Ziff Davis Reviews | Glassdoor

Ziff Davis Reviews

Updated October 24, 2018
109 reviews

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2.5
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Steve Horowitz
2 Ratings

109 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Generally good people with know-how in their niche" (in 10 reviews)

  • "Great people, growth potential, diverse" (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • "Abusive behavior is well tolerated at Ziff regardless of whatever politically correct drivel upper management proclaims in company emails" (in 9 reviews)

  • "Ziff Davis has absolutely no idea how to manage their employees" (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great company with smooth on-boarding"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ziff Davis full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Very passionate and intelligent co-workers
    Low stress, but hard working environment
    Leadership is easy to talk with
    Pragmatic culture that is not chasing the latest buzzwords

    Cons

    So far it has been a pleasant experience that has exceeded expectations. No cons that I can think of.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Good people demoralized by management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Analyst in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Ziff Davis full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You’ll work with some really cool, smart, talented people. Stable benefits.

    Cons

    Management at Ziff is like a Michael Bay movie. Lots of flash, minimal substance, blind reliance on the same tired script, and prone to objectifying women. To be fair, many managers are not bad people. They’re just so disengaged and uninspired they might as well not be there. You’ll watch the majority of them whoosh out the door at 4:59:59 while junior peons cry at their desks grappling with two or more broken CMAs initially coded in the 90s. I suspect most managers at Ziff have forgotten what it’s like to have ambition and now like to sit complacent while churning out a mediocre product for a hideously outdated website experience.

    And if you’re a woman, steer clear unless you’re dying to have a #metoo story of your own. Abusive behavior is well tolerated at Ziff regardless of whatever politically correct drivel upper management proclaims in company emails. Witnessed too many instances where employees—male and female—were harassed, sexually or verbally, to the point of crying in the office and no one would do anything about it.

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring your friends for every open position. It’s called cronyism and it’s why America is a hot garbage fire right now. Stop buying every mildly profitable domain or debt ridden fire sale of a publication. If you’re going to make editorial staff e-commerce shills, pay them like shills. Take people seriously when they suggest ideas or bring up problems. Hire more women, people of color, and LGBTQ staff. Consider positive feedback before your entire junior staff drinks themselves to death.

  3. Helpful (6)

    "Management Doesn't Have a Clue"

    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 Ziff Davis full-time

    Pros

    Consistent salary in an increasingly freelance-dominated industry. Health benefits are there if you need them. Hires some good talent. Experience might help you land a better job elsewhere. Beer fridge helps to forget about how much you hate your job.

    Cons

    Virtually no communication between upper management and entry-level employees. Few opportunities for travel and professional development. Low morale among editorial staff. Middling pay with lots of unpaid overtime. Only incentive to submit quality work is the facade that what you're doing is actual journalism and not e-commerce product sales. Editors work at a print magazine pace that prevents writers from meeting quota. Management sends mixed messages in regards to the existence of a quota. No real consequence for inappropriate sexual conduct. More aggressive about acquiring new companies than refining the editorial strategy of existing publications. Resources are limited and expectations are disproportionately high for social media and video staff. Dubious code of ethics often breached by incompetent leadership. Abysmal CMS. Noisy open office plan with blinding fluorescent ceiling lights. Chairs do not fit under desks. Pay raises are rare and minimal. Writers are called 'analysts'.

    Advice to Management

    Talk to people, be willing to change, make a better effort to engage with and grow your audience. Do the same for your employees. Believe in the people you hired, and put your full support behind them. Move faster, think forward. Invest in the ideas of people who make less money than you. Listen to what they have to say and take action. Treat writers like adults, and don't call them analysts. That's not an industry-standard term and it's degrading. Be more transparent about traffic numbers and whether or not there is a quota in place. Keep a closer eye on the output of managing editors, not just writers. Come up with a uniform style/target word count for reviews that all editors have to follow. Fire people when they're being predatory toward other employees. Devise a concrete path for advancement of subordinates. Create clear guidelines re: travel accommodations and work from home arrangements that everyone has to follow. Pay people more if you want them to work harder. Oh yeah, and hire more women.


  4. "Sales Planning/Marketing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Sales/Marketing in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Sales/Marketing in New York, NY

    I worked at Ziff Davis full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Generally good people with know-how in their niche. Tech folks were helpful to sales and marketing teams for the most part. Forward-thinking with programmatic media.

    Cons

    Bottom-line driven with little attempt at building an internal culture.


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Death Spiral"

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

    I worked at Ziff Davis full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Some genuinely wonderful people still work here. Benefits exist, at all. Plus, they pay you on time (If you're full-time).

    Cons

    C-suite is essentially playing Katamari all across corporate America, picking up whatever unfortunate organizations are desperate enough to get gobbled up by this insatiable, perpetual debt engine.

    Did your company just get acquired and you're wondering what life is going to be like now? Well wonder no more: your organizations best days are now officially in the past. Get ready for tone-deaf, ill-equipped leadership to roll in with absolutely no vision and obliterate any perks your organization used to have, while you watch your coworkers jump ship faster than the Titanic.

    You deserve better. Don't work here.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to run publications, hire people that have any idea at all what drives success in the editorial world. Hiring people with good business acumen will let you leverage more value out of your existing audience, but they will nearly always obliterate the principals that drive readership in the first place. Getting better value out of an ever shrinking customer base is a recipe for failure wearing its best suit. Stop kidding yourselves.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Toxic Management"

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

    I worked at Ziff Davis full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Colleagues, happy hours, and flexibility.

    Cons

    Leadership seams to be unaware of the toxic environment within the finance team. I actually liked the company but management made it unbearable to work there. Management would speak to the team members in a condescending tone, verbally abusive and lacked interpersonal skills.

    Advice to Management

    Seek 360 feedback from employees across the company.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Rude Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Finance in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Finance in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    Flexible hours and nothing more

    Cons

    Lack basic sense to treat employees with respect and often pass snide comments in team and 1 on 1 meetings.

  8. "Technical Program Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at Ziff Davis full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Worked for a startup company acquired by ZiffDavis

    Cons

    Being startup, no process and policies are in place for employee satisfaction.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Sinking ship"

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

    I worked at Ziff Davis full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    hard to think of one
    decent benefits

    Cons

    horrible management
    crappy culture i.e. you can sit next to people who won't even talk to you or introduce themselves for over a year!
    silo'd business structure with too much internal competition
    lackluster brands -(minus IGN) mashable was a godsend to them and that isn't even a great property
    Shady business practices

    Advice to Management

    get with the times and stop bullying your people
    upper management and directors need to understand the flaws in their structure and products in order to make any meaningful changes.


  10. "professional, yet political company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ziff Davis full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    * professional
    * some truly hard-working people at the company
    * upper management does an acquisition almost every year !

    Cons

    * can be political
    * can be competitive (and not in a good way)
    * communication could be improved
    * employee morale is rollercoaster - and only some managers seem to care

    Advice to Management

    level things out and communicate openly

    try to get rid of silos

    stress the importance of collaboration over competition

    reward high-performers (and remember that not all of them are extroverts)

    update the NY offices a bit


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