Koch Industries Reviews

Updated 29 April, 2015
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3.1
69 Reviews
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Koch Industries Chairman and CEO Charles G. Koch
Charles G. Koch
51 Ratings

Pros
  • The core principles and business philosophies are sound and strongly advocated by the owner who is in his mid-70s (in 3 reviews)

  • Intellectual challenge, smart folks and a company that is not afraid to take risks (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance is poor, especially if you work in Atlanta (in 5 reviews)

  • The long hours were due mainly to poor software (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Professionalism in Specialized Engineering Priciples

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - IT Consultant in Calgary, AB
    Former Contractor - IT Consultant in Calgary, AB

    I worked at Koch Industries as a contractor (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Koch is a clear thinking Company

    Cons

    Too much travel too often

    Advice to Management

    Hire more specialists, develop technology within, R&D

  2. N/A

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer in Toronto, ON
    Current Employee - Engineer in Toronto, ON

    I have been working at Koch Industries

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Large global company. Well known in the industry.

    Cons

    Low salary. Long distance to work.

    Advice to Management

    N/A

  3. Marine Coordinator

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Coordinator in Kingwood, TX (US)
    Former Employee - Coordinator in Kingwood, TX (US)

    I worked at Koch Industries (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great facility and perks for employees: Great lunch rooms,lots of celebration of employees.

    Cons

    Very past past trader like environment.

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  5. A Miserable, Pathetic, and Horrible experience - It

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA (US)

    I have been working at Koch Industries (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    1. Decent Pay and Benefits.
    2. Some employees are talented and smart but some aren't.

    Cons

    New graduates and interns, this is a horrible place to start a Tax career, please leave fast and with the company's reputation it's not a decent resume builder. Big 4's and other accounting firms are better.

    For those who have already established themselves in the tax field, it's a great stepping stone. However, if you value life-work balance and want or have a family this is not the place for you. Acquisitions, liquidations, change in companies structure happens every day and you will work to death and put in long and hard hours.

    For minorities (internationals and other races) it's a pathetic place to work, a lot of discrimination, retaliation, hard to get a promotion or get a bonus and there is no diversity. "You are on your own".
    The management at Koch encourages you to be vocal, to share ideas, to ask questions, to challenge them but when you actually do it, they permanently label you a troublemaker.
    Always watch your back and "play the game", very high employee turnover rate, they fire and hire people every single day.
    Be ready for a lot of changes, they will even change your personality.

    They are so understaffed and the offices are overcrowded (consultants are squeezed in a small, stuffy conference room).

    Almost all the tax software's and systems at the company are frustrating, slow and old fashioned.

    Lastly don't get carried away/misguided by all the media hype about the company, it's all publicity and political: Koch "sponsor the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit", "dropping criminal-history from job applications", "We are not in politics to boost our bottom line," "Donation to the negro education fund".

    Advice to Management

    1. MBM principals and framework should not be a colorful hanging on the walls. They should be implemented by all especially the managers and directors.
    2. Improve the work environment and company culture, your employees are working under a lot of fear.
    3. Pretty ladies don't always make good leaders and directors.
    4. Investigate and determine the real root causes of problems that are reported. Evaluate good and competent employees before giving them matching orders.
    5. Train and retain employees.

  6. PM

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

    I have been working at Koch Industries

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    forward thinking company and innovative

    Cons

    centralized approach to management and progression

  7. Tax Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Tax Intern in Atlanta, GA (US)
    Current Intern - Tax Intern in Atlanta, GA (US)

    I have been working at Koch Industries as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Wonderful working environment
    Managers willing to work around College schedule

    Cons

    MBM strategy is not for everyone

  8. Great people, great company, great experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Risk Analyst Intern in Wichita, KS (US)
    Former Intern - Risk Analyst Intern in Wichita, KS (US)

    I worked at Koch Industries as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Performance based awards. If you can provide value you will be awarded for that value

    Cons

    None. Koch rewards based on value. If you aren't rewarded you aren't valuable

    Advice to Management

    None

  9. Helpful (6)

    Not sad to go

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT in Wichita, KS (US)
    Current Employee - IT in Wichita, KS (US)

    I have been working at Koch Industries full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Pretty good benefits. Pension. 401K Match. Vacations & Holiday, but expect to lose out on vacation because you will likely not be allowed to take any your first year or two. Solid company and safe place to ride out a bumpy economy.

