Silicon Valley Bank Reviews | Glassdoor

Silicon Valley Bank Reviews

Updated April 5, 2017
28 reviews

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Silicon Valley Bank President & CEO Greg Becker
Greg Becker
16 Ratings

28 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • the work-life balance has been challenging (in 9 reviews)

  • middle management gets more people (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Corporate culture problems; outsourcing abroad and in low cost states"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Contractor in Santa Clara, CA
    Former Contractor - Contractor in Santa Clara, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank as a contractor

    Pros

    Name recognition as employer, career opportunities to move forward somewhere else, interesting client base

    Cons

    no regard for individuals, capitalism in its worse form, high turnover, high ratio of contractors to employees, each department or team is like an independent unit, uncollaborative and non transparent, on the bright side each team could display a slightly different culture

    Advice to Management

    None, this is the business model.


  2. Helpful (6)

    "On its own island"

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

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great exposure to smart people and ideas at VCs and the companies that back them.

    Cons

    People change jobs. Its normal and healthy. But you hardly ever hear a person leave JPMorgan, or First Republic, Morgan Stanley, KPMG, Cooley etc and vow how horrible their experience was leaving their old firm. To the point that they want them to fail, as some form of justice for their ethics, obfuscation and flat-out dishonesty. People who leave SVB...ALL of them feel this way. Almost literally everyone.

    Advice to Management

    Resign.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "A House Divided"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate II in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Associate II in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank full-time

    Pros

    Nice market, venture debt product, innovation oriented customers

    Cons

    Poor strategic leadership. Board is at odds with executive team. Sub-optimal culture, capabilities and execution. Dishonest compensation program.

    Advice to Management

    There are clearly some basic functional problems at the board level and the C-suite. Start running the bank like a real "bank". Fix the back office. Set higher standards for ethical behavior and integrity.


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  5. Helpful (12)

    "Terrible management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Operations Specialist in Tempe, AZ
    Former Employee - Operations Specialist in Tempe, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very competitive benefits, pay is above standard, awesome time off, great overall culture at the bank, most people are very happy to be there.

    Cons

    Middle management is horrific, at best. Nobody ever knows what is going on. Managers promote based on how much they like people and not skills and when this is reported to HR, nothing is ever done. I was completely overlooked all year by my manager because I was pregnant even though I was producing the best results and work for my team. IT is so far behind the times, it is so incredibly frustrating, for a bank who claims to be about "innovation" they really need to look inwards and upgrade pretty much every system they currently have in use.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees. If multiple people leave one department at once, it's probably due to management.


  6. Helpful (12)

    "IT Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Clara, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Clara, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Compensation and benefits were outstanding.

    Cons

    Nice place to work if you are not "too nice" and only if you have a "bitter beer face". Middle management was over crowded by women that think they knew it all. Fired people that had been at the bank for many years without a chance to redeem themselves.

    Best way to stay for as long as you want at SVB. Come in at 8am sit all day at your desk (dont get up) leave at 5pm. dont call in sick or socialize. doesnt even matter if your work sucks, as long as you are there you will be fine.

    Advice to Management

    wake up and take note of who is contributing and who is not. just because they come to the office doesnt mean they are working.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Horrible Work environment in IT. Avoid if you can."

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

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The company is doing well and pays fairly well.

    Cons

    The worst management I have ever encountered in a technology job. IT is overweight with managers who cannot do the work of the team they are managing, do not understand technology, and undervalue their team members. If you are looking for employment, you should avoid this organization and this company. Your skills and experience will not be valued, and any career development will need to be done on your own.

    Advice to Management

    get rid of useless managers in IT, and start valuing your employees.


  8. Helpful (10)

    "Global Services is a place of fear and loathing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Global Operations in Tempe, AZ
    Current Employee - Global Operations in Tempe, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    its a job, the company has an interesting niche

    Cons

    Too numerous to list, but here it goes. Our COO is very smart (knows operational banking backwards and forwards but he has an unfortunate mean streak that everyone is now clued into) however he is making devastating hiring calls within global services. Is it his ego driving it? He has appointed a CIO that has ruined IT--its a company wide joke. Im glad I don't work in the IT department and have to listen to her all the time like my IT colleagues. Total wind bag who fired a really good senior leader for not "transforming" our online banking system. I think he had like two months. Funny thing is everyone that ive talked to who was actually doing work on the online team really thought a huge difference had been made. Oh well, welcome to the new SVB---your FIRED!
    The COO has appointed a head of global banking operations that almost everyone hates working for. He is a dreamer, talks big and thinks by talking everyone around him will magically make it happen. When things don't go as expected, he blames his team and technology partners. Message to this guy: its not bank of America, you don't have the budget or personnel to bridge the gap of your lack of tactical knowhow. The bottom line is the COO is very good at the details and vision, he doesn't hire well and doesn't understand that he needs inspiring leaders who people respect and want to follow, not leaders who prescribe to "the beatings will continue until morale improves" mantra. Its too late in IT, its to damaged thanks to the depredations of the new CIO. Still time to get the global operations group on track but the window is closing.

