Outbrain Reviews | Glassdoor

Outbrain Reviews

Updated May 11, 2017
54 reviews

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3.8
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Outbrain Co-Founder & CEO Yaron Galai
Yaron Galai
31 Ratings

54 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good working atmosphere and good work/life balance (in 7 reviews)

  • Great people: Really nice man management (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • In the race to first prize you see the darker sides of business - that coupled with the long hours can make it a stressful and unpleasant place to work (in 3 reviews)

  • Lack of transparency, ego driven and low salaries (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "Great experience, great people"

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

    I have been working at Outbrain (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great culture, smart and warm people who are exceptionally collaborative and diverse in many ways. Many roles provide travel opportunities within the many offices around the world, and they're not shy to spend money making sure the employees get that face to face time. Very generous with making the work environments pleasant. Good place to move through different roles, great for expanding your knowledge base faster than other places I've been.

    Cons

    Globally distributed across many countries and so can be hard to plan your day around different time zones and holidays.

    Advice to Management

    Transparency and level of care for employees is great, don't lose sight of the importance of these values as we continue to grow.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Awesome Management and Team"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Development in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Business Development in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    You could not ask for a better team to be part of. Everyone works well together, the company thrived, customers loved us, and we all got along very well. Tons of company events that really made us feel like a family.

    Cons

    Long hours and slightly lower salary compared to some other start ups.

    Advice to Management

    You shouldn't have sold to Outbrain.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great Company - No Mobility"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Transparent Executive team - laid back atmosphere

    Cons

    no growth opportunities. if looking to move internally direct manager must be notified.

    Advice to Management

    make it easier to move up the ranks and annual salary increases a must.


  4. "Outbrain"

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

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

    Pros

    Great growth potential for the company itself and employees!

    Cons

    lack of transparency and leadership.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Great Place, Great People, Fascinating Industry!"

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

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

    Pros

    Exciting industry, great product and extremely talented people who are fun to work with.

    In the NYC office there is free lunch once a week, lots of snacks, beer/wine times and other perks. Work-life balance is great!

    There are many career opportunities and they allow internal mobility.

    Great internal training program for sales and account managers.

    Fun work environment.

    Cons

    Sometimes in feels like there is a lack of good communication between upper to lower management. There was (and still ongoing) a major re-org which made some great folks leave. Need to be more creative and innovative product-wise to give competitors a good fight.

    Advice to Management

    Communication, communication, communication. You are improving... keep it that way!


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Making Progress with Some Bumps"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Outbrain full-time

    Pros

    Amazing group of ethical, talented and dedicated people that push each other to do great work. When we do it right, we are truly doing good work by helping premium publishers sustain their businesses and that's more important than ever.

    Cons

    There is a lack of consistent focus on the basics of running a business and a bit too much running around chasing ideas that are rarely seen through to completion.

    Advice to Management

    Ignore the bright shiny objects and stick to the basics of getting things done. Engage with the teams: they are smart and capable, but craving leadership. Make an effort to diversify. Trust the people you've hired and invest in them. You hired them for a reason.


  7. Helpful (15)

    "Good people, sinking ship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Amazing work-life balance. This place basically coined the term “WFH” (work from home).
    - Internal mobility to switch job roles is a possibility, a handful of people have done it
    - Generous travel opportunities (although not anymore)
    - Free food almost constantly

    Cons

    - Extremely weak leadership and upper management. None of them are held accountable for the fact that the company no longer has clear values and mission, or held accountable for Outbrain’s worsening public reputation as a clickbait company. Weak leadership is one of the top company complaints since we started doing internal engagement surveys, and they are the #1 reason for company demoralization.
    - Unhappy people have been leaving in droves for months, and the general perceived sentiment is that management does not care and will make excuses for it
    - Hardcore politics get in the way of work being done. As a NY employee who had to work with many people in various time zones, the management layer in the Israeli office is difficult to deal with and consistently hard to communicate with.
    - Zero creative leadership (or rather: zero creative folks in positions of supposed creative leadership)
    - Really questionable spending habits in so many ways. Also, the structure for receiving bonuses and promotions is opaque, not done in a systematic way, and subject to a lot of bias/favoritism. Outbrain also likes to “promote” people with no increase in pay, with increased responsibilities on top of the original responsibilities.

