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Ziff Davis Reviews

Updated October 28, 2017
18 reviews

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Vivek Shah
9 Ratings

18 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Upper management isn't focused on quality of product and there's little communication between departments and few opportunities to collaborate (in 7 reviews)

  • Poor communication by management, poor collaboration between departments (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Failure to listen or respect"

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

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

    Pros

    The Ziff Davis name still holds some water but this is basically a holding company now which owns multiple properties and runs them with a ruthless and heartless efficiency.

    Cons

    Management are pretty awful. They will act secretly with hidden agendas and make decisions clearly counter to what the rank and file staff wants and knows would benefit the business. This includes hiring the right people and making rational decisions for the organization. Don’t bother having an opinion when C-level execs will simply overrule you. They know best! Why else would they be a C-level executive.

    The pay is abysmal, way below market. I guess this is how they manage to keep their aging portfolio profitable. It’s a race to the bottom!

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your staff. You don’t know better, you just think you do.


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Toxic workplace run by duplicitous, cowardly management"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Ziff Davis full-time

    Pros

    - Nice deck
    - Get to play with fun stuff
    - Beer fridge
    - Health insurance
    - Some good employees

    Cons

    - Upper and middle managers have nasty personalities, nonexistent communication skills and no vision.
    - Middle managers have no training, often require upper management to help manage their management. It's as ridiculous as it sounds.
    - Duplicitous managers prefer to ignore employees and important issues until it's too late, then defer blame to employees.
    - Reactionary behavior and rampant bullying by management borders on abuse. Catty comments, petty politics, weird ultimatums and outright insults. Complaints aren't taken seriously by a cowardly human resources team, which exists only to protect management.
    - No respect or trust in employees. "Perception is reality" is the prevailing mode of business here.
    - Quotas and aggressive timelines stifle creativity and lead to lots of pressure and stress from management.
    - Overwork leads to burnout. Employees do multiple roles to cover for positions that may not be filled.
    - Editorial is a depressing content farm, a grind driven by SEO and numbers. Successful "passion" projects don't count towards quotas or anything.
    - Any successes are ignored. Absolutely zero positive reinforcement or encouragement.
    - Morale is a joke. Employees make fun of management behind their backs on daily basis.
    - Dead end in terms of advancement. Promotions and raises are few and far between. No bonuses or incentives.
    - Outdated, dusty open office with A/C cranked high makes for miserable work environment. Employees are constantly sick.

    Advice to Management

    Every review on this site is some variation of "upper management is terrible" and it's true. Get a clue and fix yourselves.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Upper management needs to dig deep and understand problems"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Ziff Davis full-time

    Pros

    - Growth by acquisition mantra

    Cons

    - Upper management does not dig deep and address the real problem.

    Advice to Management

    - Listen to the people that do the work and not just their managers so that you get a real understanding of the problems.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Politics over professionalism"

    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 (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Incredibly intelligent and fun co-workers, casual office culture, location.

    Cons

    Bullying is norm, poor communication across the board, no mentoring or training given for career development, too focused on revenue rather than giving product development a fair share.

    Advice to Management

    The office politics and bullying run rampant while upper management either partakes or turns a blind eye toward it. Ziff Davis had a great opportunity to really make something of their products, instead have been too focused on revenue to make much needed improvements to their publications in order to make them a powerhouse in the media space. They continue to scope out other companies to buy instead of focusing on their deteriorating products, office morale and culture.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Cold, corporate, clueless"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

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

    Pros

    Too unorganized to micromanage you

    Cons

    beuqacratic, heavy-handed, focused on revenues and not on the product. Poor communication too

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to treat people like people, not numbers on a spreadsheet


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Terrible Management and Morale"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Ziff Davis full-time

    Pros

    There are good and hard-working people in low to middle management. You make good friends there, but these people are sadly overworked and underpaid and burn out.

    Cons

    Ziff Davis Tech has some of the worst management and internal processes I have ever seen. Management treats employees TERRIBLY, through bullying and intimidation tactics. Should you have an idea or suggest a different business plan (when often as a sales rep, you know your client's needs much better than the far-removed Upper Management), you are treated with disrespect and condescension. It's a serious boy's club too, so as a woman in the office, you're either considered worthless or on the flipside might overhear some of upper management making comments about your looks. (Seriously sexist and unprofessional).

    The teams are managed terribly too. Internally, there were constant battles that were never handled professionally. It was like a middle school drama-fest every day.

    To make matters worse, the pay is terrible and they will low-ball you and refuse to give you a raise. They require you to submit an annual review of yourself, and never follow up with a sit-down discussion and counter review.

    An example of how short-term their thinking is: I know for a fact that upper management saw negative reviews about the company on Glassdoor, and rather than take a long hard look at what to do to fix the issues many were clearly having, they asked my former Director to submit fake positive reviews of the company. Completely unethical.

    They think only in the short-term, as opposed to the long-term, so if you're considering a move to Ziff, think long and hard about what you're getting yourself into.

    Advice to Management

    Quit the bullying and show your team respect. Good morale, positive reinforcement and being treated as an equal goes a long way and will earn you a better retention rate.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Turned to garbage"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Could not recommend unless you love the media industry"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  9. "Perennial Editorial Brads Stuck in Neutral"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    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.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Worst Experience ever in engineering team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


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