Ciena

  www.ciena.com
  www.ciena.com

Ciena Reviews

Updated 13 December, 2014
Updated 13 December, 2014
157 Reviews
3.3
157 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Ciena President, CEO, and Director Gary B. Smith
Gary B. Smith
93 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • This allows employees to have a great work-life balance (in 21 reviews)

  • Flexible work schedule and good work environment (in 14 reviews)


Cons
  • No career growth plan for employees (in 6 reviews)

  • The upper management does not know what they are doing (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    OK, not great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Ottawa, ON
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Ottawa, ON

    I have been working at Ciena full-time

    Pros

    - Good people, helpful and smart
    - Interesting work
    - Decent gym (free), good coffee, and very good cafeteria food (note this is in Kanata, not Carling Lab 10)
    - Stock purchase plan

    Cons

    - RRSP matching plan is sub-standard compared to others in Ottawa
    - Management constantly over-commits to customers, then expects the rank and file to work evenings and weekends to meet these deadlines. Employees who don't meet these deadlines are punished via layoffs and/or poor performance reviews.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more people or set more realistic deadlines.

    Neutral Outlook
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good place to start your career with. Very closed culture especially from the Former Nortel employees. Avoid Montreal

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineering in Montreal, QC
    Former Employee - Engineering in Montreal, QC

    I worked at Ciena

    Pros

    Local Gym
    Good location if you are in Ville Saint Laurent
    Good startup for engineers eager to work closely with Low Cost Manufacturing
    Health and Dental benefits are reasonable.

    Cons

    Senior Management inherited from the Nortel Era in Montreal.
    Very dysfunctional at the level of cross organizational activities.
    Very short-sighted middle managers and no long term vision
    No formal training. A lot of self preservationist attitude that make you sick to your stomach.

    In brief, the management at Montreal Ciena is the wash off from the bankrupt Nortel days. Unfortunately the flagship products are that of the Ciena Ottawa/Montreal which makes the long term vision very bleak if head office in Linthicum, MD does not do anything about it.
    Very "clicky" and very hard to break into the ranks for the established "hierarchies". A lot of arrogance and attitude. Zero chance for progress and promotion.

    Overall, a place to start with your career but not beyond 3 years maximum. If you are ambitious and looking for new challenges then it will be a hard place to stay in for very long unless you get accepted in the established clicks. You could be the most educated person of the bunch and yet managers will only think of their service impact on the short term rather than benefiting the company with the expertise of the talented and educated professionals.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To Gary Smith, the time has come to shuffle the middle and senior managers and directors of Montreal office. This is the only way to save the company. New blood and new culture need to develop in Montreal to align with the established vision of the headquarters in Maryland.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    MEN division still has Nortel culture hangover

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Ottawa, ON
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Ottawa, ON

    I have been working at Ciena

    Pros

    flexibility for family
    somewhat interesting work

    Cons

    (specific to MEN division)
    'Nortel' culture and old boy system still exists.
    little opportunity for advancement in career. Too many old Nortel hands hanging on.
    Outdated views of development.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create professional advancement opportunities To be fair they have tried via some internal certifications and courses.

    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Ciena Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Engineer P&T in Ottawa, ON
    Former Employee - Lead Engineer P&T in Ottawa, ON

    I worked at Ciena

    Pros

    Great people, interesting projects, great place to learn new technology. Salaries are competitive. Regular information sessions held to give a report on the state of the company.

    Cons

    At par with all other industries as far as no taking company loyalty into consideration when implementing a work force reduction.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don't really have any advice for management. Communication to the employees is good. All forms of technology are used.

    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Working at Ciena

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Ottawa, ON
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Ottawa, ON

    I worked at Ciena

    Pros

    Good environment and challenging technology
    Good lab environment, tools and licenses
    Good location
    Good compensation and benefits versus working hours

    Cons

    Too much politics, projects allocated on nepotism

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend more time listening to employees

    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Easy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Kanata, ON
    Former Employee - Intern in Kanata, ON

    I worked at Ciena

    Pros

    Great environment for professional development
    High Pay compensation relative to work experience
    Lots of opportunity for growth
    Area specialization: communications

    Cons

    A little bit disorganized, the groups weren't set in stone, one month you could be working for 1 guy, the next week for a different person.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide solid group or team outlines
    Make sure everyone knows their role in the company
    Provide more feedback to employees

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    I have grown throughout my time here and had the chance to try on a variety of roles; I love my company. Hard work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Ciena

    Pros

    Ciena has allowed me to take risks and has rewarded me. The company has good values and wants to encourage personal growth and achievement.

