RealNetworks Reviews | Glassdoor

RealNetworks Reviews

Updated April 15, 2017
37 reviews

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RealNetworks Founder, Chairman & CEO Rob Glaser
Rob Glaser
15 Ratings

37 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good work/life balance (depending on team) (in 36 reviews)

  • Smart people who want to achieve results but all kowtow to the CEO's whims (in 20 reviews)

Cons
  • Senior management is dismantling the company one piece at a time because the only control they seem to have is further job cuts (in 16 reviews)

  • Much of upper management are stuck in their old way of doing things (in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (7)

    "Hellhole"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - bike rack
    - view from the 6th floor

    Cons

    CXOs - There are companies with bad cxos, then with terrible cxos. And then there’s RealNetworks. Paint a rosy picture, carry out re-orgs to show progress, re-jig the team culture and keep fooling the employees. After 4 months it's back to square one with more quarterly losses, more budget cuts and more layoffs.

    The CTO is highly incompetent. Not seen one good technical initiative come out of him. Same with the President of the company. Fire these jokers guys right away.

    Social embarrassment - Each time you are asked in social circles "So, where do you work?", you better be prepared with a good line to answer follow-ups like "Really, is that company still around? What do they build now? Does anyone even use those products?".

    Career Growth - Not much once you get comfortable in your role. You will work on features that lag competitors by several years. Nothing impactful about the projects you will be working on. With experienced developers/architects having left there is not much to look forward in terms of learning and mentorship. Zero technical leadership. Lowest team morale ever seen.
    In technology group - Anyone who’s joined relatively recently (within last 2 years) were smart enough to quit quickly :)

    Compensation - Below market pay. Annual raises is peanuts. No bonuses. Nothing great about benefits either.

    Products - Not a single good and innovative product. A media player, a realtimes app that can’t survive the competition. A ringtone product in today’s world? Why God why?!!
    Optimized codes, that no one gives s*it...good luck!

    Marketing - Between the bad cxos and bad products, is the complete and utter disgrace that is the marketing department. Did nothing during early launches to seize the market and doing nothing even now. Please get rid of those clowns.

    HR - Height of passiveness. Zero initiatives. Monkeys in the hands of the CEO but maybe with a slightly longer leash than what the other VPs are on.

    Layoffs - Every 4-6 months. Started with individual offices at Elliot Ave. Now, downsized to 1 floors at the current space. Each time the ship is close to sinking management will offload some individuals.

    Advice to Management

    Good you understood you can NEVER ever catch up with services like google photos. Instagram and FB moments/live/360 which are almost free. Do the same for other products too.

    Stop giving anecdotes from glorious past at company meetings. All it conveys is how bad your decisions have been that got the company here in the first place - spiral path toward a total shutdown.

    Get rid of all the YES men who never challenge or ask questions to cxo/higher management even on their stupidest decisions.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Matter of time, the end is near"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at RealNetworks full-time

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule, good pto, friendly team.

    Cons

    Company has no growth or revenue potential. Layoffs almost twice a year. Plenty of directors, VPs, managers, but no one to actually do the work. Spending and investing in product lines that are not competitive.

  3. "Playing too safe"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at RealNetworks full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Work culture and flexibility, work - life balance and base pay (only if you negotiate in the offer)

    Cons

    Afraid to make change or be creative in dealing anything

    Advice to Management

    Be creative and bold!!!


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Don't bother, it's not worth it."

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

    I worked at RealNetworks (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Decent benefits, genuinely nice coworkers, nice office

    Cons

    Yearly major layoffs and frequent cost cuts seem to be the only way managers know to adjust financials. In return, operations have gone from slim to severely understaffed. On top of layoffs, countless employees who have worked here for a long time keep quitting left and right, and employee retention seems to be the last thing on management’s to do list.

    Despite continuous resignations, managers refuse to backfill, and keep adding work onto existing employees. Morale is very low, and everyone wishes to offload work onto each other. Meanwhile people’s titles and pay do not correspond to the major responsibilities added on top.