    Cons

    I was recruited to work at Koch and the benefits seemed too good to be true. Turns out, they were. I was told by recruiter to expect 50-100% of my salary in bonuses. The entire time I was there? Nada. Turns out people in IT rarely get bonuses, since they're mostly servicing the people who make the company $. Thus - IT doesn't create any value, so no rewards.
    REALLY OLD technology. Business doesn't want to invest in technology - takes away from their bonuses - so the systems are archaic, unsupportable, and horrendous to change. Some of the programs use code that is so obsolete there's nobody left at the company to support it and the vendor won't support it either. Need a change to the system? Too bad but guess what? You still have to use the system because the business is too cheap to justify an upgrade.
    GOOD OLD BOYS - what do you expect? Very few women in leadership positions. Going to have a baby? Forget moving into a management role until your kids are much older or you just flat out work more than you have a life.
    POLITICS - expect to have the Koch 'culture' shoved down your throat and be prepared to vocally agree with their political viewpoints. Don't support the Tea Party? Then don't expect a career path with Koch.

    Advice to Management

    Separate politics from the work environment. Promote more women and minorities. Diversify.

  10. Helpful (1)

    Strong company, but understand what you are getting into

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in Atlanta, GA (US)
    Former Employee - Manager in Atlanta, GA (US)

    I worked at Koch Industries full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Koch Industries has a strong internal culture, which begins with the CEO Charles Koch. There is a definite philosophy which is in line with their conservative political and economic views. It is a successful business.

    Cons

    The size and culture can be challenges to navigate. There are similar challenges in any large organization, including accountability issues and difficulties in maintaining cohesive management.

  11. Helpful (7)

    Tax Attorney/Tax Manager/Tax Director assessment of Koch Industries

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Tax Attorney/Tax Manager/Tax Director in Wichita, KS (US)
    Former Employee - Tax Attorney/Tax Manager/Tax Director in Wichita, KS (US)

    I worked at Koch Industries full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Complex and interesting work
    Libertarian politics
    Short commute time to company headquarters

    Cons

    Extremely low base salary and extremely low bonuses (if there even are any)
    No work-life balance; law firm-like work demands, but laughable and insulting compensation
    Extremely arrogant and dishonest management and leadership
    Class-like/caste system of haves and have nots
    "Good old boys" network (if you are not a perverted male or beautiful female, forget about advancement)
    People are terminated constantly for small personality clashes with their petulant supervisors
    Cult-like atmosphere

    I was recruited to work in the Koch Industries tax department many years ago. I was told that my offered base salary, despite being 50% under market, would not matter as I would receive bonuses that would equal or exceed 100% of my base salary if I met or exceeded expectations. My performance reviews indicated I met or exceeded expectations every year I was employed at Koch yet my year-end bonuses never exceeded 20% of my base salary (which itself was 50% below market). Each time I confronted my supervisor, he always had an excuse like "the company is not doing that well this year" or "management is trying to cut back." In reality, my supervisor just lied, and he and the other tax leadership gave the same line to each tax attorney who walked in the door. My situation has been repeated dozens and dozens of times over the last decade.

    Koch works its employees (especially its younger attorneys) to death, treats them like garbage, and then punishes them further at the end of each year by giving them low bonuses. It was heart-breaking to see how people really believed Koch would keep its word and then were constantly disappointed, after having left good-paying jobs elsewhere to move their families to Wichita.

    Retention and attrition are absolutely terrible at Koch because of the dishonesty regarding compensation, work-life balance, employee morale, etc.. Many tax recruiting agencies/headhunters will no longer recruit for Koch because they know Koch is simply dishonest in its recruiting practices.

    I finally decided to go elsewhere after enduring the hypocrisy for many years. I left and my compensation at my new employer was over double what I earned at Koch, and that is with working 25% less, having much less stress, obtaining and using four weeks of annual vacation, among many, many other perks.

    Do yourself a favor, do not believe Koch's hype, spare yourself the misery and disappointment, and find a job elsewhere. You will be very grateful you did not make the mistake of going to work for Koch Industries.

    Advice to Management

    1. Pay employees market compensation,and be honest with prospective employees during the recruiting process so they can make informed educated decisions about their future.
    2. Eliminate the haves and have-nots class sytem that exists, many people work and contribute, but only the top 5-10% are compensated well or even according to market standards (despite the line of garbage told to prospective employees during the recruiting process)
    3. Terminate leadership in tax and finance departments
    4. Teach new leadership about the importance of honesty and integrity dealing with employment matters, especially in recruiting and retaining employees

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