Samsung Research America Reviews | Glassdoor

Samsung Research America Reviews

Updated August 10, 2017
173 reviews

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3.0
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Samsung Research America President Yongje (YJ) Kim
Yongje (YJ) Kim
26 Ratings

173 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Decent benefits - All bonuses are in cash - I found the work life balance manageable (in 10 reviews)

  • Good benefits, smart colleagues, Silicon Valley management is good (in 19 reviews)

Cons
  • Labs report to HQ in Korea, but most employees don't understand what HQ wants (in 11 reviews)

  • work life balance and hq management (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "IP Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IP Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - IP Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Samsung Research America full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    As a person who is involving the IP matters, anybody could get the best opportunity to learn all about the IP matters because SRA has been developing the cutting-edge technologies like VR, AR or AI so that it definitely could provide the environments to experience all IP matters from prosecution to legal claim or litigation incurred in U.S. I really have been satisfying with my carriers in SRA.

    Cons

    There is no Cons at this time.

    Advice to Management

    None


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Anything but research"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Researcher in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Researcher in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    -Good balance between life and work. I saw many Samsung reviews that complain about working too much, but I believe that is not the case at SISA.
    -Food is excellent

    Cons

    -Research is not the focus. Keeping HQ happy -whatever that means- is. Just look at the number of publications coming out of Samsung: is really little.
    -Leaders are seriously incompetent, but HR tops them. Management is selected according to very random criteria (age, years of experience) rather than ability to do actual research.
    -Benefits are bad when compared to other companies. You start with 10 days of vacation, and you only get awarded 25.. after you have been in the company for 25 yrs!
    -This is a korean company within Silicon Valley - literally. Keep this in mind before joining.

    Advice to Management

    You are in Silicon Valley: embrace it! Instead of having a mini-Seoul location, get some good people from all over the US (mainly good managers and leads!!) and give them some tech goodies: ability to telecommute, a fun work environment...and yes, bring research back.

  3. Helpful (7)

    "Very incompetent management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Researcher in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Researcher in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Very very few. If you want to work for a company where everyone does absolutely nothing, this is your dream job.

    Cons

    Management is completely incompetent. This is supposed to be a research center, but no group is focusing on getting papers published in good conferences. Mainly because management is unable and incapable of doing that.

    And this is a very very sad company. Do not expect any sort of happiness inside SISA, or even seeing a smile when walking through the building.

    Advice to Management

    It would be appreciated by your reports if you read recent publications once in a while. That might help reach your goals.


  4. Helpful (11)

    "not a good company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Researcher in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Researcher in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    it is a well-known company worldwide and have good products.

    Cons

    the manager dominate the whole group by using his very subjective power and opinions. no smile on group member's face. everybody just come here for work, no fun, routine job for living.

    Advice to Management

    act like a top-tier company from an open and democratic country. USA is not Korea.


  5. Helpful (16)

    "Poor management + Demoralizing workplace = Designers' graveyard"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Designer in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Samsung Research America full-time

    Pros

    Competitive pay, job security (no lay off), subsidize lunch

    Cons

    Poor benefits, no stock options, little vacation, poor management, demoralizing environment, big egos, terrible infrastructure (poor IT support, ineffective internal processes etc.)

    If you’re a talented designer, or a designer with any integrity, Samsung’s UX Center is not for you, unless you join the right lab. Some UX labs have deceiving titles, where "innovation" is completely overrated. Lab director (or Manager) is incompetent, with absolutely no idea how to run an effective UX team. Full blown office politics, where people fight a lot to get attention. There is no collaboration within even a small team, and the manager is too incompetent to resolve any conflicts. The management level is eager to please our Korea HQ, but constantly fails to convince. The only thing this lab director cares about is the number of patents filed, so he can look good and receive his year-end bonus.

    Full-blown favoritism is in constant display. Some Sr. level designers don’t even have any design background, nor do they design anything. But the management will always protect them while other team members are sacrificed instead.

