Vitacost

  www.vitacost.com
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Vitacost Reviews

Updated Jul 20, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

1.7 50 reviews

21% Approve of the CEO

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Jeffrey J. Horowitz

(34 ratings)

14% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Filtered water system and 2 monitors, like someone else said (in 4 reviews)

  • Also, we are a health and wellness company, have you ever tried to feed this type of person (in 2 reviews)


Cons
  • Nice people, but warped leadership, particularly all C level employees and IT (in 7 reviews)

  • Not a friendly work environment and to many people in Leadership working hard and not smart (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights
50 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Work for a Fast-Moving Company with Integrity all the way to the top

    Senior Web Developer (Current Employee) Boca Raton, FL (US)

    ProsExecutive Integrity
    3 weeks for a typical technology advancement project vs. 6 months minimum anywhere else I've worked
    Autonomy
    Opportunity to drive business strategies and contribute in multiple ways including helping to set technical direction

    Consopen office layout (personally I like it though because of the ability to connect & converse directly with our Executives including the CEO)

    Advice to Senior ManagementContinue the unofficial policy of waiting however long it takes to find the right people, rather than settling on someone just to fill a position. In my opinion this is why we have the highest-performance IT Team I've ever encountered in my career.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    CC and BW Pro

    Yes (Former Employee) Boca Raton, FL (US)

    Prosbiweekly paycheck clears. some nice people to work for and with,

    Constwo bit micromanaging CEO . no direction, no benefits, no leadership plays favorites against each other, lack of privacy while working, open work area, no perks, if yo take your PTO they look at yo like you are taking something from them and if you dont use your PTO you lose it without compensation. etc.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet rid of current CEO and replace witha compenet visionary who undrstands dotcom busines..

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    It was a job

    Customer Service Representative (Former Employee) Lexington, NC (US)

    Prosupgraded computers and phones, friendly co-workers

    Consmanagement didn't seem to know what they were doing, the available shifts kept changing dramatically with little notice or employee feedback, animosity between departments (specifically customer service and the warehouse), low end pay

    Advice to Senior Managementlearn the systems better so that the employee can better understand how to use them, listen to employee feedback

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    overly stress full job

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThe best part of working here is getting to talk/help people all over the world

    ConsChallanges of working with Vitacost was handling being cussed out everyday

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe more involved with your employees

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    2 people found this helpful  

    Most Here is Unfortunate But Absolutely True

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsNice office space, easy commute in a great city. The managers are intelligent and cooperative

    ConsMy experience at Vitacost has turned into a stressful circus filled with clowns. There are many people at this company that have stayed over the years simply because they won't be able to find a new position with the old technology that is used here. The software development teams are led by a former military person who became involved with law enforcement; is this what a strategic company should have as their C level technology leader? No.

    The development that is being done on the site is old, cannot be integrated properly into any older technologies and frankly is stressing many departments out including development and QA. The IT team does nothing to integrate any type of metrics or performance results ton better their position. With hundreds of competitors on the market willing to sell snacks and vitamins, it's no wonder that they are at the bottom of the list. For years, they have been trying to find the magic bullet to propel them to success with no avail or success. There has been major level turnover (Managers, C level firings and quits) that unfortunately is permanently staining their already bad reputation.

    Managers are being promoted to directors, sr. directors without and reasonable justification other than they know how to play the game of politics and drama. I initially enjoyed working their until the former CFO left and then the CIO, then the other CIO and now the CMO and the VP of marketing. Recently, the CIO also brought in ANOTHER person from his previous company as his assistant; I am not sure why this company does not promote from within. This was one thing that prompted me to re-evaluate my career there - new people without allowing internal people to be promoted.. The company was good a long time ago, but now is just spinning wheels trying to make a profit. This is why I left; for fear of an inevitable lay off. So many of my friends have done the same.

    On a final note, I would like to say that my evaluation of the company is how I see it as a person who decided to quit; not a firing or layoff. I wished that many other people would also voice their opinion once they've left. Unfortunately, nothing can be done with this company or it's poor leadership other than hope and perhaps bankruptcy or a sale. I wish my friends well and hope the best for the remaining people that were pleasant during my tenure there. May you all find peace and happiness in new positions or your current one should Vitacost turn around.

