Overstock.com "senior management" Reviews | Glassdoor

Overstock.com Reviews

Updated Jan 22, 2019

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2.7
42%
Recommend to a Friend
100%
Approve of CEO
Overstock.com Interim CEO Jonathan Johnson
Jonathan Johnson
5 Ratings
  1. Helpful (16)

    "Very frustrating place to work, they are headed for a crash"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Senior Software Engineer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Overstock.com

    Pros

    Overstock generally hires smart people that are nice to work with. The location is very nice and composition is on standard with nation and generous for Utah.

    Cons

    Overstock has been one of the most frustrating places to do software development. I have heard software development at Overstock described as 'Mob Architecture' and cowboy development. You can literally be writing code and have someone else change it the next day and not talk to you at all (but its ok because they talked to Arch). Their biggest code base is their Shopping Site and it is a complete disaster. It is like no one thought at all about where to put code, who should maintain it and most code is placed where ever 'it just works'. When new projects are implemented usually little thought is put in place to design, but just what is quickest. The Architecture group mainly focuses on writing 'frameworks' that wrap just about every open source project they use (hibernate, jersey etc) in what I consider mostly fluff and unneeded abstractions of the true underlying framework. Overstock has created their own JSP like framework and their own dependency injection framework as well. They don't adhere to many basic pragmatic design choices (such as write once) maintaining many different internal libraries for model code that map the exact same behavior in a different library. Applications sometimes share the same table structure and communicate through database changes. They even have a reporting structure that tells the applications what to do through the database, there is no clear authority when it comes to data management. Communication between architecture and the teams varies quite a bit, depending on which person in Arch your working with (they don't communicate with each other either). Development teams are organized according to how the Business is organized, which on the surface works. But in reality leaves the development team vulnerable to the creativity of the senior management around the business entity. If you work for a Product Owner that lacks vision get ready for some uninteresting work (just do what X e-commerce site has already done), and potentially left for layoffs when push comes to shove. What the team works on is not collaborative at all. It is more like a hand me down of project work that is approved by senior management and left for the team to be excited about. When it fails that team is gone and the senior management chalks it up to a bad year. This recently happened when Overstock let go of 25% of it Developers and Testers, but not one senior management was affected even though it was widely known of some poor marketing decisions at the senior level brought about the bad year. And this was after they just hired quite a few individuals just 3 months previous! Overall I would avoid working for Overstock. Senior management doesn't allow for creativity on the team level. Domain ownership on a team level is almost nil. Company is headed for some rough times financially unless they start innovating!

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    Overstock.com2012-01-26
  2. Helpful (16)

    "Company has Strong Potential for Growth but Weighed Down by Terrible Senior Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Overstock.com

    Pros

    The Corporate Office is in a great location. There are scenic views of the Wasatch Mountains from the building with great hiking and skiing just a short drive away. PTO is given when needed. The company does a good job respecting the personal lives of the employees. I’ve never had trouble taking time off, even on short notice. The IT departments in the company do promote based on experience and you can be rewarded for hard work when positions above you become available. The company has a fairly loose internet policy and you are allowed to use YouTube or view other websites in your downtime. This has the potential for abuse, but very few websites are actually blocked from employees. Many midlevel managers are friendly and care about their employees and the quality of the work environment within their departments. They have limited power to solve problems but they will listen to your concerns. Overstock supports artisans from around the world by promoting their goods through the Worldstock program.

    Cons

    The CEO believes employees will work better when there is no barrier to communication. In most departments, this means that desks are crammed together back to back and side to side with no cubicle walls or privacy of any kind. In some areas there are over 100 employees in a single room. Employee screens are visible to anyone who cares to look. The open air workplace is incredibly noisy and distracting with no barriers to overhearing nearby phone calls, conversations, or meetings. This environment is a huge detriment to productivity. Overstock spends a lot of time on side businesses such as selling cars, vacations, or insurance which are often added to the business plan only to be cancelled shortly thereafter. The problem is not that these are terrible ideas but that they are poorly planned and not properly supported once implemented. Once started, the focus quickly shifts to the next big idea leaving the last one to flounder until it is quietly killed and removed from the website. While these side projects don’t affect the jobs of most employees, they are expensive to implement which directly affects the amount of money in the bonus and raise pool. Some of the recent projects cost millions of dollars yet were cancelled before even appearing on the website. The CEO and the SVPs have far too much power to push through projects in the company. If one of the executives has an idea, it will be implemented without being seriously vetted. Employees with expertise in their field are routinely ignored in favor of gut hunches from the executives. Those who suggest that an idea might not be in the best interest of the company usually do not last long, sometimes leaving of their own accord but oftentimes fired for some small offense. The fear of vindictive reprisals results in employees just doing what they are told to do without offering any suggestions, regardless of any knowledge that could improve the project. Overstock suffers from nepotism, with many managers, directors, and especially SVPs promoted based on how well they are liked rather than their experience. This has resulted in some exceptionally inept management. Because most of the SVPs have no prior executive experience, they continue to manage as if they were still team leads. Executive micromanagement of projects is a rampant problem throughout the company. It is not at all uncommon for SVPs or even the CEO to assign projects directly to an employee, often with unrealistic deadlines and no regard for whether that project even relates to the employee’s work responsibilities. Despite repeated claims to the contrary, the senior management at Overstock does not value the input of its workforce. Employees have been repeatedly told to keep constructive criticism to themselves, especially if it relates to a project that an executive is involved with. Employees who offer opinions, regardless of how well supported they may be, are usually removed from working on the project and sometimes fired. Employees are scared to give honest feedback and instead resort to giving false praise to obviously doomed projects to preserve their jobs. This causes many projects that could have been saved (or killed if warranted) in the early stages to fail after deployment. There are also a wide variety of subjects employees are repeatedly told not to ever discuss in any way, including the stock price (due to the CEO’s belief that outside forces are manipulating it to make it appear less valuable), lawsuits against the CEO or company, criticism of the CEO’s website deepcapture.com, or complaints about the CEO’s attack dog walking unleashed around the building and frightening employees. Occasionally a new employee will unknowingly mention one of these subjects and will be quickly told never to do so again. Most employees that I’ve spoken with view the company as a resume builder but not as a place for long term employment. The average turn over time is very short with employees of as little as two or three years being viewed as the seasoned workforce. Most employees leave within 18 months, even on the VP level. There have been 15 VPs in the marketing department alone over the last four years. This volatility results in a lack of overall focus as each VP has had a different view of the direction the department should follow. Employees are often shifted around between teams that need more people to support the new VP’s vision with little regard to the employee’s skill. Within six months of their hiring dates, most employees have changed desks and teams more than once, usually without any change in compensation. In addition to the volatility, there is little incentive for employees to stay as tenure does not come with increases to salary or PTO allotment and the company’s 401k matching policy is so poor that departing employees lose very little by not waiting to become fully vested. I would not recommend Overstock as a good place to work.

