Overstock.com "senior management" Reviews | Glassdoor

Overstock.com Reviews

Updated Jan 22, 2019

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2.8
44%
Recommend to a Friend
100%
Approve of CEO
Overstock.com Interim CEO Jonathan Johnson
Jonathan Johnson
6 Ratings
  1. Helpful (30)

    "Very Bad Work Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Overstock.com full-time

    Pros

    Nice facilities, some very talented people (although many have left), good co-workers.

    Cons

    This was absolutely the worst work experience of my life, and the longest 13 months. Going to work each day was met with a mix of total dread and curiosity to see what wacky management decision or personnel move was going to be made that day. This company has no direction, no leadership and sadly most likely no future. Senior management is more worried about the President's reactions than making good business decisions. It's fun to watch Directors and VP's spend their days trying not to make decisions that may attract attention. Employees hardly ever last a full year, there is such a high turn over rate at all levels that there is just no continuity. Really not the place you want to try and make a career of. When I recently interviewed for another position the VP I met with commented "another Overstock employee looking for a change, I get a lot of you guys". Just look at the number of senior management that have left this year alone.

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    Overstock.com2015-07-03
  2. Helpful (29)

    "Complete Mess"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Overstock.com full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I learned how senior management should not act. After going through this terrible experience I made great relationships with those who went through it with me.

    Cons

    Many employees compare employment at Overstock to an abusive relationship: senior management promises that they will treat the employees better, but it never happens. In one year there was 80% turnover in my department (marketing). A friend of mine spent 80 hours working over Thanksgiving weekend because upper management decided to change strategies the day before. I did not receive a bonus or raise because one of the directors spread lies about me. In the 5 years I was there, I had eight different VP's - seven of them were fired when I quit. The eighth one was fired 6 months after I left. Another friend of mine found that items were going missing from photo and commercial shoots. He went to his boss, who started an investigation. When the branding manager found out, she had the VP put an end to the investigation, and tried to get my friend fired. I could go on with many more experiences similar to this that happened to a friend or I.

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    Overstock.com2015-03-27
  3. Helpful (33)

    "Which way is the wind blowing?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Overstock.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Not usually asked to work long hours. I often get in around 10, and have only worked till or past 7 a couple times in over two years. I have never been required to work a weekend (some are, and often for little reason, however). -Dev teams are integrated QA and dev, with the tech lead coming from either track. Team mates usually look after each other. -All but one person on the team I started with has since been promoted significantly (and that one person doesn't seem to want a promotion). If you're on a team in the sunny side of management, advancement is easy. Some people even get custom made-for-them positions doing whatever they want. -The CEO is a passionate ideologue who follows his personal moral code and tries to promote his idea of good in the world. I don't always agree with his priorities, but I respect people who try to make a difference even when I don't always agree with them. And since I do agree with some of his things, I get to feel like we're doing some good in the world and not solely promoting overconsumption in order to trade environmental health in for temporary material profit like most retailers. -Sometimes your ideas as a dev for improving business ideas are listened to. I proposed an idea to a VP in a rare meeting I had with him once, and later found out another team had implemented it. There are also hackathons which you may or may not enjoy, but the ideas in them are often productionized as well. -There's an entire team dedicated to "Enterpise 2.0"--building platforms for the employees to communicate their ideas to senior management. The biggest outcome of this that I've seen is our now-amazing 401k (100% match to a percentage of salary with no vesting period), but there are also smaller things, like the construction of a staircase on a hill where many people slip trying to enter the building from a parking garage which was apparently positioned to serve other offices. -Obviously YMMV, but my manager genuinely cares about me and works to promote the personal and career interests of all of his direct reports. -Laidback culture where you don't need to wear formal clothes or act professional all the time. Overstock once did a commercial with Snoop and employees were invited to dress up and lip sync like the artist for the chance to meet him after a private performance he did for the company. Dressing up was cheesy and a little questionable given that the majority of employees are white, but nice to break up the monotony and be creative in a completely non-work related way. -I've been able to stay on the same team my whole time here and work on improving our product and code base--I'm quite passionate about that stuff, but unfortunately progress is treacle-slow due to tech debt and constantly changing priorities. -If you're lucky enough to work at Old Mill and not get transferred to Castle, the location is beautiful, with a creek and nature trail wrapping around the building and a clear view of stunning mountains from your window.

