F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company Reviews | Glassdoor

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F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company Reviews

Updated February 4, 2018
182 reviews

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2.1
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Tom Beusse
49 Ratings

182 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work/life balance, nice co-workers, interesting work (in 10 reviews)

  • Great people to work with and for (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • Low pay--no room for advancement (in 16 reviews)

  • No communication from upper management (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Commitment to quality"

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

    I have been working at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Joined a few months ago because of the vision of leadership to move to a digital first model. Company is re-platforming websites for the 21st century and investing in technology to better know and serve a diverse set of enthusiast communities. Solid business model with loads of upside. Opportunities to add real value. Upbeat, positive company attitude with all boats rowing in the same direction.

    Cons

    Number of different offices around the country but Gmail and slack work great to get in touch with whoever you need to.

    Advice to Management

    Stay the course. Burn the boats. Win.


  2. "Marketing Manager"

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

    I worked at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits. Good leader. Good to you when you travel.

    Cons

    New CEO did a weird restructuring. Weird communication between offices.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Great place, but needs prioritization"

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

    I worked at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people and content, decent benefits

    Cons

    People that actually make things happen and have talent get ignored


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Under New Management"

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

    I have been working at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Scroll down a bit and you'll find many reviews laying this company's problems at the feet of three executives who have now been dismissed. There is an amazing trove of content to leverage, and a still large list of engaged consumers who want both the content and the tools and supplies to allow them to actually engage in the activities we write about. It's put up or shut up time folks.

    Cons

    Cash position is still challenged.

    Advice to Management

    To the board/investors, give the team the resources to build the business to get you back the money you have already sunk into this thing. If you turn off the spigot now you'll lose all of it.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Previous Member"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time

    Pros

    Great content company with strong enthusiast communities.

    Cons

    Chaos, too many directions of focus. Does not put enough value on the content generators and the strong communities.

    Advice to Management

    Needs to focus in on what made them great, not eCommerce.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "From a Video Perspective"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Video Production Specialist
    Former Employee - Video Production Specialist
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Off the top I would like to disclaimer that this review is heavily focused on working within the Video Team. Many of the companies processes are in silos so what I say here can definitely not be true for other teams.

    New leadership over the last year at the middle level, and even more recently, closer to the top have started turning the Video Team into a machine ready to take off and start crushing out new and engaging content.

    Culture is fun, both inside and outside the team. I can definitely say I don't just work with co-workers but with friends.

    You get to really engage your creativity. Editing, camera work, graphics, name your video flavor, the company has provided me opportunities to work and grow in each field.

    Oh, and free coffee.

    Cons

    Rumor mill and grapevine news aside below are clear points that show the company isn't doing great.
    -Multiple CEO changes over the last three years (as I write this a new one just came in, bye Tom)
    -Sudden layoffs due to sudden lack of funds
    -Disappearance of major company wide projects such as a CMS
    -Not sure I have ever once been to a annual "town hall" meeting that was "good news"

    The Video Team is setup to takeoff like plane, the question is has the company given it enough runway to do so. As it stands right now I put that odds of it at 50/50 and this is the only reason I can't give 5 stars. Another small disclaimer, I am not a business professional and I tend to lean on the more paranoid side when my job security is on the betting table.

    Oh, and the coffee machine likes to spit hot (free) coffee at you.

    Advice to Management

    You still have boots on the ground that care about the shift to digital, stop dragging your feet and actually invest in these teams.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Getting laid off was a relief."

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

    I worked at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great coworkers who are passionate about their subject matter. Every work place has its share of disgruntled workers who work only to create discord. I saw significantly less of this at F+W than I have at other companies.

    Cons

    Manager resisted evolution even though upper management was mandating it. The C-Suite was a train wreck in progress.

    Advice to Management

    Get in touch with employees at all levels. There are people with great ideas who want to forge ahead with the company, but they are being held back.

  8. Helpful (64)

    "An open and infected wound..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Worker in Cincinnati, OH
    Current Employee - Worker in Cincinnati, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    This company has great employees at the ground level and they have the skills to save it. Decent vacation time which you’ll need to look for your next job. Ample parking (getting ampler by the day)

    Cons

    It would be fair to blame the failure of this company on a couple of hapless C-level leaders, they have infected companies before. You would be right to blame Joe Seibert a COO who claims to have all the answers, yet oddly nothing to offer in the way of inspiration or direction - though I’ll concede pacing up and down the hallway is technically a direction. Seibert once claimed the company would be worth a billion dollars (most likely because he read somewhere that a billion was a lot). You could blame CTO Joe Romello, a disagreeable blast of hot air who ran the previous dev team out of the company and regularly curtails business objectives to fit his canned solutions. While these two are to business what the Ebola Virus is to sub-Saharan Africa, and can’t go without mention where failure is concerned, they are not ultimately to blame.

    There is only one person to blame here – CEO Tom Beusse. Beusse is an old media guy with enough slick salesmanship to convince an investment group he can lead an ecommerce company, yet his direction and governance give little indication he has any awareness of such a business. In a previous company Beusse made his employees interview for their own jobs. At F+W he skips the interview process and gives your job to a consultant. We’ve been told they are the real talent, though we’ve been through one main consultant and three consulting firms by our second website launch. They’re so good we can’t keep them apparently.

