Pinterest Reviews | Glassdoor

Pinterest Reviews

Updated May 22, 2017
140 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.9
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Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann
Ben Silbermann
103 Ratings

140 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Best work/life balance I've seen in the industry due to a refreshingly mature leadership philosophy (in 14 reviews)

  • Great work environment, perks, free food etc (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Company is growing fast so expect frequent org changes and restructuring (in 11 reviews)

  • Pinterest is growing up from a startup to a large, established company, so there have been a few growing pains (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "Honestly the best."

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

    I have been working at Pinterest full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Every company talks about culture but I've never seen a place so clearly embrace and live up to its culture (in a good way). People at Pinterest are some of the smartest I've ever worked with (and I've worked at top companies in Silicon Valley) and yet they are truly NICE and Pinterest-y. And there's a drive and hustle there - people stepping into different roles and wearing hats as needed to get sh*t done. Very little ego, just drive.

    Cons

    Nothing significant that I haven't seen much worse elsewhere. There is the inevitable political game every once in a while but far less than other companies still and of course growing pains as the company has expanded quickly. The strong culture keeps a lot of these problems in check.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a great company"

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

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

    Pros

    We're building a billion-dollar business. Our user and revenue growth numbers are top-of-their class (I've read some pessimism on here, but it seems to stem from high standards - I speak as an analyst)

    Flexible PTO, and great perks (our chefs randomly leave treats like creme brulee and smoothies around the office)

    Smart people (truly best of the best) who ENGAGE every day to make Pinterest better and are genuinely nice to work with

    Beautiful office environment (architecture award-winning)

    CEO holds Q&A every Friday - and people aren't afraid to ask tough questions

    Thoughtful leadership team that listens, in sharp contrast to an industry often led by ego-driven extroverts

    Our work impacts a product LOVED by 100's of millions of users. I've never heard people speak about Instagram/Snapchat/Google with the fierce passion and love that Pinterest evokes for them

    Cons

    My team has experienced 3-4 re-orgs in 12 months. This reduces focus and harms productivity. We need time to stabilize

    Growing pains - too much tribal knowledge means it can take awhile to feel up-to-speed. Our tooling needs to catch up to our scale

    Advice to Management

    Focus less on constant tweaks/optimizing your org structure, and focus more on promoting the best people who make inspiring managers. Continue talking to IC's - you'll always learn the most on the ground.

    We've hired a lot of great people from Facebook and Google to build our ads business. As a result, we compare our product to these giants frequently -- but don't forget the value of hiring industry "outsiders" who bring a fresh perspective to our unique challenges.


  3. Helpful (17)

    "Not the same anymore"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Work/life balance
    Flexible PTO
    Interesting product
    Solid business outlook
    Fun events for employees

    Cons

    Bad middle managers, over-zealous PMs, and politics are the death of innovation and speed
    With a few exceptions, all early employees have left
    Lack of recognition from the higher ups

    Advice to Management

    Reduce bureaucracy and politics
    Stop focusing so much on revenue and build a better product first


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  5. Helpful (22)

    "Lots of growing pains"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good place for parents as working 9-5 is pretty standard. Food is great and company plans cute parties. People are generally nice.

    Cons

    Lots of bad managers and HR can't control them. HR itself is known to be full of women with really bad attitudes. "She's just like that, try to ignore how rude she is." They don't tell managers or execs to behave appropriately so bad behavior is tolerated. Constant re-orgs and no real long-term roadmap. Many people were pushed out in re-orgs and being fired without warning is pretty common.

    Advice to Management

    Get some grown ups in HR. Make managers go through training so they don't say wildly inappropriate things to their staff. Try to have some focus.


  6. Helpful (35)

    "Great product horrible leadership"

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

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

    Pros

    - Pay/benefits are great compared to other companies

    - Product is fun to work on and has lots of potential

    - Flexible PTO

    While this review is mainly negative the company does have sparks of people who are great to work with and will help with your professional development however these people seem to be leaving more and more and are being drowned out with people who are here to build their personal brand and leave.

    Cons

    - Lots of middle to upper management who are very inexperienced and do not understand what being a good manager entails. Often leaving lower management who are more experienced (but not early employees) left to deal with a lot of the issues.

    - Confusing promotion cycle that is used to promote favorites rather than as a guide to evaluate employees for each level.

    - Feedback system that gives little to no feedback besides fluffy words to make you feel good. Leaving areas for growth hard to determine.

    - A culture that promotes being authentic but often times people are too scared to give real feedback (or don't know how to do so without being rude) leading to an overly passive aggressive culture.

    - Too many people feeling they need to be clued into everything going on, leading to decisions that take sometimes 6 months to a year to get going. Actually this is so bad at Pinterest we created two teams whose whole purpose is to show us brainstorming videos but not actually ever ship anything.

    - Mobile culture that doesn't believe in writing tests but complains about regressions.

    - We do not understand how to evaluate good work on its own unless it comes with a dashboard with blue colors.