    Cons

    -The very worst is an extremely inconsistent work environment. Part of why I don't move teams is I'm afraid to. Some people are called in to work weekends for a senior executive's ego (even when there are known reasons the project can't deploy earlier even if they make this sacrifice). Others get chewed out by middle- or upper-management even when they're doing an excellent job. Still others get sidelined without enough work to do, put on projects that don't use the skills they were told they were being hired for, or stuck on dead-end, nightmarishly poorly managed long-term failures of projects. Not to mention all the people who buy houses or sign long-term leases only to be told they have to transfer to the other site on the far side of the valley. -Even without getting on a nightmare team, it's quite possible that senior management will decide that their horribly-managed project really just needs more "resources," and you'll get pulled into that letting all your hopes and dreams for both your continued employment at Overstock and the stuff you're actually supposed to be working on languish. -Many of upper management's (especially the CEO's) pet projects are pushed through at an absurd rate, sometimes multiple at once that are all top priority and all blocking each other at the same organizational bottlenecks that management is only very slowly and reluctantly willing to allocate resources to fix. The CEO has done things like commit publicly to the world that international Bitcoin integration will be live on a certain impossible date, and also bragged to the press about supposedly locking 40 developers in a room and sliding pizza under the door to get the original Coinbase integration out. You can imagine that those of us in dev have all been very leery about that. -Monday's #1 priority for your team that absolutely has to be dev-complete by Friday may be canceled Tuesday, revived on Wednesday with new requirements, revised on Thursday with tentative new completely different requirements that will be finalized by EOB, and then put on hold once it's deployed and is ready to flip on because business isn't really sure they got the requirements right. -Nepotism, brownnosers, politics, and firing those who aren't yes-men. I think these problems are the main reason for all the really poor judgment calls management makes, both in running projects and deciding what to do. You're frequently asked to implement something that's obviously a bad idea or that's just copying someone else long after they've cornered the market for that product, etc. You can't push back against that with any consistent degree of effectiveness (though if someone above you catches wind of it the bad decision may suddenly be un-scheduled after all), and you can't push back against the endless string of decisions to build up tech debt in order to get something out sooner, either. -Speaking of tech debt, yeah. There's areas of code that reliably make your skin crawl, and a monolithic app that takes over an hour to build. Any project to upgrade the code or eliminate an old framework usually takes years to complete, and most projects to restructure it are just never finished, and hang around cluttering up the code even more. Don't expect to be using cutting-edge technology because it just takes many years to get to the point where we can use it. -Working on projects that are constantly changed or canceled and that are of dubious value in the first place is dispiriting. -Some tech-stack decisions are awful, either because business wants to integrate with another Microsoft project, someone's convinced they need to buy a third EBI warehouse, or the architect in charge of a project has personality/ego issues. -Talent is getting weaker as the company expands, experienced people leave, and Java devs become vanishingly rare in Salt Lake. The onboarding/mentoring process is close to non-existent, and many who don't know code standards check in code unsupervised. Many teams of short-term contractors leave behind weak work that someone else has to maintain, or are simply incompetent and flounder unable to complete their projects. -While senior management is LGBT supportive, the dominant local culture is Mormon, so it isn't necessarily safe or comfortable to be yourself at work. -Almost all developers are white or Asian men. There are many comments, including from senior management, that create a hostile environment based on gender, race, or religion. For instance, there was a party at the Old Mill headquarters today with vacation giveaways. The CEO was joking at some winner that he should see his wife as back-up and pursue other women. I find this very uncomfortable. At a recent standup, a 15-year employee was given a hug by one of the senior executives, and the President made loud (misleading) comments about how they were kissing and getting all over each other and stuff like that. Once she told a story about how the CEO was having a conversation with Snoop and kept exclaiming in surprise about how he knew various educated-person facts/ideas. People with dietary restrictions are frequently harassed by their team mates even though those restrictions are religion-based. There was a "beard contest" with gift card prizes last November, and the directors running it refused to answer inquiries from employees about how that wasn't discriminatory, or about expanding it to be more inclusive. Every female development team lead I've ever heard about has been spoken badly of by the male devs, and the female President (who is herself a gender essentialist and has promoted gender stereotypes in the local news) is often accused in gossip circles of having slept her way to the top, even though her strong friendship with the CEO is more than enough to explain any perceived favoritism. Luckily microaggressions aren't something I witness every single day, but they've been happening a lot this week so it's on my mind.