    Advice to Senior ManagementChange the leadership again, but with board approval, The CCIO and CFO are friends from an old company which doesn't really say much for the CEO's approval. The CEO is a sexist person and is annoying with 100% constant micro management and insults.

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    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Favoritism is the way to work your way to the top

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsI enjoyed the open atmosphere being that at my prior job we worked in separate cubicles. It was a dramatic contrast to interact with my colleagues quite readily being that no matter what department you worked in, you had no task that you couldn't complete without other members from your team.

    ConsI worked at Vitacost for a little over a year. There were several things that troubled me that led to my decision to look for another job and leave when offered a position at a company for less money and further commute. I realized I was driven to this decision as the mood at the company kept steadily declining and witnessing things and actions of people I could no longer stand. I decided working in such a negative environment was no longer worth it or healthy.

    I believe the beginning of the end was when the former CMO ( a great guy - and a loss to Vitacost) decided to leave several months after a new c-level employee was hired. It was quite obvious to all that this new exec was clueless. Being a public company, executive salaries are public knowledge. It was so baffling and infuriating to know the ridiculously high six-figure salary this guy was raking in. He created rifts in departments that were at one-time smooth running, is never in the office, at times verbally abusive. He's not the type of person who should have such a high level, visible position.

    Another thing I could no longer tolerate was seeing the favoritism the CEO had towards his select few middle management members. If you pretend to know how to do pivot tables, talk like you know numbers, be absolutely hated by practically the whole company, you get promoted to a Senior Director position. A mystery to all.

    Another way to become a favorite is to dress like you're going to a night club wearing short skirts and low cut tops. Me being a guy, I can attest to why this would be a favorite by the CEO! All kidding aside, the sexual undertones, open flirting and bantering - truly, after a while, the attention getting tricks became old and annoying. Then, to get a promotion when she too, like the new c-level, is totally clueless, is quite troublesome especially since everyone knows this is too close of a relationship. The speculation of an inappropriate relationship simply can't be avoided.

    Threaten to quit - no problem, lets give you more money and a new title. This happened with another of the CEO's favs. Last laugh on him though. This person ultimately quit anyway several months later.

    It's no wonder Vitacost can't make a profit. This is a company run by managers, directors and c-levels who don't know what they are doing other than knowing how to play the CEO.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRecognize the TRUE talent you have working for you.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Objectively one of the worst personal and professional experiences of my life.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsTo reiterate other reviews - they made payroll on time, every time. I found my total compensation to be fair.

    ConsThe CEO is well intentioned most of the time, and he can be pleasant to talk with at times, even funny. But he's secretive, selfish, rude, intolerant, and known for being prone to public outbursts. In my 2+ years at the company, he publicly "shame-blamed" employees in front of colleagues no less than 5 times that I was present to witness. Vitacost has bare-open seating, so this occurred within earshot of 100+ people each time. If anybody had caught one of these with a camera phone video and put it on YouTube, it would catch serious media attention.

    Everything in his mind is zero-sum. That is to say, if anything goes wrong, it must be somebody's fault and they must pay by being belittled and yelled at. I've never seen people cower at a superior like this outside of the military. I've never seen so many people stressed to the point of physical illness as I have at the corporate office of Vitacost. It was, frankly, disgusting and heartbreaking to see otherwise good people get trampled on professionally and emotionally every day. The games that management plays with the employees, at the behest of the CEO, is borderline psychologically abusive.

    Too, and perhaps more importantly regarding the possibility of success for the company, the CEO is simply not of this technological era. He literally barely understands how to work his computer. Others have noted this in their reviews, and they are not exaggerating. But lets be honest, as the CEO, he doesn't really need to use his computer, because his job and his value, like any CEO, is to bring direction, leadership, vision, and managerial wherewithal to the organization. I've never seen such a lack of all of those at a company primed for success. Lastly, he does not understand the intersection between retail and technology, a concept otherwise known as ecommerce.