    Advice to Management

    CEO, you have a mess frankly of your own making to clean up. You have given your COO to much power and unfortunately he has messed up huge areas of your bank. Clearly, you don't know much about the technology and operations areas and felt comfortable letting your COO do as he pleases but my god man, its all falling down around you while you schedule town halls. You need to go a little deeper and farther than just talking to your senior leaders who are actually the problem to start with. Do your job and clean up the COO, CIO, and HGO. Your accountable.


  9. Helpful (10)

    "Our CIO is TERRIBLE"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior IT Project Manager in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Senior IT Project Manager in Santa Clara, CA

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits and pay along with flex work hours

    Cons

    Our CIO Beth Devin has turned out to be a nightmare. I used to be filled with hope when she first joined a year + back, but she has steadily proven through her actions that she doesn't have a clue--and doesn't care to get a clue. She let go one of our best senior leaders in engineering recently and that seems to be the nail in the coffin. He was the only one seemingly with a vision as our CIO keeps flip flopping from one priority to another depending on the week. Now, nobody in the senior management team is trustworthy and they are all tainted--everyone is scared and out for themselves at the expense of the company and IT which is the real tragedy unfolding here. The CIO actually gave a speech after she made her "breath of fresh air" moves that if your not with her on her latest moves, get out of the company. Inspiring. Great values. Message: agree with me or get fired. Others in the company who are really outstanding contributors and know their stuff are getting sidelined and marginalized---a disaster in the making as they scramble for the exits. Who is going to be left to do the work? Im sure the CIO will continue to blame others for her own failures as she likes to prattle on constantly about taking more ownership and accountability yet doesn't follow her own rules. The two posts on here applauding the CIO are very poorly done plants--its well known in IT that she asked her remaining leadership team to post positive items due to prospective recruits reading what is really going on. Don't listen to them, IT is truly hell. CIO has done nothing in over a year except demotivate and disrupt the entire IT operation. Her new hires in management are weak--either know nothing about IT or are slow, scared, and ineffective. Don't know much about the last CIO, but it had to have been better than this!

    Advice to Management

    Clearly, fire your CIO and save IT. At the same time, hold your COO accountable as well---he is the mover behind the scenes allowing this nightmare to begin and continue. CEO needs to be more involved and accountable.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Stay away from the internal audit department!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Internal Audit Associate in Santa Clara, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Internal Audit Associate in Santa Clara, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Above average benefits & compensation
    Unique niche
    Location
    Most of the people outside of internal audit are cooperative

    Cons

    Internal audit department is one of the worst departments to work for in SVB. The team comprises of Caucasian male managers and Asian female staff. Teams are managed by fear and intimidation. There is no guidance, mentoring or coaching from any of the managers. Head of internal audit has an objective to force at least two employees to quit each year. In the 7 years that he has been on the job 14 people have quit the group. The size of the internal audit team is 10.

    Outside of internal audit, if you are on the lending side you can have a defined career path depending on your networking skills. Having a parent that is connected to the startup ecosystem is a prerequisite for success.

    SVB executive management is stacked with Greg Becker's followers. As expected, this leads to a single point of view which is good if it's the right view.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership cannot be delegated
    Stop treating corporate functions like internal audit as necessary evil that are needed for regulators and audit committee


  11. Helpful (6)

    "Stay away!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tempe, AZ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tempe, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Silicon Valley Bank full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    They're great if you love the typical Silcon Valley perks (coffee service, free food, covered parking, gym, game room, etc.) to mask the fact that they're a sweat shop.

    Cons

    They've taken the "Client First" mantra to the extreme where there is no work-life balance. A standard weekday report suddenly becomes an emergency on the weekend if it involves a client. Almost all project workloads are generated by audit due to compliance issues. There is no career path for people in IT. Management personnel decisions are made without employee input. Staffing levels are insufficient. One IT leader is known for inappropriate emails. People are burnt-out and management downplays or ignores complaints. IT management is better at fire-fighting than strategic planning.

    Advice to Management

    IT leadership is ineffective, incompetent, and ruining the culture that the CEO has installed.


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