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Fitbit Reviews

Updated January 9, 2018
167 reviews

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3.2
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Fitbit CEO James Park
James Park
123 Ratings

167 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • I've got kids and both the benefits and work life balance are excellent (in 26 reviews)

  • Great people who love the mission of the company and what they do (in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • Rapid growth requires "start-up" type hours which restricts true work-life balance (in 6 reviews)

  • Extremely fast pace, sometimes long hours (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Commodity Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great Team work environment and flexible working hours

    Cons

    Top management in operation never learn the lessons from the past


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Although I've enjoyed working here, so much about the company could/needs to be improved!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    -Great, intelligent people
    -Fun culture/environment (fun perks like weekly happy hours, Workout Wednesdays)
    -Universal mission that everyone is passionate about -- lots of products and new opportunities to be excited about

    Cons

    Fitbit has grown very quickly and wasn't able to keep up in some aspects - organizational communication leaves a lot to be desired for and lots of processes/programs that should be put in place for such a large company are either underdeveloped or don't exist at all. This leads to a lot of unnecessary work/time/effort spent on things that could be better put to use. Some senior/exec management is also unaligned and disconnected.

  3. Helpful (8)

    "A Change Would Do Them Good"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Fitbit full-time

    Pros

    Great aspirations, good intentions, some awesome folks who are a pleasure to work with.

    Cons

    Feels like the customers and products come first, with employee well-being trailing far behind.

    Advice to Management

    It only takes one bad apple in management to ruin something good. When you see high turnover in one section of a department you might want to talk to the little guys on that team.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great potential but shaky vision"

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

    I worked at Fitbit full-time

    Pros

    Smart people, great brand, innovations reach a lot of people

    Cons

    Narrow vision, start and stop product roadmap, lots of employee turnover

    Advice to Management

    If you're really a health & wellness company and not just a hardware company you have to invest there


  5. Helpful (41)

    "RUN, do not walk, to the NEAREST EXIT."

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Offices in downtown SF. No south bay commute is nice.
    - Cool to work on hardware products.
    - Raw passion and compassion for colleagues at the lowest levels of the hierarchy.

    Cons

    Buckle up, buttercup.

    - Lack of vision from top leadership on whether we want to be a health company or a consumer electronics company. This creates a fragmented and broken product portfolio. Latest smartwatch release is a prime example. It pales in comparison to almost any other smartwatch on the market, and though it is equipped some more advanced sensors, they are not functional on the product because the software work required wasn't completed.

    - Numerous layers of completely inept middle management are given way too much power. The largest piece of this problem is the product management org, which needs to be completely gutted. The new trimester planning process is a turf war, consisting of weeks to months of bitter fighting to get features on the roadmap. We end up committing to doing too much, since NO ONE seems to do any resource planning to figure out whether we actually have the staff to build what the PM org and execs put on the roadmap. The actual dev and design teams who will be tasked with the work have little voice in this process and only find out the results at the end. Compounding all of these problems, the planning cycle takes so long and happens three times per year which means we're almost always in a planning cycle and continuously shifting around our priorities.

    - Teams across the product development side of the house (sw and fw engineering, QA, design) are all understaffed. This leads to dismal team morale, constant tension between ICs in these teams, and very high attrition rates even by Silicon Valley standards. Some employees are so overworked that they come in even when sick because they have too much on their plates to take time off.

    - Due to overcommitting and lack of resources, the scope and feature set of products we release are usually severely cut from the original plan for the product, to the point that the original vision for the product is barely recognizable in what is actually released.

    - Major lack of diversity especially in management teams. Mostly white men. The company has no visible programs to foster diversity in hiring. There are some special interest programs once already inside, but they don't seem very active. Fitbit's answer to our diversity problem is "we don't have one."

    - C-level leadership is not present and feels disconnected from the rank and file. Bi-weekly all hands meetings feel more like a mandatory address from a dictator than an open dialogue. I have worked at companies much larger than Fitbit, with *thousands* more employees on their HQ campuses, and still felt the executive leadership was more open and connected to staff. The CEO and CTO really should take a pause from whatever they do on a daily basis and take time to meet with a listen to all of the teams building out their products.

    -- As a sub-item to this, there is a lack of transparent communication from the top down at Fitbit. Exec leaders yack all the time about how they are working to improve this, but little has changed. Prime example: earlier this summer, there were apparently some kind of violent threats made against our San Francisco HQ. The company sent out cryptic emails telling all of us to work from home and not come into the office, but leaving us otherwise in the dark. This came from HR, not even the C-level execs. This went on for several days, with nightly emails saying to "keep working from home tomorrow." After a week, they claimed they worked with law enforcement to confirm it was safe for us to return to the offices, but never shared exactly what the threats were or what steps were taken to keep all of us safe in the future. The entire situation was completely mishandled. Reminds me of our layoffs in Jan '17, but I'm sure there are enough Glassdoor reviews on those so I'll skip over that subject.

    - There is no formal performance review process at Fitbit. There is only a self service check in web app that is fairly useless. Some departments have come up with their own performance review processes which are biased and opaque. Apparently I have had several performance reviews in my time at the company but no one has ever shared any of the results with me. When I surfaced this complaint to HR, they asked, "have you ever had a conversation that seemed like it _could have been_ a performance review?" *jaw drops*.

