In the News

Mobile Company Employees Report What It's Like on the Inside

The Mobile World Congress kicked off Monday in Barcelona, bringing together nearly 50,000 attendees for the largest exhibition in the mobile industry. Not only is this a great opportunity for those in the mobile world to network, but it is also an opportunity to see some of the hottest trends in mobile communications. 

Despite the fact that some expect the global mobile market to shrink 9% in 2009, TechCrunch comments that 2009 is expected to be “the year many of the predictions made about the rise of mobile may start to come true. Startups in the space are poised to take advantage of affordable mobile Internet access and sophisticated handsets like the Apple iPhone.” 

While we anticipate more announcements and technology previews during the conference, we decided to go beyond the press releases and presentations to see what employees of leading mobile handset manufacturers and wireless carriers really think about their employer’s prospects.

Below is a snapshot of company and CEO ratings on for top mobile manufacturers and carriers. It seems employees of mobile manufacturers are generally more satisfied than employees of wireless carriers. On average, handset manufacturers receive a 3.4 company rating, whereas carriers receive an average 2.9 company rating.  The clear exception here is Motorola that has been referred to as a “dead company walking” with a 2.6 overall rating while CEO Greg Brown has one of the lowest approval ratings on Glassdoor at just 10% (his disapproval rating is 66%).  Although AT&T Mobility still has iPhone exclusivity, the company has the lowest rating (2.7) among its peer group and CEO Ralph de la Vega has one of the lowest approval ratings at 36%.

Glassdoor Report: Mobile Comparison
Manufacturers Company Ratings¹ CEO CEO Approval Rating
Apple 3.8 Steve Jobs2 91%
LG 3.1 Yong Nam 20%
Microsoft 3.7 Steve Ballmer 44%
Motorola 2.6 Greg Brown 10%
Nokia 3.7 Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo 71%
Palm 3.2 Ed Colligan 36%
RIM/ Blackberry 3.8 Jim Balsillie 70%
Sony Ericsson 3.2 Dick Komiyama 25%
Carriers Company Ratings¹ CEO CEO Approval Rating
AT&T Mobility 2.7 Ralph de la Vega 36%
Sprint Nextel 2.9 Dan Hesse 50%
Telus Mobility 3.5 Darren Entwistle 38%
T-Mobile 2.9 Robert P. Dotson 34%
Verizon 3 Ivan G. Seidenberg 46%
¹  5-point scale, with 5 being extremely satisfied 
2  Glassdoor continues to collect data on Steve Jobs as he remains CEO


Sometimes we find it’s just best to let employees speak for themselves.  Below are a handful of reviews from employees at Apple, AT&T Mobility and Motorola. See what they have to say about their employers and the products or services: 


“Having the name on your resume is nice as most other employers will be impressed. The amazing Marketing machine that Apple is brings a lot of status wearing the badge. You can have pride in the products that Apple sells as they are truly the best products in its market.”

“As a company, Apple is probably one of the greatest places you will ever find to work. The environment is extremely casual and as a whole, morale is consistently high. There are very few jobs where you can literally wear whatever you want every day, and you will be hard pressed to find a more exciting place. The pay is great compared to similar jobs at other companies, and they are supposed to hire within the company first for promotions rather than hiring in outside work, so job security is relatively stable. The customers are enthusiastic and excited about the products, so if you share the passion, work is always very fun. Most days, your shift is over before you know it.”

AT&T Mobility

“Cingular Wireless was an exceptional place to work. It was a young, energetic and exciting place to work. Compensation, management/employee relations, everything was good….Once AT&T took over, the old school style of management kicked in. Many of the perks and benefits of working for Cingular are now gone under AT&T Mobility. Trying to manage a 21st century leading edge company with early 20th century management styles is a complete failure. AT&T corporate has used Cingular as its own personal corporate bailout. Cingular was cash rich, AT&T was needing a lifeline, and they are taking all that Cingular had/has.”

“A discouraging fact about telecom is that profit margins and cash flow are usually positive so spotting poor management and correcting for it to improve performance is not a high focal point as with other industries. ATT Mobility has just completed numerous merger activities in the last 3 years and has paid high attention to support of the customer and little to the employees who have sacrificed time, salary, and sanity to keep the lights on.”


“There is potential for Motorola to rise from the ashes and make some compelling, attractive Android handsets so although things have been pretty bad, there’s a lot of room to grow. Only alternative for Motorola is to get better or cease to exist and so I think things will get better.”

“If you are lucky you can work on the latest and cutting edge technology else you will be doing mostly integration and patch work. If your product ships, it is very satisfying to read reviews about it and see it in the hands of people. Mot is quite an ethical company. They have mastered the art of layoffs 😉 do it in a very dignified way. Much better than a lot of other people I have heard. Some managers, like mine are real gems. True leaders and visionary. Unfortunately most are old farts who still think they make walki talkies and not cutting edge mobile phones.”


Any experiences of your own working with any mobile industry players? 

Stay tuned as we follow these companies throughout the Mobile World Congress and the year. The event wraps up on Thursday, February 19.