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    Overstock.com2014-09-05
  4. Helpful (24)

    "Great place to learn ecommerce. Dangerous place to build a career."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Overstock.com full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Overstock is the last of a dying breed. It is the last broad-line etailer left that makes all of its money from e-commerce. While Ebay and Amazon make most of their profits from enterprise products, Overstock soldiers along making every dollar selling sheets, shoes and DVDs. As a result, you have to be good at etail because that's all there is at Overstock. And there are / were some good employees that know it well. Working at Overstock will help you learn ecommerce inside and out.

    Cons

    Senior Management - CEO and current President - have no interest in building a profitable business. There is a strange desire to follow a dream that will never come to fruition. Unlike Amazon's CEO, who is an engineer and a "doer", Overstock CEO is a philosopher, so majority of strategy or ideas follow the path of philosophy - words, but no clear actions. There is no real strategy, no real interest in pursuing a clear path to long-term profitability. The goal is to play in any sandbox the CEO is interested in - its a fun game for him, and he doesn't care because he has inherited hundreds of millions from his father. Executives who oppose this approach are terminated or pushed out. During my time there I saw some of the best leaders and executives walked out the door for opposing the CEO in even the most subtle ways. Pay is relatively low - it is Utah, so people are willing to take a cut to work there. Work-life balance is amazing - no reason to work hard when there is not real incentive to deliver results, or your own projects are killed. Politics are rampant - but they are easy to understand - they all center around doing exactly what the CEO and President say, no matter how inane.

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    Overstock.com2014-07-02
  5. Helpful (20)

    "Don't get your hopes up"

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

    I worked at Overstock.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Just like some of the other reviews mention, there is a great work/life balance here. The devs there tend to be pretty sharp and easy to work with. The project manager's I worked with were also great to work with most being industry vets. The IT side of the company seemed to be the most solid part of the company by far.

    Cons

    I'm more or less writting this review in response to the one left by "a company leader" on June 14th. The condenscending and belligerent response is something you will come to expect when dealing with senior management there. The CEO seems to be the genuine article and does seem to want to build a great company with real values. He's a big believer in the transparency offered on glassdoor and has urged employees on a number of occassions to get on here and leave their feedback about the company. So a lot of these reviews are essentially the complaints you hear around the office that never get dealt with and former employees are hoping that Patrick will see their comments and make changes to save what could be an amazing company. Think about what this leader is saying in regard to "sidelining" managers and departments. They've basically come out and admitted that the reviews stating that the executive team is hostile and difficult to work with are true. I don't have an MBA but setting up a separate DEPARTMENT to undermine the work of another seems to be hostile and just plain dumb. What makes this statement even more bizarre is that it is a well known fact that people there get fired all the time for reasons that have nothing to do with their performance so it should be a given that they would be terminated if they weren't cutting mustard. Think about it this way...there is a senior executive there who has left a public message here riddled with spelling and grammatical errors claiming that any ex employee's who leave negative feedback need to go to a support group. WTF??? In the very next sentence they bemoan the fact that they aren't firing enough people and anyone who has a "bad attitude" should just leave because slavery has been abolished. Are you starting to get the picture?

