Icebreaker Reviews | Glassdoor

Icebreaker Reviews

Updated June 3, 2017
44 reviews

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2.5
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Rob Fyfe
15 Ratings

44 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Icebreaker Seattle Touchlab"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Touchlab Retail Associate in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Touchlab Retail Associate in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Icebreaker part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Merino wool is rad and you get a seasonal allowance to buy clothes to wear at work. Pro-deals through the company were good and there were more available through Promotive. The marketing is out there and it's fun to watch people react to it.

    Cons

    Retail is never that awesome. North American management of both the retail and wholesale side of the company is iffy at best. Inconsistent scheduling was an issue but I think that was more a flaw with the person writing schedules than with the company itself.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more full time sales staff instead of part time, and if you do hire part time try to keep their hours/days consistent so that they can have another job since $12.50/h doesn't really cut it in Seattle.


  2. "Failing to break through with a lack of focus"

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

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

    Pros

    Good product range and passionate people that believe in the brand and the product. Happy work environment if you drink the juice.

    Cons

    Third CEO in as many years, I don't have faith that IB can weather the current financial retail climate with leadership that is a bit too convinced every decision that make is right.

    Advice to Management

    It may be a regional brand, but will never be successful globally unless they invest more in communicating relevance to a new customer by focusing on product features and benefits and less in New Zealand chest thumping.


  3. Helpful (8)

    "What a Mess"

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

    Pros

    Merino wool is great
    Standard "benefits" of a cool-kids outdoor company: ping-pong, keg, dogs, etc.

    Cons

    Such a mess in every way. Job-seekers: You can do better than this. Look elsewhere.


  4. Helpful (8)

    "Great People, Poorly Managed"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Icebreaker full-time

    Pros

    Amazing brand, passionate employees.

    Cons

    Poorly managed. It's unfortunate the situation Icebreaker currently finds itself. So many people have lost their jobs right now because of the decisions of those before them.


  5. Helpful (6)

    "A company that lives its' values"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director, Product Development in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Director, Product Development in Portland, OR
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Icebreaker full-time

    Pros

    Culture, passion, belief. A mass of talented people working hard (and playing hard) to make this business all it can be. Great product, great ethos and a great future; if the hard decisions are made.

    Cons

    A talent pool that is spread too thin. Struggling to find true global alignment and needs to put in place some of the fundamentals to change. Certain departures have hit the business hard, and the strategy needs to be clearly defined. Real information impossible to find

    Advice to Management

    Keep your change agents - your letting the wrong people leave


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Great people, great fabric and all sustainable."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Key Account Manager in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Key Account Manager in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Icebreaker is a great place for people that are active, adventurous and care that what they does not harm the environment. It has been one of the most welcoming and enjoyable office cultures I've been exposed to in 20+years in the Outdoor industry. Its not a huge company so there's not a lot of oversight which means you're not micromanaged but instead trusted to do what they hired you for.

    Cons

    Icebreaker's business is very seasonal so there can be incredibly busy times of the year and some slower times of the year, unfortunately with mother nature you can't get around this. It is a lean and mean company so you have to be the type that's not afraid to get their hands dirty.

    Advice to Management

    Embrace turnover, its going to happen but as long as it happens where people are moving on to bigger, better paid positions elsewhere then that's ok. It's great to welcome new family to the office and there's nothing wrong with being the company where young, up and comers cut their teeth before moving on.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Solid company, ready to go, but wanting success."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Web Content Manager in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Web Content Manager in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Opportunity is here, if you're willing to take it. Icebreaker wants you to do better, to be better, and to capitalize on that personal/professional growth. It's true that the company still operates from the heart more than they might from the math, but that's been mitigated against to some degree by the new CEO. As far as that goes...clean, robotic decisions with the corresponding apparatus of indoctrination and control are not a plus for me. I guess they might be for some people, but those are not the kind of people that have happy times at Icebreaker. As a result of this cultural cocktail you get a dynamic, fresh, full of life experience when working here. Finally: transparency. This company is transparent. They are not playing tricks. They believe in the product, they believe in the mission, and they will tell you all that you want to know (as an employee) about where we are in that mission.

    Cons

    Lots of difficulties getting the global markets to play nice. As a result, there are challenges. Especially for those employees who play on the global field. There are different offices all around the world, different departments and sections within those offices, and they all have different priorities and goals. Those priorities clash often.

    I suspect that some of the recent tensions come from, of course, the financial struggles that have come with so many other merino players. Nobody works with complete satisfaction when they have given their heart and mind to something and yet still see negative numbers coming out as a result. Everyone here knows they should be winning.. everyone knows we have the product, the people, and the capability. Everyone is wondering why it's not working. We workers are giving everything we have to give. We expect nothing less from leadership.

    Advice to Management

    Get the markets inline. Find where there is in-fighting and frustration between the offices and take responsibility for improving it. Figure out why this special cocktail of awesome product and awesome people is not working. Then..tell us what we need to change to make what we all want happen (success, positive numbers, positive outlook, growth), happen.


  8. Helpful (7)

    "disappointing"

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

    I worked at Icebreaker full-time

    Pros

    The small team of individuals who do the day-to-day work are hard working and passionate about the brand potential. The office space has a lot of natural light and is a nice atmosphere. Schedules are flexible. Merino wool is an amazing fiber and product.

    Cons

    Beware. The company functions off of emotion with little concern for factual evidence. The hiring process does not include input from cross-functional teams. New bodies show up unannounced to fill job positions. Communication is lacking in all aspects of the business. Management claims to have open dialogue but does not follow through.
    Recent lay-offs removed a substantial number of individuals from an already small office. Quality employees are leaving the business at an alarming rate. Poor choices are made for promotions to director level positions. Management decisions are made with no checks and balances.
    The product direction is unknown. The target consumer is unknown. Few processes exist. Those that do exist are forced and not thoroughly explored prior to implementation. Relationships with product suppliers, factories, retailers and vendors are all strained and poorly managed/maintained.

    Advice to Management

    You need quality people to make quality product. Find a brand direction and support the individuals who do the work to fulfill the vision. Look at the facts laid out before you to make decisions. Remove individuals who erode the process and environment.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Lots of potential but losing it's way"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Great people, great story, healthy work life balance. I used to really enjoy working here when I first started. People were passionate, knowledgeable, worked hard and played hard. It was all consuming in the best way. Quirky and very hands on, it was a place you could learn a ton and the sky was the limit in terms of what you could achieve. Everything felt possible and we were all on a wild ride together until it all started changing about a year or so ago.

    Cons

    No clear brand direction, tons of turn over, low morale, loss of team culture and overall lots of chaos and confusion through out the brand. Feels like the company has really lost it's way and no one is confident in where we are going to what we are trying to achieve. Talent is walking out the door quickly. Things need to turn around fast.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your people, get clear on what the brand stands for, simplify processes, consolidate the offices and make one strong passionate team. Time is running out so big decisions and measures need to be actioned quickly before everyone jumps ship.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great global company with some growing pains"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Employee in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Employee in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Best people I've worked with. Passionate, committed, love the outdoors, and want to see the company succeed. The leaders in Portland are knowledgeable and professional and support the people here with honesty and integrity. The New Zealand roots are strong and some employees even get the opportunity to travel there.

    Cons

    The company is going through some growing pains, so you need to have perseverance, be willing to work through changes, be positive and have a tough skin.

    Advice to Management

    The product is great, your customers love you, your employees are passionate. Figure out (quickly) your plan and then just make it happen.


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