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    Overstock.com2011-10-30
  3. Helpful (5)

    "A lot of Potential"

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

    I have been working at Overstock.com

    Pros

    - Growing Company - Profitable - Work/life balance - Smart peers - Ability to do solve very complex problems

    Cons

    - Senior Management very reactionary when making decisions - Not allowed to do things the right way, have to do what Senior Mgmt wants - Many of the leaders only have work experience at Overstock; not enough to know industry standards and best practices - Senior Management is over departments they should never even be allowed to get close to. (i.e. SVP of Customer Service also over Marketing)

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    Overstock.com2011-05-11
  4. Helpful (7)

    "Below average experience with hefty bureaucracy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Overstock.com

    Pros

    Nice coworkers and one of the better views.

    Cons

    The bureaucracy is insane. You practically have to get your hands stamped everytime you lift a finger to do something. Senior management is getting better, but it feels like only a handful are qualified to run a billion dollar business. Internal supporting technology is at least 10 years behind, and there is a tendency to just pay the most expensive bidder to make a problem go away. Most of the qualified merchandising talent has left in the past year. Most businesses are run by recently promoted lower level employees trying to not screw it up too badly. Everyone is scared to death of layoffs, which happen with no rhyme or reason. Did I mention the bonus structure is nearly non-existent?

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    Overstock.com2011-04-18
  5. Helpful (8)

    "Overstock.com: Canon Fodder for your Resume--THAT'S ALL THOUGH"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Overstock.com

    Pros

    It looks good on a resume... OR at least it did when I left. Being able to work at what appears to be a industry leader for a couple year and make contributions looks good for future employers.

    Cons

    Oh where to begin... 1. Senior Management live in their own world completely oblivious to what is going on in reality. They are completely disconnected from the "worker bees" who really make the magic happen. 2. You might be an expert in your field, but Senior Management DOES NOT CARE. They are the VP's so they know best in their opinion. Despite most having no formal training or experience in the field they are managing. 3. Continuing with the theme, the nepotistic nature of the company, means that if you know someone and suck up enough you might get promoted to a position you hardly deserve. That leaves the rest of us wondering on a daily basis why and how these decision are made. 4. You are expected to be perfect. If you make a small mistake you could be fired so that the senior management can make an example, or appear to be handling the situation. This leads to people working in constant fear, and lying when they do make mistakes to avoid being a target. The irony being that if someone at the lowest level makes a mistake, it can be traced to the very top, and the faults of the management being the ultimate culprit. 5. On the flip side from #4 Senior management can often make mistakes, some costing the company hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, without any consequence. 6. Salaries are far from comparable. Needless to say if you work there or are considering, just look at how much the senior management makes below, and compare that to your salary (that should be a major clue for you): http://bit.ly/pmjWGI 7. I could go on, but you get the idea.

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    Overstock.com2011-09-01
  6. Helpful (7)

    "Hostile Work Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Overstock.com

    Pros

    Benefits are decent. Could be better, but at least we have them. When you know the right people, management is nice to you. They give you opportunities to grow. Getting time off approved is not a problem. For the most part, management is understanding of your life outside of work.

    Cons

    If you don't know the right people, or if you get on their bad side, work is horrible. Only one member of senior management is actually qualified for their position. None of the other members of management have ever had any actual training, let alone a degree. People with talent at Overstock are downtrodden because management fears they will be replaced by the more qualified individuals. New ideas are shot down, especially if the person is not well liked. Opportunities for growth are based upon personal preference rather than actual abilities. When given the opportunity for growth, no support is given or additional training for skills that would be useful. Good work is almost never recognized and mistakes are blown out of proportion. Communication from management is very poor. Promises are made but never kept. Bottom line, when you have to go into work and fear for your job everyday because of what you did or did not do, it makes for a hostile work environment.

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    Overstock.com2011-01-03

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