    Beusse employs a happy, hatchet-wielding HR Exec who lays people off with smiles and giggles while poring over color-chips. The walls need to be happy colors and Electric Lime and Dusty Azalea can diminish the impact of multiple layoffs. The lack of concern for task fulfillment and the lack of respect for talent that has accompanied F+W layoffs is alarming and frankly not the mark of a professional in any sense of the term. It is embarrassing to be associated with. They have eliminated so many quality people you’d wonder how they grasp the nature and mechanics of business at an even rudimentary level. Like most empty-suits who have no concept of cause and effect, when faced with the consequences of their actions, they begin to eat their own. They have begun to fire or lay off some of the “friends” who were hired to show us bumpkins how things are done.

    To summarize, Beusse seems aware of a nail theoretically, but applies the hammer to his own forehead until he can’t see the nail.

    Fellow job seeker, you might see yourself the type of professional who believes skills and experience can contribute to successful outcomes, these individuals reject true confidence and experience. This is a demoralizing place run by phony-baloney executives who view leadership as a designated parking spot or keys to the gilded men's room. And you can be sure that restroom only exists in downtown Manhattan.

    These people are self-inflated job-hoppers who will all be at F+W for exactly three years, like all the other places they’ve been. Read their house-of-cards histories, the outcome is as predictable as midnight. It’s a shame really, the enormous opportunity they are missing for lack of vision and creativity. It’s a shame for the investors who put real money into improving a company, the brands and the experiences for employees and consumers. They might as well have given their investment to three hamsters. It would be interesting to hear what Beusse, Seibert and Romello tell themselves when faced with the real consequences of their work, when all the shine is knocked off their self-serving bios. Their leadership is a case study in failure, a perfect storm of ignorance and arrogance. In short, they believe their own BS and haven’t the modestly or temerity to learn from or acknowledge the skills and talents of the employees they are laying off or pushing out the door. Their singular success has been making the last group of execs seem competent.

    Do yourself a favor fellow job seeker and look somewhere else, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where F+W under its current leadership would be worth your time and talent. Full stop…

    Advice to Management

    My advice is to the bank; pull the plug on the current leadership if you want any return on your investment. These individuals are fundamentally unserious about running a profitable company, but I’m sure you already suspect as much…


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Things Can Get Better."

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

    I have been working at F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people that work at this company are some of the best, most professional staff I've ever worked with. Every day they come to work and give it their best.

    Cons

    Things are looking up now that the new CEO, COO and CTO have been terminated. Hopefully the other executives that were put in place during this reign of terror will also be shown the door soon. But has their poor decision-making damaged the company so badly it may not be able to survive?

    It was clear from the start the new CEO had very little regard for anyone except for the “friends” he brought in to take c-level positions. To clear the space for these new, highly compensated “professionals” he terminated nearly all the community leaders and department heads.

    There were presentations made on how the websites were going to be redone, how the publications were going to be enhanced and how e-commerce was going to grow. It was just window-dressing because management was out of touch with the reality of the business and never had a grasp of all the parts. Management didn’t have much experience in leading the niche media properties that made up the F+W portfolio and e-commerce was way beyond their scope of ability. The sheer number of brands seemed to be a challenge to this team. One new executive came on board with no understanding of the breadth of his responsibilities. One of the first emails he sent out was to ask if anyone had a list of the properties he was responsible for. He had never run more than one magazine. In his new role he had more than 30 brands to lead. It didn’t get better.

    None of these hot-shots had solutions for the problems the company faced, and the termination of the department heads and community leaders meant there was no management to keep the products on track and revenue coming in. Remaining staff members were mystified by the ongoing addition of c-level positions while every other level of staff was being reduced. There was literally no one to do many of the essential jobs needed to bring in revenue.

    There was supposed to be investment in the products, but I haven’t seen it. Websites that had been attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors are now attracting tens of thousands and the e-commerce department is in a tailspin. Communities that previously had been producing a respectable profit are no longer in the black and a handful have been shut down. Nothing has gotten better for the employees and none of the products have improved. The company has lost more than 100-employees, and many were creating revenue and producing profits with very little resources. Now that they’re no longer with the company, F+W is in a dire situation.

    The company is a shadow of what it was. There’s a talented team of people here that work hard every day. Professionals that can build this company up. It’s going to take money, but the funds shouldn’t go to compensate high-priced c-level executives that are living off a position they had a decade or so ago. The money needs to be applied to improving the publications and websites and for the employees.

    F+W can survive. Give us a chance to build this company up.

    Advice to Management

    You took the correct step in removing the CEO, COO and CTO. They took us to a place that we can come back from. Give us a chance to build this company up.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Do not apply."

    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 F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful co-workers, helpful, welcoming, free coffee and tea.

    Cons

    Old boys club of management. No respect for employees loyalty to company. Layoffs are a quarterly event, without notice. Severance packages are not consistent within company, no tenure incentive. No communication from upper management. Look elsewhere for jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Care about the work your employees contribute


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