Rocket Fuel Reviews | Glassdoor

Rocket Fuel Reviews

Updated March 17, 2017
235 reviews

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3.4
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Rocket Fuel CEO Randy Wootton
Randy Wootton
49 Ratings

235 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good work/life balance for most functions (in 23 reviews)

  • Free food, stocked kitchen, beautiful office space (in 25 reviews)

Cons
  • Business strategies & initiatives slow to produce results of growth (in terms of stock price etc) but heading in the right direction (in 10 reviews)

  • Typical growing pains of a fast-growing company, but nothing glaring (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Software Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Rocket Fuel full-time

    Pros

    Great people to work with. Many challenging problems to solve.

    Cons

    Not a lot of projects to choose from.


  2. Helpful (20)

    "A Confused Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Generous ESPP structure (although it hasn't been realized yet due to cratering stock price)
    Lunches
    Focus on technology

    Cons

    The CEO has a favorite saying he repeats whenever the Company changes corporate strategy, which is often. “We’re on a boat all paddling in the same direction. If you don’t agree or don’t want to paddle, get off.”, or something to that effect. What he doesn’t say is that the boat you are paddling on is also sinking, and to keep it afloat, every so often he’ll toss a few folks off involuntarily to keep the boat from sinking [that day]. He doesn’t know how to fix the boat, so it keeps sinking, and the process repeats itself.

    Simon Sinek has a great talk in which he says, “When we feel safe inside an organization, we will naturally combine our talents and our strengths and work tirelessly to face the dangers outside and seize the opportunities”. You will not feel safe working here and those that currently work at Rocket Fuel know this. Most are putting in 50% effort. The market has rejected Rocket Fuel, as evidenced by a ~$2 stock price (5% of its high), and if the stock does not recover significantly more bad things will continue to happen within the Company.

    The underlying technology at Rocket Fuel is good for a single purpose of playing the online advertising game. It uses machine learning algorithms to do so, most of which is above bar, some is not (think data). There’s lots of Company Kool-Aid to drink and there are smart people left, although the people that built Rocket Fuel and most of the people that worked there early-on are all gone but a few.

    There have been endless bad investments, such as buying a DMP (which is not even sold or able to sold anymore), over-investing in brand solutions that the market didn’t want, spouting off about how we’re going to bring AI to other industries (yeah right), and on and on.

    The prospects are bleak. Nobody will acquire Rocket Fuel since the business model sucks and they’re now an also-ran DSP. They now claim to be a predictive marketing blah blah blah. It’s just the latest in a string of attempts at differentiated positioning. Nothing has changed.

    I loved my time at Rocket Fuel, well most of it, and have fond memories of building something great with great people. Unfortunately the dysfunction is too widespread at this point.

    Advice to Management

    Accept that you are not as differentiated as you presume

    Rocket Fuel Response

    Mar 6, 2017 – SVP, People

    While it is unfortunate that your review is negative, we do know there are many Fuelers that do not feel the same way as you do. We are not confused as to who we are and what we want to achieve. Our ... More


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Rough and tumble"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Rocket Fuel full-time

    Pros

    A lot of really smart people. I think they are trying to do all the right things.

    Cons

    Morale is down. There's a lot of inertia to change. The ad-tech sector is a tough slog right now.


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  5. Helpful (9)

    "Not a bad place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Rocket Fuel full-time

    Pros

    Flexible time off, full stocked break room

    Cons

    Too many changes happening. Every year there have been lay offs for the past 2 years. Management needs to buckle down and really figure out where they want to take this company, rather than changing the course every so often.


  6. Helpful (9)

    "Almost & Still trying"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Generally good people trying to overcome poor decisions of original regime. In spite of the cons listed below, most people do want to work together so we can succeed. Employees are treated well with good benefits and other office niceties (in spite of some recent events).

    Cons

    Too many mid level management changes (5 different bosses in two years) and some new management hires appear to address immediate needs - time will tell if they are best long term solutions. From engineering perspective, too much holding onto old designs and listening to those responsible for original implementations. There is no effective project management; newer efforts are more concerned with process and not helping to improve the product.

