Zayo Reviews | Glassdoor

Zayo Reviews

Updated February 6, 2017
340 reviews

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3.1
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Zayo Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO Dan Caruso
Dan Caruso
241 Ratings

340 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Flexibility to work from home for personal emergencies (in 37 reviews)

  • Zayo is a very fast-paced work environment (in 30 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/life balance can be a bit overwhelming (in 39 reviews)

  • You can work long hours and still feel like you are not getting enough work done (in 18 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Project manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mobile Fiber Infrastructure Project Manager in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Mobile Fiber Infrastructure Project Manager in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    very good company to work for

    Cons

    Benefits could be better

    Advice to Management

    keep up the good work


  2. Helpful (7)

    "The pieces are there."

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

    I have been working at Zayo full-time

    Pros

    Seasoned Professionals, coupled with talented beginners and excellent assets..... the potential is there.

    Cons

    Weak benefits, strange compensation structure, less than stellar processes

    Advice to Management

    If we want to maintain growth, evaluate what differentiates us from our competitors (Value/Uniqueness/Service). Don't forget that dissenting opinions add value.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Analyst"

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

    I worked at Zayo full-time

    Pros

    No lift, require to work overtime everyday

    Cons

    A lot of smart people, good for first job

    Advice to Management

    Need work lift balance, better management


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  5. Helpful (37)

    "When you think it can't get worse, it can."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales
    Current Employee - Sales
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The organization is fairly flat and compared to other legacy telcos, their systems are very good and scalable for the long term.

    The framework of a great company is there. . .

    Cons

    Working here in sales is like staying in a bad marriage because you can't afford a divorce.

    Now that upper management has so many salespeople on RSUs instead of cash payouts, there seems to be a concerted effort to create an environment that is so miserable that many of us will leave.

    It's diabolically brilliant- save cash now on commission payments, award RSUs and then push us to unsustainable levels of workload to meet unattainable levels of achievement. When we leave, the RSU liability vanishes with us and the company saves cash.

    This place breaks salespeople. We are rats in an unsolvable maze.

    Advice to Management

    Zayo could be the truly great company you advertise that it is, but it never will be because you view salespeople (and just about everyone else) as replaceable pegs.

    Now, you'll have go find 4 interns, buy them lunch at Chipotle and get them to leave four 5 star reviews to offset my brutal honesty.


  6. Helpful (19)

    "Zayo, the Dealer, Shuffling cards again"

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

    I have been working at Zayo full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Its work, do the job keep your head down, don't trample the flowers management sniffs

    Cons

    6 managers shuffled around or left, 4 vp's shuffled around or left, fewer and fewer good people sticking around; all in less than 18 months. Yesterday another 2 or 3 shuffles. If Zayo were as good at managing people and the company as they are at shuffling things around they would be winning and making the house the money it needs.

    They pit segments of the company against each other and then wonder why the employees are upset and nearly hostile towards each other. And every other week is another reorganization as if there was no plan or that the plan was to intentionally shuffle and reorganize with some vapid goal to reenergize and realign the workforce.

    Instead they lose good employees, continue to alienate the ones that are sticking around and show no end to their madness. This place use to feel better, a slightly dysfunctional family but now it just feels like an angry ghost town and not in the fun kind of tourist attraction way. I truly feel sorry for any company Zayo buys as having been through it, you have a horrible nightmare to get through, and keep reliving so long as you're here.

    Hiring freeze, reorganization, low pay for time in service, RSU in low amounts for many, high amounts for few, and yet they wonder why employees are not happy. Leave the company and even though you helped them earn a position in the industry, any unvested RSUs are pulled, any 401k match reneged since they only do so yearly and use all your PTO before you go because the company pulls that from you too, even when your department is sorely understaffed and you couldn't get PTO you lose. God help you if you're an hourly employee as its only worse for you.

