Fandom Reviews | Glassdoor

Fandom Reviews

Updated May 22, 2017
58 reviews

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Fandom CEO Craig Palmer
Craig Palmer
31 Ratings

58 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The work/life balance is usually good (in 9 reviews)

  • Great location in SF, close to BART stations, plenty of restaurants and Whole Foods (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Senior Management is visibly unable to work well together (in 8 reviews)

  • Complete lack of trust between teams leads to a lot of blame, finger pointing, and clique culture (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (23)

    "Reactive instead of proactive"

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

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

    Pros

    Fun work environment. Free food and snacks, building is awesome with a roof deck! Plenty of good places to eat and bars for
    Happy hour!

    Cons

    Horrible organizational management, lack of critical thinking to execute a well thought out strategic plan outside of rebranding for the sake of rebranding to look and feel of an MTV show.

    Advice to Management

    Get some leaders who can communicate and make decisions in a timely manner to propel the business forward!

    Fandom Response

    Nov 9, 2016 – Global Talent Operations Leader

    Thank you for providing your viewpoint - positive and otherwise are appreciated and will be shared.


  2. Helpful (17)

    "Good & Bad"

    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 Fandom full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Some great people working there.

    Cons

    Some of the worst people working there. Find the negative reviews in this list, read them, and ignore the canned response from HR stooges who don't actually know what they're talking about and just want to improve the glassdoor score of the company. E

    Fandom Response

    Dec 6, 2016 – Global Talent Operations Leader

    Thanks for your response - we do encourage anyone to read all of the reviews (positive and negative) on Glassdoor, as the intention is to provide a holistic, realistic view into our company, which is ... More


  3. Helpful (19)

    "Company growing despite it's best efforts."

    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 Fandom full-time

    Pros

    Wikia is an excellent place to begin a startup career. The environment still has a very startup-ey feel, and the experience gained there can be an excellent jumping-off point to something bigger. Pay and benefits have been increasing over the past few years to the point that they are reasonably competitive with similarly-positioned companies. The company is stable and given the large user base there is little threat of it going away.

    Cons

    Members of senior management are constantly fighting amongst themselves, and the genuine animosity trickles down throughout the entire company. Marketing, especially, is led by individuals who have an undeserved sense of superiority and the missteps led by that department are largely responsible for the aforementioned animosity. There is a general sense of running in circles with little long-term vision.

    Advice to Management

    Develop a coherent long-term vision for the company. Replace marketing management. Address the toxic culture problems directly rather than campaigning for better Glassdoor reviews.

    Fandom Response

    Dec 9, 2016

    Thank you for sharing your candid and specific feedback — it’s appreciated. Know that I read every review and take each positive and negative response seriously. It’s of utmost importance to me that ... More


  4. Helpful (13)

    "No one knows what they want"

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

    Pros

    There are some amazing people here, and initially it's a great experience working for Fandom. It's great for people looking to expand their portfolios, but that's about it.

    Cons

    Constant changes in management, no transparency with staff, in-fighting, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Stop changing "the vision" and giving everyone conflicting information. Be honest and forthright with people.

    Fandom Response

    Apr 14, 2017 – President and CEO

    Thanks for your feedback. It is true that in the last year, we changed the vision. Since we were founded, we had been focusing on being a successful community "platform company with our ad ... More


  5. Helpful (22)

    "The company is collapsing."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fun work environment for moms, lazy people and pretenders.

    Cons

    Seriously, people keep leaving! Management is awful and executives don't know how to manage a large company at all. No good vision, not care about people who actually work hard, and they only want to be CEO's pets. The only solution to save the company is to fire themselves who don't do a good job but get paid tons.

    Advice to Management

    Stop keeping lying to your employees, and treat people fairly.

    Fandom Response

    Mar 29, 2017 – Chief Product Officer

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at Fandom, we genuinely appreciate the feedback. It’s important to me that our vision for the business is clearly articulated to absolutely ... More


  6. Helpful (15)

    "A huge disappointment"

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

    I have been working at Fandom full-time

    Pros

    Fantastic benefits, fun co-workers, and exciting access into the world of movies, TV shows, and games.

    Cons

    Terrible management since the layoffs in December 2016. Even since then, truly talented and immensely experienced people have (wisely) left or been foolishly fired. The change in direction has been poorly handled at best and downright horrendous at worst. Certain departments are given carte blanche thanks to favoritism by higher-ups while other departments are held back in what seems to be a setup for failure. Worst of all in that regard, it's the creative departments that have been mistreated the worst while non-creative departments are taking over creative functions and performing duties that they shouldn't be doing. Mixed messaging is a constant problem that doesn't look to be fixed any time soon. It really feels like there is some form of self-sabotage going on at an executive level in order to clean house without having to fire a whole bunch of people.

