In the News, Watercooler

Facebook, Google, Burson-Marsteller Controversy Continues: Oh To Be A Fly On The Wall!

If the news involving Facebook, Google and a public relations agency  named Burson-Marsteller has yet to cross your screen, it likely will very soon.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, “Facebook Inc. recently hired a public relations firm to push stories critical of Google Inc.’s privacy policies, amid an escalation of the rivalry between the two Internet companies.”

News articles and blogs continue to light up following the back and forth between Facebook and Burson-Marsteller, some commenters are asking: “what else goes on behind the walls?” We turn to Glassdoor to find out what employees at these companies have been reporting as of late – the pros and the cons.

Starting with the ratings, both Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s newly appointed CEO Larry Page appear well-liked when employees have been asked about how they rate the top boss’s performance leading the company: earning a 94% and 92% approval rating respectively. Whereas over at Burson-Marsteller, CEO Mark Penn holds an approval rating among employees that is at least 60 percentage points lower than either of the these tech giants.

Facebook employees give the company a 4.4 (very satisfied) rating and Google employees give the company a 3.9 (satisfied) rating. When it comes to employee morale, both Facebook and Google employees report being  ‘very satisfied’, receiving a 4.4. and 4.2 rating respectively. Employees at Burson-Marsteller give the company overall and employee morale ‘OK’ ratings, receiving a 3.0 and 3.3 in each area. (Ratings are based on a 5-point scale.)

Here’s what employees have to say about what it’s like to work at their companies:


“The job is all about cooperation, not competition. “ – Facebook Operations Engineer (Palo Alto, CA)

The pace *can* be a little crazy — one of our values is moving fast, and we definitely do that — and generally that’s a huge pro to working here, but at times, it can be a little much.” – Facebook Business Analyst (Palo Alto, CA)

“Management is constantly pushing you. You don’t work at your own pace, you have to work at everyone else’s pace” – Facebook Software Engineer (Palo Alto, CA)


“A true meritocracy culture. As egalitarian a workforce as I have ever seen.” – Google employee (Mountain View, CA)

“Competition is definitely mounting up. Stay strong, stay committed to our objectives. Keep bringing strong people into this organization and the future will look bright.” – Google employee (location n/a)

“Getting political, and there is a big difference between old timers and new comers,” – Google employee (Mountain View, CA)


“Teams have great work ethic. Regardless of position, insight is welcome at every level” – Burson-Marsteller Associate (New York, NY)

“Lack of employee retention and developing staff; lack of communication within company and practice,” – Burson-Marsteller Manager (location n/a)

“Communicate to your employees honestly, be transparent. As a public relations firm, internal communications at Burson-Marsteller is poor.” – Burson-Marsteller Manager (Washington D.C.)

If you work at one of these companies share your perspective of what it’s like to work there: what’s your company doing well and what do they need to do to improve?