Ziff Davis Reviews | Glassdoor

Ziff Davis Reviews

Updated January 3, 2017
12 reviews

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Vivek Shah
7 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Upper management is far removed from what is really going on within the sales teams in the other offices (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Turned to garbage"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The big pro used to be the break room with video games etc... now they harshly judge you if you dare use it

    Cons

    Rapidly decreasing product quality
    Awful management

    Basically I was with a company Ziff Davis purchased... it was doing well, had been around a while, things were fantastic. Then they started meddling. They killed employee morale. Product qualify went from good to garbage. Sales strategy went from decentralized (good) to Groupon style dial blocks and metrics. Customer retention rate went from good to terrible. Pay was cut in creative ways.

    Their big strategy was to fire all the management who were decent human beings and replace them with T-437 autonomatons who could care less about product quality and only care about how much more/less sales are made.

    Employees went from enjoying coming to work to absolutely hating it. The sales floor I was in experienced over 50% turnover in about 8 months. Many of the people who left were 5, 6, 7, even NINE years with the original company. So far as I know they're currently operating a skeleton crew of under 50% capacity, so beware.

    Advice to Management

    Go back to how things were. Fire every upper management person hired since Jan 1 2016 and stay hands off.


  2. "Perennial Editorial Brads Stuck in Neutral"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Freelancer - Editorial in New York, NY
    Former Freelancer - Editorial in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Ziff Davis (More than a year)

    Pros

    Most of their editorial brands will stand out on your resume.

    Cons

    Poor editorial management, no vision, too obsessed with "going viral" instead of progressive editorial practices.

    Advice to Management

    Evolve.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "B2B Account Manager"

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

    Pros

    -Good work/life balance. People come in at 9 and leave at 5
    -25 vending machines

    Cons

    -Working in the San Francisco is depressing and morale is very low. Feels abusive and literally everyone is looking for another job.
    - VERY LITTLE investment in their employees. No training, no perks
    -Middle management has no training and NO IDEA what they are doing.
    -Zero transparency

    Advice to Management

    Train your middle management (or hire them knowing they are smart enough to know what they are doing!) pay out bonuses when promised, and validate your valuable employees.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Soul crushing experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Corp Overhead in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Corp Overhead in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    1) the people are extraordinary. They are bright, creative, hard-working, and collaborative. They're an eclectic group of people and should you get a chance to get off the hamster wheel, they're an absolute joy to talk to and learn from.

    Cons

    1) upper management. Stereotypical greedy executives that act like they care about people but at the end of the day only care about their stock options (which only the members of the c suite get). They hire most people as exempt from overtime. They require longer and longer hours and constantly add to the workload. The more efficient you are the more projects they give ... Even if it's beyond the scope of the job you were hired for. At first you go along w/ it bc you see everyone else working long hours and you don't want to let the team down. Eventually, you see no return in the form of compensation and/ or promotion. You burn out and the they tell you that you just can't hack it in the real world. You get pushed out.

    2) poor middle management that doesn't know how tow age employees or be clear about goals and help you work toward those goals, even when you have a decent manager and they try to advocate for the team that get pushed out under the pretense of a "reorg".

    3) if you make the company money ... Like millions of dollars... that's great and maybe you'll get compensated in the short term but as soon as they figure out how to do it they make your position redundant and hire someone at a quarter of the salary.

    They have no loyalty to their employees. The CEO is condescending and completely out of touch w/ the people. The rest of the execs are all puppets.

    This company is soul-crushing.

    Advice to Management

    Get your head out of your butts or Vivek's hand out of yours. You've bright, talented people who work for you. Stand up for them. Make them feel as they are respected members of the team. Recognize contributions and the energy they put into their work. You'll find more employee loyalty and see increases in work output.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Terrible Entry-Level "Sales" Position."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - LQT Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - LQT Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The location of the office is literally the only true "Pro" that I can think of - it's in the heart of the financial district of SF. Employees (aside from management) are good people, and people that you'd enjoy going to happy hour with; however, from a business/professional stand-point, mediocracy is the standard.