    Advice to Management

    Empower the departments that will eventually (read: maybe, if the ship doesn't sink) be the driving forces of your company. Stop treating yourselves like you've already won some kind of brand victory because you have a bunch of followers on Facebook or one of your executives showed up at some conference. Give the employees who best exemplify your brand name - true fans with creative passion and unique voices - all the tools and leeway they need to excel. Once they can actually make something worthwhile, then you will start to benefit as well.

    Fandom Response

    Apr 14, 2017 – President and CEO

    As always, I appreciate the feedback. Change is always hard and it is true, the company evolved it's strategy in the last year. This change in strategy expanded the focus of the company from ... More


  7. Helpful (26)

    "I'm pretty sure Fandom is a Horcrux"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • 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 Fandom full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I have some nice colleagues that I really believe in. The work/life balance is usually good. Benefits are pretty reliable and satisfying.

    Cons

    The C-level leadership is a joke. They are ego-driven, petty and reactive. Gotcha questions abound just so they can be the smartest man (yes, white man) in the room. There's no alignment or consistency in what the company actually hopes to achieve or what the end-game is. This creates cabals and cliques with no clear way to get any meaningful work done other than through politics.

    Not a single soul on the current leadership created what makes Fandom successful — they merely inherited it. By all available evidence they are willing to destroy what is successful (communities creating unique content, wikis) in order to have their own copycat ideas succeed (low-quality editorial content, blogs).

    I hoped the December layoffs would be a wake-up call. Nope. Still hell. Anyone have any job leads?

    Advice to Management

    Stop posting fake Glassdoor reviews. Resign.

    Fandom Response

    Apr 14, 2017 – President and CEO

    As always, I appreciate the feedback. Change is always hard and it is true, the company evolved it's strategy in the last year. This change in strategy expanded the focus of the company from ... More


  8. Helpful (19)

    "Misdirected and mismanaged"

    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 Fandom full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I worked here when it was known as Wikia, the Universe of Fandom. Here, I had opportunities to lead high-level projects. The projects were often fun, not only because of the topics but because I'd get to geek out with coworkers. I worked with some of the brightest, most compassionate, dedicated, lovable people at this company. Together with our users, we perpetuated, chronicled, and celebrated culture.

    Cons

    Too bad many of those amazingly dedicated coworkers I mentioned were either laid off or quit early, feeling disillusioned and spent. Management was consistently inconsistent. I quit because I was often doing the work of my managers due to poor time management, lack of resources and organization. Although I was often doing work well out of my scope and often taking the lead on projects, I was told I still had to work harder for a title change and appropriate compensation. When I was interviewed for my role, I was told I'd have opportunities to go to conventions and culture events for research. Later, I was told there was no budget.

    The team I was on was often neglected. In the time I was there, we didn't go on any team building or bonding off sites. Issues within the team were given band-aid solutions that avoided the negligence and ineptitude of senior managers and their subordinates. We worked long hours and weekends because of poorly thought out high-level strategies. Some projects that we worked on for months were abandoned without much explanation. Other projects that should have taken days took several months. Mentorship was nil. Talents weren't encouraged and nurtured. We were often forced to work on our own instead of being orchestrated as a team. I felt unappreciated and jerked around by my managers. I knew this was because of a trickle-down effect from senior management who were not sure what to prioritize and were at a loss of what it meant to "own Fandom." Many of the senior staff aren't even completely sure what they are selling. It's a bad sign when a founder isn't sure how to explain what is Wikia, now known as Fandom. At a company meeting in 2015, an employee asked him how he'd explain Wikia. He looked confused. I was embarrassed.

    The values of the company are vague and questionable. The company is at the mercy of it's users and the content the users generate. Without the users, their dedication, and attention to detail, the company is nothing. The users and their communities are not given the power and recognition they deserve. As much as I advocated for those who comprise Wikia/Fandom, it felt that there were always other priorities.

    Advice to Management

    Foster a diverse team of caring, open, communicative, authentic, well-read, knowledgeable leaders who actually give a damn. Try to understand fully what Fandom really is: something Wikia execs could never truly own. The real fans own it. Listen to them.


  9. Helpful (14)

    "Interpersonally pleasant, professionally aimless"

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

    I have been working at Fandom full-time

    Pros

    • The junior and midlevel employees are active, engaged, and friendly. There are lots of bright people and they are willing to help. In general, people treat each other well.

