POPSUGAR Reviews | Glassdoor

POPSUGAR Reviews

Updated January 30, 2019
149 reviews

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3.4
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POPSUGAR CEO Brian Sugar
Brian Sugar
72 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "A respect for work/life balance" (in 13 reviews)

  • "They have a ton of healthy snacks, coffee, and in-house happy hours for when you're really on the grind" (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • "Work life balance can be a bit out of wack; it varies department to department" (in 10 reviews)

  • "There's a general lack of communication regarding strategy and vision" (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Had a really fun time there!"

    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 POPSUGAR part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of nice people, fun parties or gatherings and sometimes we would get free lunch!

    Cons

    Not much really, they do pay minimum wage, but that is standard in this industry.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Smart people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Each team is filled with highly skilled and determined individuals - I worked with marketing, editorials, engineering, video, etc. all teams across the board and all teams were enjoyable to work with.

    Cons

    Finding your growth path.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Good company with a positive culture, but salaries are not competitive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at POPSUGAR full-time

    Pros

    The health benefits and 401k matching are great. The offices are very pleasant. People are friendly and helpful.

    Cons

    Work life balance can be a bit out of wack; it varies department to department. Salaries are not competitive. Be aware of the value of your skillset and experience and what salary range you feel is fair for compensation (especially compared to your industry's average salary for your position).


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Popsugar"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at POPSUGAR full-time

    Pros

    Great direct team and interesting work.

    Cons

    Executive team is scattered and pushes innovation over practicality or functionality.


  5. "Snowball"

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

    I have been working at POPSUGAR part-time

    Pros

    Easy work. Short hours. Time passed by slowly.

    Cons

    low pay. Not worth it.


  6. "Fair, honest, real company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 POPSUGAR full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - management cares
    - collaborative
    - exciting
    - smart
    - fun

    Cons

    - short staffed
    - some long term editors are not the nicest

    Advice to Management

    Continue praising your employees and going above and beyond to ensure their happiness.


  7. Helpful (23)

    "POSITIVE? PURPOSEFUL? PLAYFUL?"

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

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

    Pros

    The opportunity to work with like-minded people, that you can bond over pop culture with.

    A great snack selection (until it was gone)

    Company phones/reimbursement plant

    Well-known brand, so you're able to make a lot of external connections with brands and celebrities

    Cons

    You're always expected to be "excited" about working at POPSUGAR and for anything that the brand is doing. If you call out any issues or potential problems you're often struck down with a passive aggressive email crafted by someone from the Editorial Management Team, which is funneled to your direct manager.

    Although they claim to care about POPSUGAR "values", those only represent what Brian and Lisa Sugar are interested in at the moment. There are many issues with diversity and sensitivity, and issues are often brushed off by empty promises and apologies...and lots and lots of tokenism.

    Time after time, POPSUGAR has had scandals due to really insensitive and racist content that goes live on the site. The leadership team's solve? Pretend it didn't happen and say "they have it under control".

    There's zero transparency about the business. Results are inflated and presented in a cult-like all hands meeting, where you're subject to bad jokes and cringe-inducing comments from Brian Sugar.

    The moment you stop drinking the POPSUGAR Kool-Aid (potential ad partner?) is the moment you become a "problem" within the company. I personally had a great career trajectory at POPSUGAR, and was able to take on a lot of fulfilling projects. My work was often praised and I was involved in a lot of important strategy conversations. Sadly, I was always underpaid and was never given a proper growth plan. When I inquired about this (multiple times) I would get the runaround, and end with an empty promise about growth and mobility the "next quarter".

    Despite my highs (and lows), I witnessed a lot of unfair treatment to other employees. Favoritism and nepotism are a key part of how the company is run. People are offered jobs, mobility, and promotions if you're close or related to the Sugars or any of their personal friends. The amount of "interns" we hired as a favor to a pal of the CEO is ridiculous. Most of the time these students weren't interested in the industry and were looking for something for their resume and an easy paycheck.

    The POPSUGAR Awards (a ceremony done yearly) is the equivalent of the Dundies, but worse because those awarded are obviously leadership favorites who have questionable ethics.

    Advice to Management

    We are passionate: Expand on your passions, think outside the box you've been living in for the past 12+ years. As the world changes adapt and allow new people to lead.

    We move fast: Don't sacrifice ethics in order to get ahead. It's clear and frankly lame to see a company trying to cut corners...and fail at it.