    Advice to Management

    Treat the company as a whole, not factions to pit against each other in some race to get no where. You have asked the employees what they are upset about in round tables over the past year and still no visible changes to better the employees through education, training, promotion, merit pay raises, and loosen work from home stringency.

    If you lost layers of management rather than working employees and worked to make the company more than just Boulder and Denver you might find some of us want to stay but as it is many of us are mostly looking for ways to get away from you. You ask we tell you then you ask again as if we didn't participate the first 9 times, what are you Zayo deaf?


  7. "Great High Tech Company with Growth Potential"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boulder, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boulder, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Zayo full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Opportunity to work with a results oriented team who have high integrity and a desire to be collaborative.

    There is a top down vision and all employees are encouraged to contribute to achieving results and iterating on the optimal solution. Tranzact makes shopping and managing service effortless for both employees and customers. (There is no comparison in the telecommunications industry.)

    If you like to think out of the box and like to move quickly on implementing solutions, this is the place to work. (two IT releases per week, and 10% of the paperwork and bureaucracy at similar companies)

    Lots of community and volunteer opportunities in Colorado offer employees a way to bond outside of the normal work environment. People genuinely like each other and welcome newcomers.

    Cons

    Zayo has grown rapidly and now that we are public, there are more guardrails in place than private companies. To accommodate these regulatory guardrails and to incorporate new technology, time is being spent now streamlining systems and processes. Those things aren't always fun for employees to work on - but are necessary. The good news is that there is a plan to overcome today's challenges & in 5 years, Zayo will still be a great place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to hire and promote results oriented team members who think outside the box and are never satisfied with "good enough."


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Project Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Zayo full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good place to work, good group of people who support one another, Management gives you the freedom to run/complete the projects.

    Cons

    Long hours, Path to advancement is unclear, job feed back from maagement is unclear at times, did i meantion the long hours.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Finance Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Boulder, CO
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Boulder, CO
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You learn a lot. Most people are cordial. Good job for people that are new to the workforce.

    Cons

    The managers are a joke. I expect it's due to cronyism. Merit obviously does not play into promotions. Finance managers have no clue of the processes, yet expect the world. Huge gaps create significant variances month to month.

    Advice to Management

    Expect as much from the managers as the managers expect from their employees. Start hiring based on experience and merit, not brown nosers.


  10. Helpful (45)

    "Great assets, not a great place to work"

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

    Pros

    Great telecom assets, some very good people, chance for equity payout.

