Rosetta Stone Reviews | Glassdoor

Rosetta Stone Reviews

Updated November 6, 2017
64 reviews

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John Hass
6 Ratings

64 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • convenient because I work from home, (in 15 reviews)

  • Rosetta Stone is a great company that offers good managements, work life balance and competitive compensation (in 15 reviews)

Cons
  • The upper management was not as good as they could be at making tough decisions or conflict resolution (in 35 reviews)

  • Senior management was only focused on egos and had a difficult time managing people as well as profits (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Abysmal Culture, Stay Far Away"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Rosetta Stone full-time

    Pros

    -Good company mission
    -Fair compensation and benefits

    Cons

    -Like many mentioned, you cannot trust HR. They're not here to serve the people. They're here to keep the stock market in a good place.
    -The company doesn't put it's people first. The high turnover, tears in the workplace, and anxiety among employees reflects that.
    -People who create a toxic environment are promoted and encouraged
    -Lots of backstabbing at every level of the organization
    -Penny-pinching culture. It's only about cost savings. Not a fun environment if you've worked at a high growth company before.
    -Little to no product innovation. The company rides on its brand but soon the brand will be gone, then they'll be eaten up by new innovative technologies on the market.
    -Lack of advancement. It's rare you'll be promoted, unless you tout yourself or throw a fit
    -If you actually care about the company mission and the company, forget about it counting towards your future at this company.
    -Absolutely abysmal office environment because of the lack of resources and budget put towards employees and the toxic culture, or lack of culture for that matter

    Advice to Management

    -Seriously rethink your entire culture strategy - it's not enough to just have values
    -Train upper management to foster an inclusive, collaborative culture
    -Invest in your workforce to keep people happy and the revenue will show for it


  2. "Product Team: Wasted talent. No real strategy."

    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 Rosetta Stone full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    A lot of smart, talented people here (but they are leaving quickly).
    People genuinely care about coworkers.
    Unlimited PTO is real.
    Work-life balance is good.
    Work from literally anywhere.

    Cons

    Annual lay offs of really smart, talented people. Layoffs happen every March. Even though this is a regular occurrence, it's handled poorly overall from both the perspective of someone who survived and was laid off.
    Many others are seek new positions elsewhere and are leaving in droves.
    Absolutely no advancement opportunities within Product for most employees.
    Team leads are either unwilling or unable to speak truth to power.
    So much wasted talent. They have the talented people who care about the product, but they just can't seem to get a good leader in place to make something great.
    Agile isn't truly agile. Product teams consistently place engineering effort over customer experience. UX team is gutted and doesn't have a seat at the table for direction and strategy. Customer experience really suffers from this.
    No real iterating. Rush to put a feature out there with a ton of known issues and then move on to something else entirely instead of iterating to make the product better.
    No overall roadmap for products.
    Bonus structure is ridiculously complicated and stacked so that Lexia, which is successful, is separate.
    CEO is Goldman Sachs guy.

    Advice to Management

    Put a real, meaningful strategy in place and let the whole Product team in on it. Strategy does not equal features in a PI planning, but actual goals and roadmap for the overall product(s).

  3. "Sales Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great product and it works

    Cons

    Should have partnered with Google or Apple. Jerky sales system. Sometimes 5 different prices on same product

    Advice to Management

    Have District Management know what they are doing


  4. Helpful (16)

    "Realize that the non-5 star reviews here are the honest ones"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Rosetta Stone (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Over my time with Rosetta Stone, I truthfully can say that I was treated very well while working at the company. In the product organization, nearly everyone just worked incredibly well together, with very little conniving activity (with the exception of a few bad apples, but eventually are weeded out because of a poor culture mismatch).

    I was always given much respect by my manager and colleagues and also given the opportunity to change my career path or try something new within the organization on a different team.

    The product org is almost completely distributed, meaning you will certainly be working with a virtual team across the US and India. If you enjoy working from home, the fact that the teams are set up this way will ensure little reason to get into the office unless you choose to for the social aspect. Very few managers are actually located in the same city as they direct reports (speaking for the product organization only).

    The company used to offer some offices, not all, a plethora of snacks and drinks but due the poor financial state of the company, this was discontinued.

    There are a lot of caring people within the product organization and if you are fortunate enough to get one of these people as a manager, you will certainly be in good hands with them at your back. There seemed to be no micromanagement that I ever bore witness to.

    The unlimited PTO is a nice touch to have available, as long as it's not abused obviously. I do suspect this change was made due to the high number of layoffs that occur so the company wouldn't be obligated to pay out vacation time in states where this is a legal obligation.