    Given this lack of clear evaluation, promotions seem unfair and opaque, and many ICs and even team leads do way more than their job description but still don't get promoted. This increases our attrition problem. Some who have left have told me they were offered (long overdue) promotions on their way out, which just feels pathetic.

    - Our entire marketing organization has a very poor understanding of our product portfolio and relies heavily on people in the product development side of the house to do their jobs for them. They have dozens of project managers, coordinators, and other oversight roles but not enough executors which means they outsource or try to force others to fill in on the execution.

    - Archaic tools and lack of proper productivity technology and processes result in an insane amount of unruly emails, lost decisions, and lack of clarity across functions of the product development org. It is baffling to me how little this company invests in basic project management and team planning software. Our Jira structure is a giant mess with a huge part of the prod dev org sharing one single Jira project with tens of thousands of tickets (not at all how Jira is supposed to work). Different teams also use Jira in different ways which makes it even less effective. Our Wiki is a joke with thousands of unorganized, duplicate, and abandoned pages. This is such an easy problem to solve compared to all the others this company faces. Will someone WAKE UP and smell the roses already?!

    - Lack of office perks including no food, poor snack choices which never change (and unhealthy ones at that).

    Advice to Management

    - Stop trying to crank out hardware products without any regard for whether they have compelling market value or not. Spend more time thinking about and explaining your vision for the company to all of us, if there is one.

    - Staff up teams in the prod dev org so that you have enough resources to build out your product roadmap, or cut down the roadmap. You are going to burn out your entire staff or literally drive us into the grave.

    - Have lower level staff submit goals for middle tier management and work out a system for said management to be accountable to reaching those goals or at least attempting to solve problems in their org.

    - Do a listening tour with all of the teams involved in the prod-dev process.

    - Give us better collaboration and communication tools, and a few more heads to do knowledge management.

    - Implement a better and more transparent performance review process, with safeguards to make sure staff are promoted appropriately when doing the responsibilities of higher roles, to prevent them from leaving to level up.


  6. Helpful (10)

    "go somewhere else if you have choices"

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

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

    Pros

    Free trackers and ok compensation.

    Cons

    horrible middle management forces good people to leave.
    managers who don't know what they are doing only cares about budget and headcount so that they can be promoted. Half-million- dollar analytical instrument was bought without proper evaluation and justification. Lying to upper management to get more budget and headcount, while people in the group have no work to do and instruments are idling. Senior people in the group bully on new comer and forced him to leave in 2 weeks. Quite unique experience!

    Advice to Management

    too disappointed to say anything.....


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Customer Support"

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

    I worked at Fitbit full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great sense of purpose helping people work towards fitness goals.

    Cons

    The supervisors treat you like children regardless of your performance.

    Advice to Management

    Treat people like adults, not children.

  8. Helpful (8)

    "Not a good place to go to"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Snacks, Great work/life balance, "unlimited" ptos, downtown SF

    Cons

    No career path. No leadership. No goals.
    The company is going down. For example, It's real hard to release new products without a lot of issues - Firmware, hardware quality is really down. Everything is a mess and nothing is documented. There are not desire to optimize the work of people and there is waste everywhere. Leadership team is only focus on the hardware product side of things not on the support side (IT, Finance, CS...) or the services around the product (group health). Nothing is done to make you feel valued.
    No 401k contribution

    Advice to Management

    Value people who are doing good work and promote them. Clarify goals at every levels of the company.
    For the CEO and CTO stop being engineers and start managing people... That means giving guidance and making decisions for the company as a whole not only for the people working on the product. Have and promote leadership values.
    We are not a startup anymore!


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Making the right changes"

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

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

    Pros

    Humbling year is starting to show signs of turnaround. Mood is becoming better as we gain confidence in our strategy. Great work/life balance.

    Cons

    Management is generally cheap and slow. Generally better at vision than execution. Could be better at defining career tracks.

    Advice to Management

    If you want people to stay, help them grow in their career rather than bringing in outside management


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Lots of employees but only a few matter"

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

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

    Pros

    No micromanaging. Flex time. Good pay. Nice location.

    Cons

    Where to start. There are over 1000 employees but due to improper execution of SCRUM only a relative few are in the know and doing all the necessary work. These few are then spread thin while the rest are left in the dark wanting to help but are left only to waste time in their own vacuum. Most employees that care but are left out will spend most of their day sifting through wikis and internal chat rooms trying to gather and piece together info in order to stay relevent. Many will even create work for themselves that didnt need to be created in order to keep busy, while others will just text on their phone or watch wrestling on their laptops. Bad habits have formed, culture breakdown. Upper management is too busy to notice what 90% of their employees are doing whilst putting pressure on those 10% to keep the company making money. Many of the 90% are actively looking for work and even interviewing whilst on the clock! Meeting rooms have thin walls. It is typical to overhear someone in the next room in the middle of a phone interview with some recruiter poaching Fitbit employees. Lots of talented employees here not tapped, many are fed up and leaving everyday. Positions of those whom left are unfilled because they did not matter to the leadership in the first place. Every week they have going away parties. This company doesnt know what they need from most of their employees yet they keep them on payroll until they leave, wasting people's time and careers and putting imbalanced load on a few.

    Advice to Management

    Take a step back and envision the company you want to build. Treat your company like a team, what you have now is a few superstars on the court and the rest are sitting on the bench. That isn't teamwork, and that is 100% leadership's responsibility for not getting the rest of the team to practice and on the court during games.


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