Fandom Reviews in San Francisco, CA | Glassdoor

Fandom San Francisco Reviews

Updated July 27, 2017
34 reviews

Filter

Filter

San Francisco, CA

2.9
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Fandom CEO Craig Palmer
Craig Palmer
15 Ratings

34 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

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 (7)

    "A Really Good Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Wikia is a great place to work - the Company is evolving to be more of a media company and using its strengths (including its huge fan base and extremely knowledgeable/ passionate fans) to make this a success while at the same time nurturing and growing its core business which are its communities. Management has been very open about this and associated developments and the opportunities are huge.
    The employees at Wikia are engaged, caring and motivated. Management is strong, communicative and, from my perspective, makes the right decisions.

    Cons

    With the company's evolution there has been some change including some layoffs and some new hires. Also, change can be hard. While some decisions have probably been difficult to make, they had to be made. It is fine for those who disagree with the decisions to criticize them; however, some of the posted comments cross the line from critical to personal, and that is unfortunate (some may say it is to be expected). Regardless, the bottom line for me is that the company is on the right path and the results prove it.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to be transparent with your decisions. Solicit feedback from employees.

    Fandom Response

    Apr 14, 2017 – President and CEO

    Thanks for your feedback. I've been at this 30 years and agree that change is always hard. We will take your advice to heart. We have been holding company meetings very frequently this year to... More


  2. Helpful (15)

    "Wikia/Fandom: Where Mediocrity is Praised"

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

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

    Pros

    Despite the low morale, employees try to be positive and work hard.

    Office located in the heart of SOMA.

    Some amazing talent remains, for now.

    Cons

    All time low morale, yet HR leadership continues to be promoted.

    Brain drain. Top talent is leaving in droves.

    Low bar for C-Suite staff. Shady promotions with little accomplishments to show. Opposite is true for those not in leadership positions. Formal appraisal system mysteriously disappeared.

    Advice to Management

    Acknowledge the hard work of ALL employees, rather than just execs.

    Give up your egos and realize that the company is declining. Respond intelligently!

    Stop cutting corners on hiring and salaries. You get what you pay for. There's a difference between lean and plain unrealistic.

    Quit misleading the board. Stories are consistently warped to present a prettier picture than is reality. Traffic and sales are declining and will continue to decline without thoughtful strategy.

  3. Helpful (21)

    "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Fandom full-time

    Pros

    - Great staff and people especially among the rank and file while they last
    - Convenient location in SF
    - Comfortable office space and well stocked kitchen
    - Awesome office manager(s)
    - Good benefits including 401K, pre-tax commuter/parking, medical/dental/vision options
    - Social drinking and schmoozing/boozing including wine fridge and beer tap

    Cons

    - No 401K matching
    - Poor and occasional deceptive communication from Executive management while explaining sales failures
    - Invasion of testosterone driven NY Sales culture
    - Stress on staff, lack of professional validation and marginalization of roles within the company leading to a subsequent brain drain of original staff trickling out the door
    - Failure of Fandom rebranding effort in terms of generating new audience or improved revenue outlook
    - Multiple people routinely fired since 2015 without explanation or acknowledgment
    - "Red Wedding" layoff event in December 2016 resulting in a loss of staff who had been key to the success of Wikia. Overspending and a failure to meet revenue targets were the cause of the "restructuring" or "right sizing". The people actually responsible for the financial discrepancy notably all kept their jobs
    - Significant cultural changes from accountability and personal responsibility to CYA and finger pointing
    - Top heavy management structure rewarded by managing up while talking down to the rank and file
    - Favoritism and nepotism clearly visible in significant promotions and decision making including yet another SVP hire from outside the company
    - HR Management ineffectual and widely distrusted and co-opted by the new management

    Advice to Management

    - Be honest about the changes within the company and listen to feedback although the reality is that honesty can be dangerous to a career in the current environment

    - Stop doubling down on a losing strategy with Fandom. Look honestly at the traffic numbers and realize that building the next great editorial site is expensive and difficult and a gamble that may result in more layoffs and the eventual fire sale of the Wikia platform

    - Go back to celebrating and evolving the Wikis and Admins who helped make Wikia what it was. The complete focus on making Fandom a success at the expense of all else is weakening the company's value, disillusioning a large segment of the staff and alienating wiki creators