    Advice to Management

    I don't have the answers - just observations
    1. Top level management has consistently and clearly stated high level goals and directions -- keep that message coming. But translate these down more clearly to the detail implementation. Interpretation gets really fuzzy as it flows to the masses. The OKR-15/5 system is not the answer - it is just corporate overhead.
    2. Listen to the worker's feedback from all locations, not just HQ - not necessarily how they say it (since some are overly passionate). But there are lot's of good ideas out there.
    3. Cut back on meetings and let work get done.
    4. Continue to treat employees well but you don't have to coddle us with a slew of gimmicky programs with awards. Not all millennials need to win ribbons for everything we accomplish.

    Rocket Fuel Response

    Feb 23, 2017 – Employer Representative

    Thanks for sharing your thoughtful observations.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Layoffs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Senior Credit Analyst in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Credit Analyst in Redwood City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Nothing good about g people off

    Cons

    Laying employees off now and then

    Advice to Management

    To care more about the Employees


  8. Helpful (11)

    "Strategic Programs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director, Marketing in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Director, Marketing in Redwood City, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Growing in a consolidating industry with a leading technology
    Sharp and passionate people at all levels
    New CFO with SaaS experience and operational rigor values
    Tough business decisions being made for the health of the company

    Cons

    Strategic direction - flavor of the month up till now.
    CEO ego - not deserved nor earned yet.
    Attrition - hard to get traction and keep it going
    Morale is low, cash is tight, employees are fatiguing

    Advice to Management

    Make a plan, validate the plan, stick to the plan. Hold all executives equally accountable. Open your office doors, get out and be visible amongst employees. Check in- say hello. 2016 was pretty tough - the ones still there are not convinced of your intentions - walk your talk!!

    Rocket Fuel Response

    Feb 23, 2017 – SVP, People

    Thanks for the review and advice. You are right - with all the planning, year-end and new year kick off, earnings and board meetings, we have been in our offices way too much. Connecting with ... More


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Friendly place, poor compensation"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Redwood City, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Redwood City, CA
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    It is a very nice place to work. The people are very supportive, the culture is very informal. There are plenty of opportunities to learn, explore and grow at RocketFuel! The work is very interesting and people are extremely open-minded and smart! Besides, there is free lunch, snacks, dinner (for Engineers) and a free gym membership that beats even some top Companies. This place has offered me a lot experientially and holds a special place in my heart!

    Cons

    Speaking as an engineer, upper management doesn't seem to realize that experienced employees are extremely valuable. Engineers keep on leaving in hordes and no one seems to care enough to incentivize staying! They think that money is better spent towards hiring 70 new engineers and paying them while they stumble through the codebase for a year than retaining the efficient hard-working ones who are familiar with their systems and available at the drop of a hat to fix issues! What a shame!

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your experienced employees.

    Rocket Fuel Response

    Feb 23, 2017 – Employer Representative

    Thanks for the input. We are going through our annual performance and bonus cycle, which should hopefully address some of your compensation concerns. Experienced employees that believe and bring a ... More


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Need to watch out now"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great CEO
    Great remaining employees after two rounds of 11% layoff in 3 years.

    Cons

    Diminishing revenue year after year.

    Advice to Management

    Need to build management team with good human qualities.

    Rocket Fuel Response

    Mar 6, 2017 – SVP, People

    We appreciate the review. We are investing in management training and recognize that being authentic, genuine and humble are key attributes to having an engaged relationship with employees.


  11. Helpful (13)

    "No sense of security"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Rocket Fuel (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people at the company are amazing. I love who I work with and that is what is keeping me here.

    Cons

    Unless you are an engineer your job is not safe. We have had 2 rounds of layoffs in 6 months. Teams have been cut in half and company confidence is really low. Execs say the company is strong but the layoffs prove otherwise.

    Rocket Fuel Response

    Jan 13, 2017 – Employer Represenative

    It is understandable that during cost reductions and position eliminations that you feel uncertain. These decisions are never easy for a company, knowing it impacts employee's lives. These are the ... More



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