Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America Reviews | Glassdoor

Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America Reviews

Updated September 30, 2017
50 reviews

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2.9
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Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America CEO Arwed Niestroj
Arwed Niestroj
11 Ratings

50 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • tung gering im Vergleich zu anderen Silicon valley Unternehmen (in 4 reviews)

  • All the decisions controlled by German counterpart (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Experience"

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

    I worked at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America full-time

    Pros

    Ability to work on and influence latest technology in automotive
    Great salary and benefits
    Company always growing, always new opportunities
    Easy to gain respect and trust - just work hard

    Cons

    Department collaboration is difficult, often working against each other not helping, usually due to politics
    More recently (past couple of years?) there has been more employee turnaround

    Advice to Management

    Get in the trenches and listen to what your employees are saying (not sure how effective employee surveys are). Have courage when speaking to stakeholders and honestly represent your employees.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Sounds Good from Outside"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice Office, Nice Amenities, Good Networking

    Cons

    Nothing gets done because the decision must always come from Germany

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Toxic & bureaucratic culture"

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

    I have been working at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work - life balance. Vacation / holidays / PTO better than most companies / competitors.

    Cons

    Toxic culture. Experienced discrimination. For a small company of 600 it has all the bureaucracy of it's parent company, Daimler (300K employees globally). Processes are redundant and often unclear. Leadership is lacking. They try to convince people the environment is like a Silicon Valley startup but it couldn't be farther from the truth. Hard to get promoted. No mentorship or leadership development provided. Lack of diversity. Compensation packages are not competitive to other Silicon Valley companies.


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Dysfunctional Place to Work"

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

    I have been working at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America full-time

    Pros

    I like my immediate team members; we have open communication within our group and everyone works equally hard. I have interesting work. My Manager is qualified and provides sound advice on my work product.

    Cons

    The culture in the Silicon Valley office is dysfunctional and shows no signs of improving. The CEO is a German expat and does not really have direct power to lead the company; his role is more of an adviser. He announced he is leaving in November 2017. This adds another problem to the leadership team as there are several vacancies already at the top. The HR department has been leaderless for over a year and the recruiting team is unqualified in its ability to process hires correctly. Two VP positions are vacant for over six month. Power resides in Germany and with the clients who directly fund the teams. Existing VPs do their own thing and set the values for their own teams. Some hire sub par talent and bring in immature interns (due to lack of competitive pay) or promote under qualified individuals to Principle positions just to keep them (Principles get free cars). Department leaders act independently as if they don’t want to be a part of one MBRDNA company.

    Advice to Management

    Advise to the R&D board in Germany: provide a leader who is actually authorized with the power to financially lead and make decisions for the whole company. Vision and direction for the company in the next 3-5 years is not clearly defined.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Bad place to work unless you are German"

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

    I have been working at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America full-time

    Pros

    My direct co-workers were nice. Good healthcare options.

    Cons

    The company is 80% German. Company culture is horrible. Absolutely no perks! They don't pay well at all! Promotion process is bias and in favor of Germans.

    Advice to Management

    Embrace diversity and the silicon valley culture. Add more perks and better pay.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Payroll"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Payroll Specialist in Sunnyvale, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Payroll Specialist in Sunnyvale, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great co-workers and great benefits.

    Cons

    Immediate supervisor never backed me up with upper management even when I was correct.

    Advice to Management

    Support your employees and make sure they know they are important and valued.


  7. Helpful (8)

    "Stable Job, Experience Depends on Manager/Team. Immediate Management Excellent"

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

    I have been working at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America full-time

    Pros

    Working at MBRDNA as a full time employee in the information technology industry is basically equivalent to a tenure track position at a university in terms of job security. Once you're in, you're in for life if you so desire, so long as you put in a reasonable effort to doing your job. Work life balance is good. Opportunity for advancement in terms of salary is good after you realize that they will pay more to keep high performers - significantly more than industry averages. Unique perks include access to deep discounts (as much as 30%) off buying a new Benz, as well as the employee lease program, which allows you to pay much less that you would for a car payment to basically drive a brand new Benz all year, and trade it in for a new one at the end of the year. Standard perks include access to free snacks, drinks and coffee. Standard benefits. 8% 401k matching. I got lucky with my team, whose immediate management is awesome.

    Cons

    MBRDNA postures itself as a tech company, like a special Silicon Valley supplier to Daimler - so my expectations for the culture, benefits, and perks are in line with what I would expect working for a Silicon Valley tech company - not an automotive company. The upper management is out of touch with employees. Regular town hall meetings come and go, where the management continually displays how out of touch it is with the climate and culture of Silicon Valley. The pace of innovation feels glacial compared to other tech companies. The upper management basically has their hands tied to the will of the parent company, Daimler, in Germany. Daimler is not in a 'growth' phase like so many other tech companies, so I think they are much less likely to take on risky projects - which can sometimes make the work feel a bit mundane. Unfortunately, this risk-averseness may ultimately become a problem, the more that information technology fields merge with the automotive industry. Being innovative in a business also gives employees the opportunity to grow and hone their skill-set. Without that drive, it can sometimes feel like working at Daimler for too long locks you into working only at Daimler (a sentiment I have heard many colleagues express). Doesn't feel like a good place for ambitious or meteoric career growth, like what one might expect from Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. I think with the increased stability and risk-averseness comes a decrease in that kind of contagious creative energy that you might encounter working for a startup or other tech company in the bay area. Other cons include a lack of perks that are standard at other area tech companies - such as transit perks, free meals, good recreation facilities, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Take more risks. Hire employees above the curve, not at or below the median (which means you have to pay more to start with too). Organize teams to work together - especially in the information technology space. Don't force your teams to compete for funding until you have developed a strong base of talent. You can't have teams tasked with innovations in information technology and expect stellar output if their hands are tied with the drudgery of production oriented software development and coordinating with suppliers. A much better approach is to separate teams into production oriented and moon-shot/research oriented. Don't ask one team to do it all, because what inevitably will happen is that team will focus on tasks that keep their jobs secure - production. You have to give teams the freedom and resources needed to innovate, which means, don't force them to do it in a certain stiff (and utterly bizarre) corporate program. You can't force innovation from the top down, unless you have a strong and charasmatic vision (i.e. Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, etc). I understand that Daimler is a German company - but I don't see the point in a Silicon Valley office if you are going to infuse the Daimler rigidity into the process.

  8. "BD Rep"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America part-time

    Pros

    Good Pay, Good Networking, Great Location

    Cons

    No Work/Life balance, Lack of Leadership


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Poor management with clear favoritism to German nationals"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Engineering in Redford, MI
    Former Employee - Product Engineering in Redford, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Access to cheap leases, benefits are OK. Performance reviews are pretty bad jokes.

    Cons

    Per the last car Consumers Report (2017), best brands: 1. AUDI, 2.Porsche, 3. BMW, 4. LEXUS......8. TESLA, 9.HONDA... 11.TOYOTA, 17. CHEVROLET, 18. CADILLAC, 19. CHRYSLER ...........AND IN 20. MERCEDES-BENZ

    Advice to Management

    Too much pride for an overpriced brand with poor quality products...


  10. "contract"

    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

    Pros

    It's a good environment for work. Friendly people.

    Cons

    No career opportunities when you're a contracted.


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