions are not cohesive or thoughtful.

    Advice to Management

    You hire people for their expertise, so let them be experts (and if they blow it, then deal)... Don't treat employees like children and dictate every single email or process that could be improved upon. Yes, life moves fast, but work smart - not just hard.

    Let people bring more to the table. If you want to be a fresh, cool company, then there are lots of amazing ways to engage the market. Slapping up a booth at a show that has little thought about messaging or experience isn't going to move the needle. Those of us that are asking questions are doing so to understand and further the brand and the product.

    Just because there's a gathering of people doesn't make it an 'event', much less an experiential event.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Great minds but very poor execution."

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

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

    Pros

    Very nice and really hard working people to work with.9/80 is awesome.

    Some amazing,mindblowing vision and audio technology developed here.

    Great potential for new products for Dolby Vision /Dolby Atmos if executed properly. Its is highly possible that every Display Device sold in 5 yrs from now could be capable of Dolby Vision.Lot depends on execution.

    Cons

    Management completely lacks innovation in bringing new ideas to market.

    Time to market is very very very slow.

    Upper management lack foresight and keeps adding/changing new product requirement way too often.

    Stock price for the last 5 yrs goes only one way and its not north.

    Poor stock compensation.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Average"

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

    Pros

    9/80 work week, results in lots of time off.

    Cons

    Commute to SF from south bay takes a very long time. Decisions are made slowly - so slow that sometimes the market has past the want. Indecision because of consensus building takes so long.

    Advice to Management

    Focus actual delivery of a usable product and not the next new thing

  8. Helpful (6)

    "Dolby on downward spiral"

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

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

    Pros

    Good pay, some very dedicated engineers and lots of ideas

    Cons

    ideas hampered by micromanagers (many of whom micromanage through their butts), that's to say a simple email request or statement by a manager is blown out to three pages of hyperbole and BS over trite things. This reflects on how disparate managers are from engineers/QA/technical writers

    Advice to Management

    Sack a bunch of middle managers, retain your engineers with mor eincentive to innovate (IdeaQuest is fine) but many great ideas get stomped on by managers who only have short term focus and reliance on legacy technologies far being outstripped by competitors.
    Some bullying of staff, particularly by middle managers in Brannan. This has to stop. Dolby is a great worldwide company but you can tell where the nest of egos are, in San Francisco. One particular div head sees himself in the pilot's chair and it shows and this attitude is not a good thing for any company.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Seasoned professional"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Director in San Francisco, CA
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great products, great company, international impact

    Cons

    Marketing Leadership needs to make and support decisions that are made

    Advice to Management

    Marketing VPs need to provide more hands on leadership and less talk about it.


  10. Helpful (10)

    "A wide spectrum mixed bag, extreme experiences on both the positives and negatives. Reflects an internal cultural battle"

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

    Pros

    Many well-intentioned, good-hearted people. A small family business feel where its easy to quickly make connections and navigate organization. Dolby trying hard to reinvent itself in digital era and making investments in new hires and technology. Some great leaders at the helm.

    Cons

    Very political. The internet era skipped by Dolby so it feels like the 1970s. Large cultural tensions at play as old timers and new employees often at odds.Incredible resistance to change or improvement. Lack of cultural issue ownership means problems linger forever, even ones that are easy to solve. Decision making is slow and often by hard to achieve consensus, so things move really slow or not at all.

    Advice to Management

    Rampant politics steal productivity from a company and destroys morale. If it is made clear that it is not the way to get things done, then a meritocracy culture based on innovation can begin to take flight. Innovation will arise as the dominate cultural theme if it is communicated and shown to be the highest valued attribute.


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