    Cons

    The job needs to get done regardless of what is going on in your life. Your personal time will suffer for the "deal". Having said that, my experienxce is that management recognizes those sacrifices and rewards will come (as long as you aren't whiny about it. Just take your licks and move on like a professional. This is not the place to work if you want 40 hours week, mon to fri only.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay true to your "red" roots--you are starting to look a little too "blue" lately. Flexibility and nimbleness is what got you to the dance. Don't start acting like a large cap company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    From Good to Great, Back to Good, then Mediocre, Now Floundering

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior R&D Project Manager in Linthicum Heights, MD (US)
    Former Employee - Senior R&D Project Manager in Linthicum Heights, MD (US)

    I worked at Ciena full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    At its best, Ciena had the best technology, brilliant engineers and a true entrepreneurial spirit. They survived the dot-com bust better than many firms, though there were many layoffs along the way. Still, morale was strong and employees truly trusted the leadership team. Promotional opportunities were available even during tough financial periods. Though bonuses dried up, there was a good employee stock purchase plan and basic benefits were above industry averages. But that was all prior to 2010.

    Cons

    The downfall of Ciena began with the acquisition / merger with Nortel's MEN division. Seems like Ciena sold its soul to make the acquisition work, handing over way too much influence to the Nortel groups. As a result, morale went down immediately for the existing Ciena employees and technology development slowed to a crawl. A transition of the engineering team from a US base to Canada and India continued the deterioration of technology development. In the past couple of years it became clear that the Ciena "classic" leadership team (non-Nortel) had lost their edge and were simply collecting their paychecks (and bonuses and stock grants) and are now hanging in there until something better comes along - or until they are told to leave. Since the Nortel acquisition Ciena still cannot quite make much money, always hovering near break-even. This will likely continue as the stuck-in-their-ways Nortel groups gain greater control of the company and power shifts completely to Canada (look for an inversion by 2016). The HR function had not been stellar the past 5 or 6 years, but has become non-existent since 2013 with a new, UK-based leadership team. They seem to be running HR by reading 10-year old Dilbert comic strips, using every outdated cliché to manage the business. As a result, no one ever goes to HR for help with employee issues - you're own your own. Any job openings at Ciena Maryland's facilities are most likely to replace someone who just got fed up and left. If you are Canadian, then Ciena will be a good place to work: the salary and benefits will be competitive, you won't be expected to perform well, and you can probably stay employed for a very long time as the company disposes of their US resources during the next few years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is well past time for a house cleaning. Probably too late to reverse the move of engineering to Canada and India, so you will suffer with poor technology for the foreseeable future. Operations teams are very over-staffed, especially field service teams. Gary Smith was a great guy and lead Ciena through some really difficult years, but it's time to find a replacement - someone from the outside, not a Nortel guy. The only way to get real profitable is to eliminate the dead wood, as without new products it will be tough to grow sales enough to really turn things around. And see if you can make HR a representative of the employees. Ciena once had a fantastic culture - Joe Chinnici once said it was the closest to Silicon Valley you could find outside of the west coast. See if you can get that culture back. Good luck to you all.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great technology & good people but terrible middle management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Ciena full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Flexible work environment (work from home), best networking technology in industry, decent benefits, visionary CEO. The working level is very collaborative and supportive but that spirit doesn't make it to the senior leadership.

    Cons

    Dead end jobs, zero people development, jerky-herky reorganizations, inexplicable lay-offs, 0% raises in record-brekaing revenue years, little recognition of accomplishments, some horrible senior executives

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut the deadwood, not those that produce. Stop using a dart board to make staffing decisions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Employee friendly, good company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in Gurgaon, Haryana (India)
    Current Employee - Associate in Gurgaon, Haryana (India)

    I have been working at Ciena full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good Company to work with. Work life balance. Career growth.

    Cons

    There are always some cons if you talk about the pros. We may negate the cons overs the pros.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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