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    Overstock.com2014-07-23
  6. Helpful (3)

    "Gotta play the game"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Overstock.com full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    There is a truly diverse array of people working there, and most of the people you interact with on a daily basis will be friendly. There is also a huge emphasis on expanding knowledge, not only of the company, but of general business practices/software. Classes for any course offered by the training department are open to every person within the company, and schedules are accommodated to the times the classes are offered tin an effort to ensure attendance.

    Cons

    There is a tendency for abrupt terminations due to department micromanagement and personal bias of senior management/executives.

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    Overstock.com2013-01-24
  7. Helpful (7)

    "The once great to work for Overstock.com"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Overstock.com full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    In general the people are smart an good to work with. Everyone wants to do their job well and, with minor exception, has the ability to do so.

    Cons

    The senior management (VP level and above, with a few directors in the mix) cannot stay focused on an idea long enough to see it through. By the time a first release happens they have already lost interest and started to prioritize the next new thing.

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    Overstock.com2013-01-01
  8. Helpful (12)

    "Exceptional Downhill Slide In Past 2 Years"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Overstock.com full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - Culture - Close Involvement to Major E-commerce Projects - Resume Builder - Work Close with Executives - Location This review a few years ago would have been much different. It WAS a very positive place to work, but that was long ago.

    Cons

    - Senior Management - Dejected Workforce - Recent Braindrain - Wishy Washy Decision Making on Projects Causing Incredible Expense and Dissatisfaction by Those Working Hard Only To See No Fruit From Their Labor - Lack of Direction The decisions around company direction and project focus are very scattered. No two executives could tell you similarly what the direction of the company is. Projects are reactionary to what other sites already do, not innovative by any means. An amazing amount of resources and money are put into projects that are not thought through, resulting in complete stoppage of a project only to move on to something similarly thought through. Prices and quality of merchandise are poor, which is what the company should be working to improve, instead of looking to do everything it can as fast as it can. Instead of focusing on core values and a standard business model, anything and everything are brought to the table and pushed. The number of people with deep Overstock knowledge combined with industry experience and intelligence leaving Overstock is kind of staggering. I want to say it is due to firings (which have occurred often since mid 2011) but the truth is most are leaving on their own because they see a sinking ship. Confidence among workers is at an all time low. Per their own stated results, the only reason O.co made a profit in Q1 2012 is because overhead/workforce was diminished so severely. Unless significant change to senior management occurs, I fear this company is not going to survive or will become a shell of its former self. This is an opinion I've heard directly from internal employees including from multiple at the VP level. The board needs to require a change in action instead of letting the chairman and other SVPs run rampant.

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    Overstock.com2012-06-06
  9. Helpful (6)

    "Great business opportunity, terrible personal environment."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Director in Salt Lake City, UT
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Overstock.com

    Pros

    Great exposure to large-scale projects. Great opportunity to move ahead. Great opportunity to make connections in the ecommerce industry. Great fun for those not in management, or close to management. Excellent measurement and training internally.

    Cons

    Terrible senior management, excluding a couple stars. Political and destructive relationships. Bias toward 'yes' men/women. Fear used to motivate. Very little 'thanks' from VP and above. Reminds one of the birthday cake scene from Office Space--sad, really.

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    Overstock.com2012-03-22
  10. Helpful (6)

    "Always shifting like sand dunes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Associate Buyer in Salt Lake City, UT
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Overstock.com

    Pros

    Overstock.com is recognized (by our partners) as being a MORE professional environment, than many other online retailers. The benefits package is fair, and Salt Lake City is a great place to live and work.

    Cons

    There are some very basic retail functionalities that are absent from the site, like the ability to price by option. Overstock has the resources and employee talent to become a game changer, but senior management doesn't seem to rally the troops towards those kinds of focused objectives. Overstock seems to be a couple steps behind competitors sites in terms of functionality and vision.

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    Overstock.com2012-01-15

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