Viki Reviews

Updated Nov 11, 2020

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4.0
82%
Recommend to a Friend
88%
Approve of CEO
Viki CEO Sam Wu
Sam Wu
13 Ratings
Pros
  • "free lunch(in 6 reviews)

  • "People are friendly and open to sharing their wealth of knowledge with you so you'll have the opportunity to learn alot(in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "no equity, bonus sucks, lack of decision making, hours are really long, expected to work on weekends(in 5 reviews)

  • "Not a lot of transparency on high-level decision making with Rakuten(in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
  1. "Promising Company!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Viki full-time

    Pros

    Great culture and extremely promising leadership and vision. I would especially recommend to anyone that has an interest in any sort of international entertainment.

    Cons

    There can be some restrictions at times when you have been acquired by a larger company.

  2. "Loved working at Viki, great environment"

    4.0
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in San Mateo, CA

    I worked at Viki full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    awesome lunches, friendly and kind people

    Cons

    can be old-fashioned at times at how they run business


  3. "Great Place to Learn"

    4.0
    Former Employee - Marketing 

    I worked at Viki full-time

    Pros

    Collaborative team with room for growth.

    Cons

    Not a lot of transparency on high-level decision making with Rakuten.

  4. "So far so good"

    5.0
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Viki full-time

    Pros

    - Very interesting product - Very nice, talented coworkers - Down to earth leadership - Amazing potential - Under Rakuten umbrella = startup & benefits

    Cons

    - None so far. Too much potential, too little time.

  5. Helpful (15)

    "Exhausting, Soul-draining, Unfulfilling"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Viki full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Since Drama Fever closed, Viki has seen excellent subscriber growth. Although it was once fairly unstable, it's now in a much better place financially. Below leadership, Viki has a lot of really smart, driven, and friendly employees. There's somewhat of a family environment, although it can feel like a clique to a new employee. Because Viki is so unorganized, it can be a good environment for developing one's skill set or trying out new things.

    Cons

    If you looked up "tech bro" in a dictionary, Sam Wu's picture would accompany the definition. Sam lead Viki's finance department before becoming CEO, but you'd never guess he had a job that involved human interaction judging by his cold, lifeless personality. Small talk with Sam is so painful it borders on cringe-worthy. As a result, he devotes zero effort into getting to know his direct reports or trying to help them succeed. One of his first moves as CEO was to lay off the entire marketing and programming teams because he thought their jobs were nothing more than "Tweeting for a living". Even before he fired them, he took money from their budgets to give his finance team better compensation and openly insulted the intellect of the teams' members. Sam values data and engineering, but looks down on all other teams in the company. He also openly refers to Korean dramas as "romantic garbage" and makes fun of people who watch them, so it's pretty ironic that a genre he despises so much has been writing his paychecks for over 5 years. Sam's toxic mentality has leaked down into the rest of the company. Most people who joined Viki out of a personal interest in spreading Korean and Chinese television across the globe have either been fired or left, and most people with strong skill sets quickly moved on to better-paying companies. Company outings are rare and feel like a forced way to make people feel better about all of the changes. People on Sam's finance team are allowed to run wild, getting away with otherwise unacceptable behavior like hiring their boyfriends/girlfriends as interns or taking additional PTO without giving any notice or reporting it in the system. Viki is also just generally unorganized. Having multiple offices split by time zones breeds a lot of mistrust between engineers and US-based employees. In the US, teams are very territorial out of fear that someone might expose a small mistake they made to Sam, so collaboration is rare. Above all, Viki just doesn't innovate anymore. Even as its community of unpaid translators grows smaller and smaller, no one on leadership has a clear direction of what Viki's next move will be in an increasingly competitive streaming environment. They're all just really thankful that Drama Fever died before Viki did. Sam could of course solve some of these problems himself, but is too disinterested in anything besides short-term subscriber growth to bother trying. Viki's pay is significantly lower than the Silicon Valley average, but for a while it took advantage of the fact that its employees worked there out of personal interest and were willing to be paid less for their dream job. After firing so many people, it now has more budget to pay finance and data positions a more competitive wage. Other departments still remain below the market rate. Rakuten is also a nightmare of a parent company, but there's plenty already written about that on their Glassdoor page.