    Cons

    Lack of direction, mediocre compensation, poor management, unwillingness to take suggestions, disdain for customers, and arbitrary commission payments.
    Zayo could be a real powerhouse, but they are doing a great job alienating vendors, customers, and employees. The fault largely resides (IMO) in the executive suite, where there are people promoted well beyond their experience or ability, all answering to someone unwilling to consider ideas not generated from the top handful of executives. The line leaders either don't trust the executives (and their reports can see this) or the line leaders do trust the executives and parrot the talking points of the week, and the workers then don't trust the line leaders because they see that reality conflicts with what they are being told.
    Zayo executives speak about the entrepreneurial/start-up culture of Zayo, which is great, but the execution is solely lacking. Being flexible and willing to try something new is great, but it can’t work if there aren’t clear criteria for success, timely reviews, and support from management. Zayo certainly is willing to throw something up on the wall and see what sticks, but because they don’t really know what they want (other than lots of profit with no investment, immediately), it’s very hard to show success, especially with new or specialty products. Examples of this lack of focus include rolling out new, custom products with a 6-month sales cycle, and then cancelling the project after 3 months due to lack of sales and starting a new product line after a huge project win, hiring respected industry leaders to build a team, committing to funding the project, and then not coming through with the funding, changing the focus, and replacing experienced leaders with yes-men.
    Zayo is big on internal competition, but the way that they have the product groups in silos seems detrimental to long-term growth. Basically, each product group is a discrete P&L, which is fine, but they end up competing in ways that harm their customers. As an example, take a small company that starts off just buying DIA services. They are happy with the DIA, so then they order a couple of 1G Ethernet links to a couple 3rd party data centers. Still happy, still growing, but now that 1G links aren’t enough, and they want to buy a managed WDM service to connect their first office, the 2 new offices they’ve opened, and their 2 3rd party data centers. You would think it would be as simple as placing a large order for the new services, to replace their Ethernet services, but because these are different products, and under different P&Ls, the Ethernet team will take a churn event, so they won’t want the order, while the Waves team is seeing a huge win being stopped by the jerks in Ethernet (they aren’t jerks, that’s just how it seems to the Waves folks).
    The other issue with the internal competition is that managers/directors change groups fairly often. This seems like a good thing, especially for management employees desiring a broad view of the industry, but it’s very hard in an industry where a new product roll-out/feature enhancement may take months of planning, and then an additional year to actually deploy, and have 5 separate VPs running it from concept to completion. It’s even more frustrating when directors are about to switch silos, but they want to ensure the maximum bonus so they try and get installations ‘completed’ (on paper) so that they get credit for the revenue, even if it’s still weeks away from being turned over to the customer. (To be fair, I think this was largely the result of a few bad apples who are no longer at Zayo, but the time and effort it would take to get an account credit approved because some cowboy moved an account to billing 2 months before the service was turned up was a nightmare.)
    Compensation is always contentious, especially in a company with employees in dozens of different offices. Zayo compensation is probably better than average in low-cost areas, but it is below average in high-cost areas, especially for sales professionals. Zayo management doesn’t appear to feel this is a problem, and if you work in Tulsa or Butte or something, it’s probably not an issue; good luck getting what your peers at competitors get if you live in NYC or SF or LA though. To be fair, the equity can certainly make up for it if you were lucky enough to get a pre-IPO grant and stick it out until everything vests. I was certainly down 15-20% in my year-over-year compensation, but on aggregate well ahead because of equity. I would caution anyone looking at Zayo to be aware that there is a difference between the equity that employees have been given in the past and the RSU (restricted stock unit) plan that Zayo is pushing now. There is nothing wrong with RSUs, and the Zayo RSUs do have a reasonably short vesting period, but they are now pushing RSUs in lieu of cash compensation, and you won’t be able to convert them into cash for 15 months after they are issued, which is closer to 18 months from when you initially earned them. The latest plan I heard was that Zayo was pushing people to take a cut in salary and replace it with RSUs, and I know that they were pushing sales reps to take RSUs instead of cash for their commission bonus payments. Great, now just try convincing your bank to take a 15-month IOU for your mortgage payments.