    We welcome change: Mean this when you say it at every all hands, and when you pass by it on your way to the snackless kitchen. Don't "punish" those who bring up new ideas and have complaints about old systems.

    We value our team: Pay your team well and give growth opportunities to those who exemplify good work and great spirit. No this isn't just the people who receive personal invitations to the Sugar household.

    We love to win: Give more opportunities to win to emerging voices AT ALL LEVELS. From interns to directors, hire people who are passionate about what PS is about and MUCH MORE. Be open to new ideas and progressive ways of thinking. Just because Lisa Sugar doesn't like something, doesn't mean it's always a bad idea...

    We are fans: If you're going to celebrate women...do it with ALL women. Don't be afraid to cover "risqué" celebrities or figures who are pushing the boundaries. Look to people who are actually starting conversations, not just people who the founder is a fan of. Also, it's completely contradicting to celebrate male "eye-candy" and shame women who are seen as "provocative".

    We are supportive: Before you celebrate diversity and inclusion in a happy hour, give opportunities to people from underrepresented communities to prosper at the company. Don't silence those who have an actual issue to bring up, and in return award those that "play nice" with the leadership team.

    We are kind: End the cattiness, and stop promoting those who continue to use petty tactics to get ahead.

    We are positive: No matter how sugary and sweet you make the company seem to the outside world, just know how bitter it is to come and work for a company that you feel doesn't truly care about ALL its employees.

    We collaborate: I wish I could give recommendations about how to fix your frankly subpar approach to diversity and inclusion...but I'm tired of harping the same tune. Just know that you're doing yourself a disservice by not allowing diverse voices to lead conversations. Surrounding yourself with the same people for 12+ years is not going to get you anywhere.

    We say cheers: Revamp the way reviews are done, and celebrate those who actually work around the clock to create content. Look into managers or directors who get repeatedly bad reviews and complaints. Stop with the excuses, listen to your team!

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Sugar, We're Going Down"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Tad bit flexible for those who commute

    Cons

    No clear vision
    Always felt like problems were just pushed to the side
    Multiple rounds of layoffs
    Ghost town offices
    Low Pay
    No support

    Advice to Management

    Focus on one big project at a time and give it your full effort and attention


  9. Helpful (11)

    "Run"

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

    I worked at POPSUGAR full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Some talented people, so decent networking opportunities.

    Cons

    POPSUGAR is the most toxic work environment outside the Trump cabinet. The reason is simple: a structure that allows favoritism and pettiness to thrive, while leaving some unsung employees to do the heavy lifting.

    For a company that publicly, and through internal all-hands pep rallies, espouses feminist values, positivity etc. POPSUGAR is laughably far from its values.

    Many employees are overworked, fed up, and feel no job safety while the company's overall strategy feels so poorly defined.

    Mobility for some, anonymous drudgery for most. Like high school, it all depends on whom you are friends with and how enthusiastically you join in the forced fun. Stuck at work 'til 8? Better take a break for the ice-cream happy hour, and smile, or you will be frowned upon.

    Advice to Management

    If you want people to "power their happy" give them a chance of work-life balance. The executive team needs to invest in its core business before branching off into numerous side projects.

    Tell the truth. If POPSUGAR is really "killin' it"? Why are there so many rounds of layoffs and a constant stream of good people leaving? All is not well, and you know it.

    A 50% female executive board is nothing to be proud of when the company is overwhelmingly female. Stop touting this as an achievement and do something about it.

    Listen to what your employees are telling you. You make a big show of wanting to know, but make barely cosmetic changes. This place needs a drastic overhaul, from the top down.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Stay far away"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 POPSUGAR full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some flexibility with working from home, depending on your supervisor
    Occasional perks - free table stocked with cool samples, etc
    Good pay for entry-level jobs

    Cons

    So much favoritism that it can be tough to see a future with the company for those who don't fit in
    Out of touch leadership/edit style - there is more to the world than rainbow unicorn floats
    Editorial team values quantity of stories over quality, so don't expect to leave with amazing clips
    Every few months there is embarrassing press
    Low office morale, feels like the site could fold any day

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent.
    Stop focusing on so many pet projects (beauty line, clothing line, Playground) and focus on being effective leaders.
    Your approach to diversifying your staff is clearly reactionary to the bad press you have received about certain culturally insensitive posts. It's tough to know if you actually care about representing a wide range of readers or are just tokenizing.