    - Stop allowing bullies to run the show. Great ideas can come from any part of the company, not just those chosen few who are connected to an invading clique

    - Realize that the recent exodus of people is not normal and is being accelerated by a large scale loss of faith in the vision and mis-management of the company. Expect more people to leave and try not to be so OK about it


  4. Helpful (27)

    "I'm pretty sure Fandom is a Horcrux"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  5. Helpful (21)

    "Misdirected and mismanaged"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  6. Helpful (30)

    "2016, A Year of Toxicity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Fandom full-time

    Pros

    When I first joined Wikia/Fandom I felt part of a family. We worked long hours. We drank and laughed together. There was a general feeling of "in it together". Not only that but people were accountable and honest. I felt trust in my leaders. I grew a lot. I was excited in our mission and came to work every day ready to do more.

    Cons

    Flash forward to 2016, something turned horribly wrong this year. More and more people were hired who did not mesh with our company values, Trust and Community being two of the main ones. We moved away from being a company who worked as a team and became distant silo departments. Some departments started looking for anyone they could throw under the bus to cover their own flaws. People stopped being accountable for their actions and instead played the blame game (which does not help the company at all.)

    I've seen more manipulative and toxic behavior in the past couple of months than I ever had at this company. Now a majority of us have been laid off and it's starting to make sense. Speaking to those still left behind it sounds like everyone absorbed the jobs of the people who left. I imagine it's going to be rough for a while.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of upper management who openly bash employees, spread rumors, and don't own up to their mistakes. Fandom has such an amazing opportunity to become an entertainment leader. Don't allow toxic behaviors crush the morale of the remaining employees.

    Fandom Response

    Apr 14, 2017 – President and CEO

    Thanks for your feedback. As you know, in 2016 we made the decision to change from being solely a platform company focused on communities to a premier media company that combined communities and... More


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Bumpy vision but fun workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Fandom full-time

    Pros

    Fandom has a really nice community behind it. Contributors are there because they really love their favorite movies or shows or games. Building a platform for them is really great. Plus, if you surround yourself with the right people, you can have a really cool work environment.

    Cons

    Management is sometimes slow to acknowledge company issues and and the concerns of employees. The wrong people are sometimes rewarded or kept in positions of authority. This hurts the vision of the company.

    Advice to Management

    Be sure to listen to the concerns of employees. Sometimes it does not really seem like they are really listening to the issues employees might have.

  8. Helpful (25)

    "Untrustworthy Management"

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

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

    Pros

    * Basic "start-up" perks that draw a lot of the younger and less experienced, but passionate and driven crowd.
    * Kegs, pool parties, snack closet, dog-friendly office, people who like to go out and have a good time together.
    * If you have less experience you probably have a decent shot at getting a job here anyways.
    * The Community Development, Community Support, and Sales organizations are well managed and fun to work with.
    * If you're into pop culture or gaming, this is a good company for you.
    * Nerdy in an awesome way.

    Cons

    Bottom line: Wikia ends up being a demoralizing and dispiriting place to work day in/day out.

    * Avoid Marketing, Product, Design, and Engineering.
    * Complete lack of trust between teams leads to a lot of blame, finger pointing, and clique culture.
    * Projects are unreasonably scoped, resourced, and time boxed which leads to constant sense of failure and stress for prod dev teams.
    * Senior Management is visibly unable to work well together. This causes major issues that trickle down and create an unpleasant work environment.
    * Management is the embodiment of "do as I say, not as I do." One example: management harps incessantly that teams must make data driven decisions and then blatantly disregards that data when it doesn't support their preferred approach.
    * A lot of talented people don't stick around. People leave quickly over a short time span, lowering overall company moral. This happens every few months.
    * Unprofessional atmosphere, gossip, people storming out of meetings, etc.
    * Pays below market, annual reviews are late and shoddy.

    *Management has campaigned in the past for current employees to write positive Glassdoor reviews. Take note of that when you read reviews here.*

    Fandom Response

    Dec 9, 2016

    I appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback. Employee experience is very important to me. Trust and Collaboration are two of our company’s core values. It’s critical that these be fostered... More


  9. Helpful (20)

    "Company growing despite it's best efforts."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  10. Helpful (19)

    "Good & Bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


Showing 34 of 68 reviews
Reset Filters