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Optimizely Reviews

Updated February 14, 2018
119 reviews

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3.4
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Optimizely CEO Jay Larson
Jay Larson
12 Ratings

119 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • start-up growing pains including unclear path forward (in 16 reviews)

  • Professional/Career growth non-existent (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Leading the experimentation space"

    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 Optimizely full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Great product
    - Great time to be in the "digital experience" business
    - Great offices, friendly people
    - Great compensation/benefits/perks
    - New CEO making many of the necessary adjustments

    Cons

    - There is a culture of praise, which might make it difficult to get recognized for truly exemplary performance
    - Provide a stronger understanding around performance reviews

    Advice to Management

    - Encourage more cross-team collaboration on a more frequent and narrower basis
    - Make a stronger effort to accommodate needs of other offices and empower them to summon any needed resources. Don't be so SF-centric.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Optimizely full-time

    Pros

    Great coworkers, interesting space, decent perks

    Cons

    C-level is constantly shifting, strategy isn't aligned through the whole company.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Sales"

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

    I worked at Optimizely full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free lunch & snacks, great benefits

    Cons

    - Too many Millennial Snowflakes complaining about everything just to hear themselves talk.

    - Layoffs are an annual occurrence


  4. Helpful (6)

    "Personalized Salaries"

    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 Optimizely full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Outside of the pay, the benefits are spectacular. But then again, the benefits are comparable to any startup company in the Bay area. %100 heath insurance paid for you and your family is nice, and unlimited time off is great too.

    The people that work at Optimizely are very motivated and enjoyable to work with.

    Cons

    If you do not fit a certain gender/race/age combo, expect to have to negotiate harder than normal for equal pay. Assume that even then, your salary will be lower in comparison to others on your team.

    For women, Optimizely sticks to the status- quo, and will to pay women on average 18% less than their male counterparts.


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Bad vibes"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Optimizely full-time

    Pros

    Good location in SF, free lunch / snacks / drinks, good pay (offset by low RSUs), nice office. Product is becoming better and more scalable.

    Cons

    Terrible culture. Bad vibes within and between teams. Constant fighting, fingerpointing and lack of accountability. Teams don't play well together. Many employees who are only in it for themselves and don't care about overall environment. Inexperienced managers in operations, sales and marketing who don't know how to lead and act selfishly. Saw truly talented managers leave or get forced out because they weren't backstabbers like others. Lack of diversity. Avoid, seriously, AVOID this place.

    Advice to Management

    Upper management needs to get rid of team managers who promote a toxic culture and don't know how to lead. Too many inexperienced managers incapable of rising to the challenge. Increase diversity. Promote collaboration and accountability across the organization.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Noxious Culture"

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

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

    Pros

    Good product, some good people, free lunches. New CEO addressing flaws in the business

    Cons

    Lack of focus and care on culture. Terrible environment, particularly by the inexperienced, unprincipled, sales leadership team; lack of training, one on ones, overall plan. Negative, critical & bullying sales environment. Customer complaints about sales management, reps reluctant to bring sales managers to meetings. Several departures, unhappy sales reps and complaints to HR. HR intent to coach employees how to deal with difficult management rather than addressing cause and make a great work environment. Sales recruiters inaccurately represent sales success and quota attainment in interview process. White male dominated leadership.

    Advice to Management

    Take actionable, necessary steps to make Optimizely a great place to work, the feedback is there.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Lots of runway ahead"

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

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

    Pros

    Great product with lots of happy customers.

    Huge opportunity to own the category.

    Amazing benefits including free healthcare.

    Cons

    Lots of change and typical growing pains for an early stage company.

    Advice to Management

    Maintain current focus on activities and initiatives which will have the greatest impact.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great Product, People and Potential"

    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 Optimizely full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    New executive team is seasoned, they bring valuable operational experience and care about the business.

    No shortage of potential impact for any employee, as long as you are willing to take ownership.

    Cutting edge technology in a rapidly evolving market.

    Bigger customers and deals every quarter. It is clear that big businesses see a significant benefit from Optimizely.

    Outstanding benefits.

    This is a place where you can do the best work of your career.

    Cons

    If you are looking for a slower paced "big tech company " culture, perhaps not a fit.

    Growing a successful software company in a newer category is not a simple task. Those without relative experience might be uncomfortable with changes required to build a successful business.

    It is hard work, but the payoff can be big.

    Advice to Management

    Continue focus on building a healthy business and culture. Create more value for customers and you create value for employees.

    Don’t forget that this is a highly competitive talent market.


  9. Helpful (14)

    "Toxic culture"

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

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

    Pros

    Health insurance is very good - 100% coverage for employee and dependents.
    Catered lunches.

    Cons

    I've joined the company in 2014 and at that time it was growing startup with ambitious plans, innovative products, great developers and fun culture. In 2017 I've left from boring wanna-be-a-Salesforce org.
    1) No new products.
    2) Layoffs in 2016 were a huge mistake - most of great people left because of that.
    3) Toxic self-promote culture: do not work hard, don't focus on results - nobody needs that. In order to get a promotion you should send weekly updates to everybody on how your project is going, adopt a new library or, even better, a new framework, do the tech talks on how great your project will be and setup a weekly meeting with representatives of all the teams to keep them updated. Don't do coding - nobody actually is asking for results. Dump the project after you will get your promotion. Multiple versions of rest APIs running in parallel. Investing huge amount of resources into Vue.js developing and dumping it just when it started to get community traction - that all happened because people were working on their promotions.
    4) Compensation is way below the median.
    5) Culture has gone from great to nowhere - even Dan is not mentioning OPTIFY anymore.

    Advice to Management

    Engineering managers must have a technical background and be able to do some coding to differentiate between the "toot your own horn" projects and the ones that company really needs.
    Promote your engineers when they work hard on invisible things.


  10. Helpful (11)

    "swipe left"

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

    I worked at Optimizely full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free lunch and fully stocked kitchen -- SOME awesome and wholesome people work there who mean well and are great!

    Cons

    Like I said, swipe left. Join this company if you want bad vibes and bad vibes only. This place is a NIGHTMARE!

    First of all, don't expect any form of career path at this company. They parade you at how much you will be able to grow but that is definitely not the case. They tease you with a raise for months but guess what, it never comes! They also talk about how you will be able to move up quickly but that also never ever happens. Like the other review said, this is the best place to work if you're a white man named John. Managers will treat you awesome cause you're a male and get along with all the other frat bros who get promoted.

    The culture here is extremely unpleasant. Unlimited PTO is a straight up lie -- if you get a terrible manager, which you might, who knows -- he or she (mainly he cause females barely get promoted here) will question you all the time about it. Cross-collaboration of teams is questionable as well as every team likes to blame another team for their problems. No one really comes together to find the root cause of the issue. Just people pointing fingers at other people.

    Managers don't really know how to manage here whatsoever. They like to highlight problems but clearly don't know how to solve the problems which in affect hurts your performance -- helpless and ridiculous. Also some managers are extremely inappropriate when it comes to management style and HR does not know how to handle them so you end up being the sucker. Sucks to suck though!

    After some careful calculations, I'd pass.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more females in upper management and reevaluate your current mid-level managers or just simply get new ones.


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