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  6. Helpful (2)

    "Let your engineering thoughts flight"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Viki full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    1.The whole engineering team in SG is so energetic , people keep having new and good idea on the product. 2.you are free to talk about anything you want , you also get chance to do presentation internally or externally, thats a very important soft skill for engineers. 3.new technologies are adopted , viki also maintain a very good relationship with those tech giants like fb or google.

    Cons

    some leadership problems should be fixed, can't let one person make decisions for others and make noises to other teams.

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  7. Helpful (9)

    "Change Needed at Top"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Viki full-time

    Pros

    Great content to work with, especially if you're a fan of K-Pop or other 3rd culture entertainment. There are people who are incredibly smart, creative, and passionate. Coworkers are supportive for the most part. They're fun, good people who will remain friends beyond normal work hours.

    Cons

    The executive team at Viki has a reputation for being blind and deaf to complaints about the company's strategy and culture. Complaints about a certain people go ignored all the time and everyone is just baffled at how bad management here can be rewarded over and over. There are clear signs and written complaints of lack of confidence, lack of expertise, communication issues, and so many other problems, but in the end, the person was promoted to everyone's shock. In the meantime, her teams are left to figure things out on their own, with very limited resources and zero direction. In the end, everyone loses because the executives are cowards just collecting their paychecks. They don't want to promote the really smart people or people that clearly can get something done or make a difference, because they're jealous of the person or just insecure. It's childish and everyone there knows it. They hold on to stupid ideas for the sake of holding on to it and waste everyone's time trying to make it work. Bad projects and unprofitable ideas should be dropped and taken as a learning, instead of something you drag on for years until you waste time, resources, and talent trying to fix something that will never bring ROI.

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  8. Helpful (13)

    "Going nowhere fast"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Viki full-time

    Pros

    Fun content to work with. Very willing to hire those straight out of college. Trying hard to keep a young, "start-up" culture alive as the company gets further absorbed into a very corporate Rakuten. Cake for birthdays. Team-building events once a quarter. Free Viki subscription. Fun events opportunities, like K-con.

    Cons

    A former coworker who left before I did summed it up perfectly when they said "Never have I worked at a company where the exec team was so insecure." The exec team at Viki has no vision and no hustle to get anywhere fast - instead choosing to constantly ask more and more inane questions in order to create more and more roadblocks until eventually whatever opportunity being debated passes them by. This insecurity filters down into every aspect of the company - every team is fiercely territorial of "their" work and "their" area. Don't ask questions, it's not worth the can of worms you will open up and the power games you'll end up competing in. There is no "cross-team" unity, just deep-rooted distrust. The idea that "everyone will become experts together" is one that is often brought up by the exec team. But when there are absolutely no mechanisms built for this "path to expertise", well, you can assume that no one is learning anything anytime soon. Which really sucks for everyone who was hired straight out of school because, trust me, you will learn absolutely nothing during your time at Viki. Because no one who is hired above a manager level is an "expert" but supposedly they're working to become one. Hang tight. Very few opportunities for growth - if you're a "rockstar," you've either already left the company or you'll be at the same level in five years because your boss gets annoyed with you pushing the status quo and the exec team hates dealing with your big ideas. Do not think you will ever travel to the other offices. You will not.

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  9. Helpful (8)

    "Really depends which team you're on"

    3.0
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I worked at Viki full-time

    Pros

    Great benefits, atmosphere, friendly people

    Cons

    Some managers were great, but it felt like some of the other people in management were B or C list people who didn't know what they were doing but were just bluffing their way through everything.

  10. Helpful (3)

    "Viki"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Viki

    Pros

    These are some of the best coworkers you could ever find. We like hanging out together after work and we enjoy each other's company. The Viki product + content is fun and playful. Shuttle service to/from office. 401k offering. Daily lunch service. Office space is clean and modern with a kitchen on each floor. Free snacks and drinks.

    Cons

    Executive management is sloppy. Weak leadership overall. Poor communication across offices. The excuse of different time zones doesn't stop other businesses from maintaining strong communication. Lots of oversight in sharing projects plus lack of transparency. The Viki website has a patched-together look with weak design. Very limited opportunities to work from other Viki offices. Rakuten CEO has an open space office right next to the Viki desks. Viki employees are regularly shushed when speaking at normal 'indoor-voice' volume. This makes for a very tense and uncomfortable work environment. The Rakuten culture and Viki culture are a bad match.

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