    Designers are treated like tools within the lab, even when they are the most pivotal role in the design lab. Here are some tips I learned to survive in Samsung’s UXC: 1. Please your manager, do not challenge them. 2. Always remember your manager can be a jealous animal (who'll be threatened if you outshine them in front of other VPs from HQ or the Center) 3. Forget about HR, they’re utterly useless and will never be on your side 4. Learn how to deal with big egos 5. Learn how to be happy in an extremely demotivating environment.

    Advice to Management

    Make effective decisions, even if it means taking out certain toxic employees who are detrimental to the operations of the entire team. Bring in a motivating and humble UX leader who understands design and turn this around. Give all employees a voice and listen to them. Allow employees to give performance reviews to their managers. STEP UP and value your designers so the UX lab can be truly "innovative".


  6. Helpful (14)

    "Heartless company making 3rd world quality, derivative products"

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

    I worked at Samsung Research America full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Medical benefits, business travels, and not much else really

    Cons

    The following are the negative aspects that are commonly experienced when working at Samsung:

    • Korean management, who were sent to the U.S. from Samsung Corp. in Korea, makes all of the decisions.
    • Non-Korean managers and employees are put in place to keep up an "American" appearance.
    • Management will favor ethnically and culturally Korean employees.
    • Culturally Korean employees will have work-related conversations in Korean in front of non-Korean co-workers.
    • Majority of managers are severely incompetent and have very little skill or expertise.
    • Working style emulates the military (probably Korean military).
    • At Samsung, female workers are second class citizens who need to feign traditional, submissive roles. Sometimes, they literally walk behind the male employees, especially if they are culturally Korean.
    • Employees work very hard to "compete" by analyzing competitor's products & features.
    • Compensation will be below par when compared to competing companies, unless you were an A level employee at the competing company, i.e. A, F, G, & N, who Samsung would like to poach in the area.

    If you are currently working for one of the top tier companies, please be well advised and make a better choice for your career.

    Advice to Management

    Please happily march along while Samsung declines worldwide.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Lots of politics and very little gets done.. No career growth. No recognition."

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

    I worked at Samsung Research America full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    You can learn Korean by sitting in Meetings :-) (which are plenty BTW)

    Cons

    Zero Career growth
    Zero Recognition
    Micro management

  8. Helpful (6)

    "I worked for Samsung Mobile Solution Lab (MSL) in San Diego for 2 years"

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

    I have been working at Samsung Research America full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Stable, flexible and research work environment.

    Cons

    Senior management are unexperienced, arogant and incapable to mange the lab.
     Neoptism and favoritism are very popular during the company, especially if you are Koreans you are in their loop otherwise you are out of the loop
    Their demand is unclear with high expectations. There is no roadmap and direction in the lab.
    All the decisions are made under closed door, there is no presentation by the executive about their future plan. Everything is secret.
    You have to work with HQ but they are reluctant to collaborate.
    People work very hard and prepare quality work but are always criticized by executive and the executive never appreciate their work.
    The EVP is an autocrat and very hard to work with him.

    Advice to Management

    Hire some experienced people for your executive and directors. Run the lab like a US company with open culture not like a dictatorship. Take care of your employee and appreciate them


  9. Helpful (7)

    "A Very Korean Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Director in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Samsung Research America full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good medical benefits unless you want Kaiser, which they removed. Lunch is subsidized but pretty poor quality.

    Cons

    Decisions are all made in Korea

    Advice to Management

    No point in making false promises about "changes" since no change is possible unless HQ approves. And that won't happen since changes are a threat to HQ management.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Confused and indecisive MSCA Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director, Department Head in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Director, Department Head in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Samsung Research America full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Ample opportunity to contribute if the MSCA management gets time off power struggle and if the management decides to do anything.

    Cons

    Confused management, no direction and no vision, plays favorites, top down, no communication. It is difficult to know who is doing what. Execs are tied up in power struggle.

    Advice to Management

    Get your act together and define a vision, stop playing favorites, and execute. At least empower those who are delivering.


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