    Advice to Management

    Take responsibility and stop blaming others/making excuses for why droves are people are leaving. It's definitely you.

    Management once told us, “We don’t treat users like they are stupid.” I’ll take that same point and say, Don’t treat your employees like they are stupid. Treating hard times at the company with cheery, head-in-the-sand optimism is really not comforting for the employees who go at-bat for the company every single day. Really listen to your employees, don’t be flippant about their fears and worries, address them thoughtfully.

    Outbrain Response

    Mar 20, 2017 – Head of Staff

    Thanks for your candid feedback. Flippancy in regards to the concerns of our employees is certainly the exact opposite of what we strive for. When our employees offer feedback, it helps to provide ... More

  8. Helpful (14)

    "It went from "great" to "terrible" in a really short time"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Outbrain full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Met some really smart, talented people along the way (they all left though)

    Cons

    Don't get me wrong. The company was founded by some of the finest brains in the industry.

    HOWEVER, this company went from being one of the best companies out there to a nightmare workplace for a lot of people in a really short time. These are just some of the issues that have forced so many people to leave in the last few months - across all offices:

    - It's home country vs. rest of the world all the time. Never seen so much nepotism and favoritism towards their "own kind" anywhere else. People get hired or put into very senior roles with zero relevant experience just because they share the same mother tongue (Clue: it's not English). These are people who have no prior management experience and almost zero experience in international, professional working environments (extremely uncourteous).

    - The HR has no HR skills, and takes no action whenever an issue is reported to them.

    - Management, both in the HQ and at regional level, has absolutely no clue where the company is going. It's been a constant "restructuring" for the past 2 years. They fail to motivate people or reward them for their hard work and there's zero transparency at all levels.

    - No work-life balance. It's been late-night/early morning calls non-stop since day 1. Considered totally normal for your manager to call you on weekends or late nights for no particular urgent reason. You're basically expected to be available 24/7.

    - Salaries are way below market range, not worth the amount of work and stress, trust me.

    Advice to Management

    I'm not confident they'll do anything about the current turnover and overall pessimism - they don't seem to care. But hope they'll have a wake-up call at some point: the company is sinking, and competitors are doing a much better job at releasing new products and innovating.

    Outbrain Response

    Mar 20, 2017 – Head of Staff

    Thanks for your feedback. I know that the rapid growth we've had over the past year and the changes we have made to our business to set us up for long-term success can sometimes be jarring for ... More


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Good, but stay aware"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Incredible coworkers, fun atmosphere, flexibility to work from home when needed, dog-friendly office, potential trips to Israel (depending on your position), great outings & happy hours, beer cart Thursdays

    Cons

    - felt like it was Israel vs. the NYC office especially when it came to hiring for team members
    - The office is a bit too small - and needs more space! Sometimes it's very difficult to book conference rooms b/c people who haven't booked them take them over and refuse to give them up.
    - unclear communication from the Israeli office -- depending on the department, things can seem opaque and unclear -- and you find out changes at the last minute (obviously this is not indicative of ALL of Outbrain - but I def. see it in some departments)
    - this past year saw a lot of turn-over -- people felt unsupported in their roles & left to go elsewhere
    - convoluted & duplicative processes -- sometimes other people in other departments would do the same work I'd be doing. Communication is often broken between teams
    - compensation is below market rates

    Advice to Management

    Make sure that managers are 100% transparent with the teams that they manage.
    Make sure teams talk to one another so they aren't doing the same work twice


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Weak Place to Work"

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

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

    Pros

    Amazon Fresh and the fully stocked pantry was about the only redeeming quality to work at Outbrain's SF offices.

    Cons

    Managers only take the time to sit down and provide criticism but do not listen when "team" members voice new solutions to problems. Outbrain is the type of employer where people are only looking out for their own career advancement and aren't genuinely passionate about the work or industry.

    Advice to Management

    I would have management and regional people fly out from NY more often to foster a sense of diplomacy within the SF office and break through the rigid cattiness that can be given off from managers.

    Outbrain Response

    Mar 20, 2017 – Head of Staff

    I appreciate the feedback and I am disappointed to hear your negative experience with your role. We realize that this has been a fast paced and challenging year as we’ve continued to grow and scale ... More


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