     All in all we haven't shipped anything of value in over a year. We take on bring projects that often times are solutions to a problem that doesn't exist. Management loves to show us videos of what Pinterest could be but will never take any steps to actually making it that way.

    If this is a company where you want to just come in and sit and do a few PRs a month, maybe do some experiments on changing the color of a button then come join Pinterest. You will find it very easy to work here even if that means in 3 to 4 years the company might not be around anymore.

    If you want to come and do hard work, figure out how make things scale, influence organizations or ship bolder product initiatives realize Pinterest will not care about that work and will not support you in trying to do that.

    Advice to Management

    The last few months management has seemed completely checked out.

    Get involved with your company more, talk to some of your ICs, reach out from the bubble you are currently in.

    Also for management do you really listen to those murmur survey results you get? For the last three surveys we've done the same 3 areas have gotten worse and worse. Do you plan to actually do anything about that?

    The product has a ton of value and just about everyone who works here can see that however burnout from ICs who are never recognized for hard work or innovation is a serious problem. When you turn around and realize your entire product is held together by duct tape maybe it's time to spend some time improving the base that you use to build everything on?

    But let me be clear, you are creating a culture where there is absolutely no reason to go the extra mile.

    Pay attention to your organization and try to show you care. For a lot of the good engineers left this is all they want to see in order to stay.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Full time engineer after solid internship"

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

    I have been working at Pinterest full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    * Good mentors and opportunity to make impact, even during a short internship. I wrote code that is still in use 2 years later!
    * Awesome internship program with all the swag/perks/events you expect out of silicon valley
    * HUGE monetization opportunity with large user growth prospects, too
    * Challenging work of scaling a product to 100s of millions of users, thousands and thousands of advertisers, billions of unique ideas

    Cons

    Tech debt and occasional management shuffles slow down the engineering team -> (new head of eng looks like she'll fix these issues)
    Pre-IPO startup means you trade cash for stock (less liquid) in terms of your compensation


  8. Helpful (41)

    "Horrific Year - Stay away!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very little pros. Cute office space. Free breakfast, lunch and dinner. Flexible PTOs. Good family benefits. Not sure what's with all the recent fake reviews from HR.

    Cons

    This year has been a nightmare for many old and new employees. Management shuffle every few weeks, reorganization of Engineering, Design and Product. Huge employee churn with many highly technical individual contributors leaving the company for better places like Facebook and Google.

    Fact is even though international growth looks pretty okay, the revenue is lagging behind very badly and it is very hard for employees to justify the lofty valuations. Management seems to think that all problems can be solved by management change / reorganization, and they have mistreated many valuable individual contributors that have left the company. The commerce initiative has also failed and the fallout is spectacular.

    This company is great for early employees that became middle managers. Most of them are clawing their way to stick around, stepping on others, because it is very hard for them to find similar positions at other more respected companies.

    Our engineering leadership is now led by either professional managers from second tier companies that lack technical depth, old employees that are just clocking in and out daily to keep their positions, or medaled professors that have very little practical know-how. ICs have very little opportunities to shine and many are already disillusioned by the constant organizational missteps.

    A few of us have very little faith in this company and are looking outwards for better opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    You have really messed up the organizational structure by picking the wrong leaders to lead the engineering organization. The discovery organization is in shambles, the 'research' arm is a joke, and your ads product is in tatters.


  9. "Software Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Pros

    Great workplace with lots of perks!

    Cons

    None that I can think of.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Keep going!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Pinterest full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great perks, great people, interesting work. It doesn't just pay lip-service when it says the company wants you to grow in more than your professional development.

    Cons

    Pinterest is growing up from a startup to a large, established company, so there have been a few growing pains. Leadership is aware of them and actively working to address them.

    Advice to Management

    Good job so far, though it might be useful to communicate the urgency of the mission a bit more clearly.


  11. Helpful (10)

    "Big opportunities"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Pros

    -- Historic opportunity to create a discovery product at the center of millions of people's lives. Lots of bigger social products exist (Instagram, Snapchat, FB, etc.) but none have dominated the discovery use case.
    -- Huge monetization opportunity (>50% of users actively want to shop on the platform) that has attracted great sales leaders.
    -- Healthy, professional working culture with real work/life balance. No constant 80 hour weeks or death march projects. Zero tolerance for jerks and abusive behavior. Unlimited vacation time and all the usual startup perks, and some very fun/unusual ones that appeal to creative people.
    -- Strong product/design co-founders who recognize and reward good work
    -- Amazing design talent. One of the best places to work with and learn from great product designers.

    Cons

    -- Turnover in engineering leadership has been too high, partially as a malingering effect of a poor previous Head of Eng. Just hired a new strong, highly-technical leader from Google/Baidu, who should hopefully turn things around and improve retention among the most talented engineers.
    -- Leadership needs to move much more aggressively to cut underperforming projects and allocate resources more effectively. Too many weak, long overdue products limp along in half-finished mode for a company of only ~1,000 people.

    Advice to Management

    -- Push teams to make more hard decisions when it comes to cutting underperforming projects and creating focus.
    -- Continue to make eng recruiting and culture a focus for improvement


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