    Management fails to accept the fact that the company has gone from large to medium size. We are earning slim profits while trying to stick with processes and metrics of a large size company. The company is focusing on a paid product that most consumers expect to be free these days, company outlook is negative in general and often time that seems to be the elephant in the room among upper management.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees well, if you are going to keep adding more work, at least give them the compensation and titles they deserve.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Director"

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

    Pros

    Great people working on some interesting technologies. The benefits were above average and pay was in the ballpark with most of the larger players in the Seattle area high-tech arena.

    Cons

    Constant churn in personnel from the top down. Unceasingly flailing strategies (and I hesitate to use that term as nothing since 2006 looked like a real corporate strategy). If it's possible to have less than zero clarity from the executive suite, RN achieved this.

    Advice to Management

    At this point, I think it's beyond redemption. Continue selling the pieces and let folks get on with their lives.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Not a place to have a career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Software Test Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Lead Software Test Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Generous pto. Decent open office. Free snacks. Flexible work hours. Good work life balance.

    Cons

    Very few hardworking employees and they are leaving. Bad managers at all levels. Rampant cronyism and favoritism. The ceo and executives are terrible at direction and strategy. Real has the worst marketing group I've ever seen.

    Advice to Management

    Stop going around in circles. Fire Rob. Not your developers and engineers.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Executive Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice office. Co-workers in general were nice. Free snacks.

    Cons

    Absolutely no work/life balance if you work for CEO.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Great People at a Luke Warm Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Development Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at RealNetworks full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Everyone working at RealNetworks below an executive level is great to work with. RealNetworks has a great history of hiring friendly and hard working people for many of its available jobs. The atmosphere recently switched to an open office style, and that has greatly helped to bring teams together and open communication. Despite constant re-orgs, the teams still continue to excel despite constantly changing product requests and direction.

    Cons

    Almost everyone at an executive level and up is incompetent and completely closed to advice or criticism. Everyone below is open and freely communicates and works together on projects, but all the executives and up still follow a strict waterfall methodology. They are not open to even creative or constructive criticism, and are often outright aggressive if you bring up a disagreement (even in a constructive and positive manner). The CEO and founder, Rob Glaser, runs the company like it's his own little playground. He no longer has any sense of the industry or what users want, but still makes decisions on huge components without and forethought or insight on the outcome. He, as well as the board of directors and product visionary, frequently make low level decisions against informed advice, then flip those decisions on a whim before even releasing the product. Much time and resources get wasted on ill advised features which end up getting removed before release anyways. The company has been on a downward slope for years now and continues to make poor decisions due to the CEO, board of directors, and a lack of true product/company focus. There have been regular layoffs for the last few years, without replacement hires, which leads to many people having to take on multiple roles. This leads to a stressed out environment and frequent low morale, plus a bleak outlook on the future of the company. It's never a good sign when people would rather be laid off so that they can at least get a severance package before the company closes it's doors.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to users, push back on the executives, push back with Rob and the board of directors. They are seemingly untrained and ineffectual in practically everything they do, they need someone to tell them no and stand by that. They need educated advice on what direction to take the product and the company because they clearly don't know themselves.


  9. "HMS Titanic - Rudderless and Slowly Sinking"

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

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

    Pros

    * There are some amazingly great people who really care about the product and user experience.
    * The Seattle HQ is an impressive building
    * The cafe has some free drinks and snacks
    * Great if you want to work on some good technologies to bump up your resume.
    * HR team and benefits are quite good.

    Cons

    * The really great people who care about the product and user experience are not listened to by mgmt. If they did not come up with the idea, it does not exist
    * The impressive HQ building is mostly empty and empty spaces are the norm.
    * Insane work hours chasing ever changing "shiny objects" or pet ideas of management. Getting an email at 10PM for a "just added" 7AM meeting is not uncommon.
    * Many of the vacated positions are either not backfilled or are shipped to overseas countries where the senior management came from.
    * Burning through money with overseas boondoggles.

    Advice to Management

    * Either start listening to and valuing the opinions of the remaining employees who care or continue the exit plan for the company.
    * Just because you or your boss did not think of the idea does not make it a bad one.
    * Quit thrashing the employees with scope and schedule changes.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Don't waste your time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QA Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - QA Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    A good place to learn and experimenting for newbies to tech. world

    Cons

    No clear vision, high turn around

    Advice to Management

    Stop the "empire-building" strategy and really evaluate the performance of upper management folks who have been with the company for more than 5yr.


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