    • Being surrounded by pop culture is fun.

    • The office in San Francisco is buzzy. There's always a lot of energy. It's easy to access from BART, Caltrain, and the freeway.

    Cons

    • 2002 called and it wants its fresh, new ideas back. Building an editorial platform might've been the ticket to success at Mashable and Buzzfeed and Sportingnews, but Fandom Editorial isn't going to overtake Nerdist or any of the other fourteen trillion editorial pop culture websites that have first mover advantage on us.

    • The users of our (now legacy) wiki site have taken notice that we don't really care about them anymore and are planning to move on to other hosts. This is an open secret that the community team doesn't appear interested in squashing.

    • The product design is not good. Our new products are load-heavy and cannot survive in a web ecosystem that demands pages load in a second or less. This can't be optimized away. The products themselves are fatally flawed, and with how many resources were poured into them, they won't be junked (like they should be).

    • Try to load a page on Fandom mobile. Notice the ads? They won't get better with video. We are trying to create a "premium ad experience" for advertisers, not users. It sucks.

    • It is easy to pretend like revenue is growing by citing direct ad sales, but we all know that revenue is crashing. There's a Death March feeling around the junior and mid-level employees, especially after the very unexpected layoffs in December.

    • The management pretends to be honest with us, but leaks and loud rumors from different departments tell the opposite story.

    • Infighting among C-levels is obvious. The factions among top staff could fill a whole season of Game of Thrones. As a result, you'll get different directives from different C-levels on different days.

    Advice to Management

    Quit throwing good money after bad and ditch the very slow site design that we're doubling down on. Right now, our core product is getting worse by the hour.

    Fandom Response

    May 9, 2017 – VP, Community

    Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback here on Glassdoor. In the past 18 months we’ve been working on a new direction for the entire business and change is sometimes hard. We’ve been ... More


  10. Helpful (15)

    "Fandom = Failure"

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

    I have been working at Fandom full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Great location in SF, close to BART stations, plenty of restaurants and Whole Foods.

    - Well-stocked kitchen that staff members can take food and drinks from at will.

    - Good camaraderie between low and mid-level employees.

    - Generally laid-back office environment with plenty of places to work comfortably.

    - Great benefits.

    Cons

    Where to begin? For starters, if you check out every negative review of Fandom on Glassdoor, you'll notice many similarities—this is NO coincidence. But here's a breakdown:

    - Managers only respect one thing: other managers. If you delegate or are an "idea person," you're viewed as a vital member of the Fandom team. If you actually create things, your skills are not valued or celebrated in any sense. Not incredibly surprising from an editorial site built around posting work from writers working for zero money. (And you definitely get what you pay for.)

    - Unrealistic expectations for an incredibly small editorial team. If you want to be a real website, you NEED to staff up. After the catastrophic layoffs happened in December '16, few editorial positions were replaced. Instead, a new line of (you guessed it) managers were hired to further micromanage a team trying to put out the best work they can with the limited resources available. You need PEOPLE to make stuff, yo.

    - Extremely poor leadership. The people with the power to make decisions DON'T, leaving those of us working at this incredibly wealthy company feeling absolutely squandered. Absolutely no planning went into the original launch of Fandom, leaving us as a 2017 website that barely has the capability to create more than text-based articles. There's no appropriate place to record video OR audio; instead, we have rooms full of decaying equipment going unused because no one wants to be on the hook for a decision that could potentially lose Wikia money.

    - Absolutely no vision as to what a website should be in 2017. Every day we hear vague messages about Fandom's "voice" and "brand," but no one is empowered to help the website find these things. Expertise is dismissed and despised, and instead, empty and valueless Steve Jobs-esque guru-style wisdom is viewed as the capital-T Truth. Think you have the years of experience to back up your ideas? Be prepared to hear platitudes like "think outside the box" (which should be illegal in any corporate office) with no real solutions to understand how your ideas can "improve."

    Advice to Management

    Value, trust, and, more importantly, LISTEN TO the people who actually make content. Understand you have to SPEND MONEY to build a website people actually want to visit. Know that you need to create a box first before anyone can "think outside of" it. Realize your vague conventional wisdom doesn't mean a thing to the people who create and consume the kind of content you hope to one day profit from. No one visits this website, and you're the reason why.

    Fandom Response

    May 11, 2017 – SVP of Content

    I really appreciate your feedback. I wish you would feel comfortable talking to us about your concerns. We've tried to create an environment where all ideas are listened to. I'm a big believer in ... More


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