    Customer focus is another place that I feel Zayo could improve greatly. Part of this is that Zayo grew as a collection of assets cobbled together largely in small markets, where there wasn’t much competition other than the RBOC, and you can be pretty bad and still be better than Verizon/CenturyLink/ATT. Another point is that Zayo started as a carrier’s carrier, and carriers will accept missed dates, poor documentation, additional costs above the contracted price, etc, because carriers operate that way and are used to it. Large enterprise customers expect white-glove service, installation as promised, and a clear way to handle disputes. I personally saw my customers transition from choosing Zayo (and their predecessor companies) first to choosing Zayo as a backup or as a last resort if Zayo were the only non-RBOC carrier in their building. Another thing that really upset customers is lack of continuity with their sales team. Zayo took literally hundreds of accounts and moved them away from their local sales teams to a centralized order-taking center in a low cost-of-living area, thinking that they could continue the sales momentum with a sales team making 40% of what the previous team made. Oddly enough large enterprise customers, billing tens of thousands of dollars a month felt insulted when, rather than having a sales rep and an engineer who have managed the account for 5 years and know all of the issues, they are suddenly switched to a call center who has no idea who this customer is, what services they have, or even what WDM is trying to handle their accounts. If you were lucky enough to not get transitioned to a call-center sales team, your account team seemed to change every 9 months. Again, very large enterprises billing hundreds of thousands of dollars a month don’t really see the value in having to re-establish a relationship every 9 months, especially when they are spending 3 years developing their next network architecture and have worked with the legacy team the entire time.
    The most egregious failures at Zayo relate to sales compensation. There are many ways to set up a comp plan, and they all have advantages and flaws, but Zayo seems to have taken the worst bits from each and combined them into the Uber-Zayo-Not-Pay-The-Reps plan. As I understand it stands now (though this is second hand knowledge because I am an ex-employee and they change the plan several times a year) you are compensated on a combination of Net Installs (new sales minus churn) and NPV (net present value). The quota has a Net Sales number and an NPV number, which was supposed to allow reps to still get paid for selling high-revenue, low NPV deals (i.e. a complex network to a new customer with substantial build costs). At the end of the sales period (was monthly, now hearing it’s quarterly) they take the average of your Net Installs number and your NPV number and pay you on that. Sounds good so far, but renewals often result in a NEGATIVE payout (because the renewal is at a lower price, so that’s a negative and it’s a larger negative percentage of your Net Install quota than the NPV is a positive percentage of you NPV quota). It gets even worse if you do a complete replacement of a network (say a 6 year old network that has been completely paid off and only generating profit for 4 years), because then you have to take the Net Install hit, plus you have to account for the new network costs, which drives NPV down substantially.
    To exacerbate matters, there is a HUGE amount of “flexibility” in the plan, which basically means that if your management won’t go to bat for you, you can end up in a situation where an account it assigned to you for a short period, you can get saddled with all of the churn, and then the account goes to someone else for all the new business. I personally had a quarter where the 3 teams that I supported ended up being at about 125% of combined plan, 90% of combined plan, and 75% of combined plan, yet I got paid out at 6% of combined plan because my management wouldn’t get a HUGE churn event removed, even though the rep, the manager, and the VP all had it removed from their comp numbers (because customer turned down an old service after the new service was installed—AND ZAYO CHANGED THE COMP PLAN TO NOT PAY OUT ON THE NEW SERVICE).
    As if it’s not bad enough the new comp plan pays something like 25% of the commission in cash, with the remainder being RSUs which vest 15 months after they are awarded. OK, so it’s a long-game, except if you leave before the RSUs vest, you get nothing beyond the 25% in cash that they already paid you. There is an old saying in sales that ‘Compensation Drive Behavior’ and the only logical behavior that I can see this driving is encouraging sales reps to do as little as possible for the 15 months before they resign, because you aren’t going to be compensated for your work.
    I think Zayo has an unbelievable (and almost impossible to recreate) physical assets, a top customer base, and some very talented employees. I think they are trying to do the right thing on work/life balance. I think the vast majority of Zayo employees really try to do the right thing. However, unless and until they change their senior management structure (which could be as simple as separating external Investor Relations from day-to-day Operations), they are going to struggle to succeed.
    I will just close by saying that there have been a number of articles about how Sears is being destroyed by Ed Lampert, and I see a LOT of similarities. The following article specifies 5 major failures, and I think that current Zayo management is largely guilty of 4 of them. (Zayo has sold off assets that weren’t part of their core competency.)
    (Glassdoor does not allow URL links, so I suggest you search for an Forbes story written by Adam Hartung that describes how Ed Lampert destroyed Sears.)
    There is another article on the same CEO and company published in Salon that I actually saved when it was first published because it so strongly resembled what I was seeing at Zayo. (Search for Salon Ayn Rand CEO Empire Partner, because, again, URL links are blocked.)

    Advice to Management

    Fix your comp plan, bring in competent OPERATIONAL management, separate Operational management from Investor Relations, listen to and consider opinions that conflict with management fiat.


  11. "Sales 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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Zayo full-time

    Pros

    Great startup like company.

    Cons

    Long hours to be successful.



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