    Cons

    Realize, that all of these gleaming reviews here with little context saying how great the company is and how it's experiencing growing pains are almost certainly being produced by the HR department. Before you get too involved with a role with interviewing for a role with the company, take a look at the very poor company performance over the past few years. It has only trended down, and while I hope this changes there is little to point that this will happen.

    The truth is that your future is about as uncertain as the direction the company's own. Year after year, they have had massive layoffs, typically laying off hundreds of employees. There is not much you can do to protect yourself either, as they layoff every role from Kiosk workers to developers. Make sure you are keeping an eye out for new jobs around the end of February to mid-March each year, because as certain as there will be a new iPhone each year, Rosetta Stone will be laying off employees.

    The direction that the company decides to pursue has changed countless times over the past few years. Every couple of quarters you will hear about a new "pivot" that the company is deciding to pursue because the previous one isn't working out. While this impact on your complacency with the role you're in would be minimal, it's rather annoying as you will certainly be shifted around from project to project before the products you're building can get to a point of maturity.

    Please note that day-to-day life is not miserable as the people you're working with are a bunch of great people. You won't be unhappy here because of a poor work environment, I just don't believe you will ever get a strong sense of permanency due to the continuously shifting company direction and annual layoffs.

    Also, the pay is not on par with the industry standard; it is much lower which is understandable when there is little profit being made.

    Advice to Management

    You've done irreparable damage to the company morale. For those that remain until the company is acquired or the profit starts flowing in, there will need to be a large campaign to ensure those individuals can build trust again.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Poor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Management in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Management in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Hard working/smart people. Life-work balance is good depending on department you work for. Friendly team.

    Cons

    Maybe better with new CEO - before new CEO poor decision making, scattered identity of product and vision, non-cohesive executive committee. Almost functions like a start up, focus on bottom line and no investment in employees.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Run don't walk...."

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

    I have been working at Rosetta Stone full-time

    Pros

    Unlimited PTO, work from home, and smart caring people.

    Cons

    The company is not turning around, and now is succumbing to the combination of bad decisions from acquisitions and layoffs. Political infighting is the norm not the exception.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs no advice at this point, we are lead by a CEO who is a specialist in decomposing companies. He knows what needs to happen next.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "a marketing company, not an ed tech company"

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

    Pros

    At a small scale, I worked with some really great folks here. That's what made the experience a bit of a tragedy. My co-workers were positive, energetic, and fun. Unfortunately, they were good people on a rudderless ship.

    Cons

    Faced with the danger of getting its lunch eaten by younger, more innovative startups in the language learning space, Rosetta Stone made a vague stab at modernization in 2013 and promptly aborted that effort in 2014. Management decided that innovation in education or technology was not the course the company would take and resumed allowing the company to be led by sales and marketing, dooming it to the slow death of attempting to squeeze every last drop out of a formerly very successful and innovative product, while neglecting any future.

    As inevitable rounds of sweeping layoffs came, they were done carelessly, seemingly at random. I watched far too many excellent people get cast off without warning, before finally deciding to leave myself.

    This is not a company for engineers, designers, or product developers. It's not a company that values innovation or cares much about its product and its future.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Steadily declining"

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

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

    Pros

    Coworkers are generally great, unlimited PTO, flexibility in schedule and work environment is very helpful. Some of the management is fantastic.

    Cons

    There used to be so many more pros. The company has made terrible decisions over the last few years in acquisitions leading to a mostly horrible portfolio of products. Rather than fix anything, they continue to lay off anyone who knows how to use it and then push sales to sell a more than sub-par program. As someone who works with K-12 I constantly feel guilty when selling some products to schools because it feels like they are wasting their precious budgetary funds on garbage. Upper management changes plans to combat the stock being in almost constant free-fall and the rest of the employees have to deal with their poor judgment. Laying off an obscene percentage of the workforce just to make ends meet and not having someone competent to see who is actually valuable was in incredibly poor choice. The remaining employees suffer due to the ignorance of upper management.

    Advice to Management

    Find someone who knows what they are doing and put them in charge. It seems quite unlikely thought because most people would be disinterested in jumping off a lifeboat and swimming back to the sinking wreckage of the ship to try to organize.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "a special place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ashburn, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ashburn, VA

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

    Pros

    flexibility on work location, some talented colleagues passioned by the mission, still strong brand, interesting projects

    Cons

    too much change management and at times lack of focus. Very aggressive goals - unachievable for most part...lack of HR, talent management support


  10. Helpful (1)

    "High highs and very low lows"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexibility and very laid back atmosphere. Decent pay only if you negotiate. Great location in Arlington. What keeps employees there are their colleagues.

    Cons

    No clear direction. Management does a 180 and changes direction every few months. Company is going downhill and many are trying to get out of there. Several people "in charge" are extremely unprofessional and unethical.


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