    Cons

    I want to preface this by saying that I am writing these Cons from a genuine belief/truth, and not out of spite.

    1. It is not a sales position (contrary to what the job post says). It is literally glorified telemarketing.

    2. The OTE and "commission" they explain in the interviewing process is extremely misleading/innacurate. They claim that you will receive a 5k bump in salary once you have "ramped up;" however, the story changes once you are fully ramped up, and try to pursue the 5k bump from management.

    3. Management is horrendous. There is terrible communication, terrible coaching, and absolutely no follow-through.

    In all honestly, if you are passionate about pursing a career in tech sales (or sales in general), then don't waste your time in this company. During my time, I literally developed ZERO true sales skills. The only skill I developed was being comfortable/confident speaking on the phone with business professionals - this is a skill that was not taught/coached/monitored, but a skill that naturally developed from making 150 phone calls a day.

    Advice to Management

    The CEO/COO are bright, and other parts of the company are doing well. The B2B "sales" side of the company is a mess, and seems like a sinking ship. I truly believe that it is only a matter of time before the B2B lead generation side of the company is shutdown.


  7. "Old media trying to be new again"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • 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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good place for young people to work to find out how media really works. Some good content, mainly reviews. Top notch analyst team.

    Cons

    Lots of editorial is basically content farm stuff, very SEO driven. Tech of the site is years behind competitors. Site does not put readers first, and it shows.

    Advice to Management

    Site needs to be rethought from top to bottom. Way too much clutter. Rethink or scrap content farm stuff. Switch to different CMS.


  8. "A company of number crunchers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Foster City, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Foster City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good opportunity to learn about the technical publishing world.

    Cons

    Everything is financially driven. There is no credible mission statement or focus for the company beyond making the owners more money. There is no interest in soliciting the view, opinions, ideas, and contributions of the employees and staff. It is pretty autocratic where employees must do as they are told, even in situations where the employees have ideas to save costs or increase revenue.

    Advice to Management

    They are not interested in hearing any advice; they have made that very clear.


  9. "Could not recommend unless you love the media industry"

    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 Ziff Davis full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    People who believe in media industry will excel.
    Nice benefit days off - 25 days off
    Growth y/y by acquisition

    Cons

    Managers don't listen to lower positions. They bully/yell when you disagree with them vs. factual or professional rebuttal.
    I question leadership to move them to be a technical company as they don't listen.

    Advice to Management

    Management training to those who manage people.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Worst Experience ever in engineering team"

    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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    One day work from home (is the only pro I must say). I wish if I could write more pros working here.

    Cons

    Worst and unknowledgeable qa managers (don't know how to code and review code but managing a team), even soda is paid, nothing is free, poor HR department. If you want to work there you must be a yes man and play according to their rules.

    Pay is way below market and there are no stock options or bonuses. This company moves like its in the 60s era. No new innovations in the product.

    Advice to Management

    Please look into SF office closely, there are 3-5 people who are running the entire office. Managers do not know anything, they all just need a yes man in their team. If you say something against them or try to change/enhance something, HR will call you in office and tell you that you are not working as expected.
    Please, change all technical managers and give chance to some knowledgable and experienced folks. The QA department is a joke. Please hire someone technical (who can read/write/review automation code) to head this team. Nobody cares how much you work. You will be told you did not do enough.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "No Media Moguls Here"

    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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Ziff Davis full-time

    Pros

    For recent grads who want to get a foot in the door at a "media" company, this isn't a bad place to start. There's some good people who work in the SF office and motivated individuals can get needed experience if they are smart enough to not snarled by the corporate machinery that drives the SF office. If you don't get chewed up and spit out, you'll get tough.

    Cons

    Product is not diversified or improved upon. Old disjointed procedures are allowed to fester and because of a lack of oversight, the business continues to tailspin.

    Advice to Management

    Communication is nonexistent among various groups and there's no feedback loops in place to guide leadership on how to improve conditions. Taking the extra time to do things right the first time is worth the extra effort and "doing more with less" is no longer an acceptable tactic.


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