    The business model is sound. To be clear, much of management are not bad people. The rest of the C-level and middle managers, are altogether great, well balanced people who work hard to make a difference. Customers want the products that they sell, and for the most part, Vitacost does a great job at delivering those products. But yet they still manage to lose millions of dollars every single quarter. Its incomprehensible to me that investors keep dumping money into this company. If this company manages to turn itself around, it will be one of the greatest small-cap turn around runs in history. I do hope they can manage to get back on track.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRemove the CEO. Stop make excuses for poor cultural habits and bring in professionals to help. This company could be a great company fulfilling a great mission.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    The worst job and company I have ever worked for.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Boca Raton, FL (US)

    Pros$100 to spend each month on the website on Vitacost products only. That then got cut to $50 a month until they finally got rid of it all together. Free lunch on Fridays until that cut that as well. 4 weeks of PTO but if you used too much of it you were looked at funny by upper management and could have cost you your job.

    ConsNo job security. A CEO with no vision, a CMO that is overly concerned about making everyone think that Ironman products and competitions was the way of the fitness world when no one in the company gave two craps. He brought in all these Ironman products that did not cell. Given stock options but the stocks were dropping. The 2nd largest share holder suggested selling the company and taking a loss. This company is going no where and cannot compete with the other large companies in its market. Vitacost will not be around much longer.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWho cares they wouldnt listen.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Most unprofessional place I have ever worked

    Customer Service Representative (Current Employee) Lexington, NC (US)

    ProsSome of the people I work with are nice. It's a very casual dress policy.

    ConsCompensation is not good at all. Moral is very low. Training is a joke. The call center is nothing more than a room with tables lined up with employee's sitting about 2 feet away from the next person. There are no cubicles. There is one bathroom that one person at a time can use in the call center for about 100 people to use. I have worked in customer service for a long time and, by far, Vitacost.com's customers are the rudest people, mainly because management does not care about customers or doing what's right for them. I was promised in my interview that I would get every other weekend off. That didn't happen. I'm now working every weekend. If you use more than 11 min of after call work time for the entire 8 hour shift, you get in trouble. You get 3 min in 8 hours to use the restroom, or once again, you get in trouble.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI don't even know where to begin.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    An Excruciating Year - There Are Far Better Opportunities in this Industry

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Boca Raton, FL (US)

    ProsI have intentionally waited for several months after my resignation to write this review. This was to provide some separation between the experience and allow me to be more objective in the review.

    The relocation package, salary, and bonus (had I stayed to receive one) were all generous. The office itself was clean, in a nice area, and featured a small on-site gym as well as multiple break rooms with the occasional free sample. The samples were typically the Vitacost house brand supplements that were at or near expiration, however. I also had the opportunity to work with some very talented people, who mostly left for better companies and opportunities over the course of my year with the company. There was also a small health foods 'store' in the front of the office which sold healthy foods, snacks and drinks at cost. The company also provided medical and dental benefits, but they were probably about as average as they come in terms of price and overall quality.

    ConsLeadership is by far the biggest obstacle this company faces. The CEO is one of the least likable people I've ever worked with. He shows a complete lack of respect for those around him (except for a small crew of several men who he apparently holds in high praise and can do no wrong), including the other C-level members and senior management. I once brought this up with the head of the Human Resources department, who explained it away with a shrug, stating that the management style is "a bit rough around the edges because the CEO is more of an entrepreneur than a typical Chief Executive." This explanation rang hollow because being a professional and being an entrepreneur are not mutually exclusive.

    Beyond this, the company can never seem to pick a certain direction to move in. Instead, the company fumbles from one sale to the next, focusing almost all efforts on short term objectives (the monthly site-wide sale) instead of growing a healthy customer base (the customers who do happen to shop at the site are quickly bombarded with spam level amounts of email after a single purchase). The IT department was also a tangle of new and old legacy systems, duct taped together with fingers crossed that the site wouldn't burn down every night. The IT staff always seemed to be strapped for time, under incomprehensible pressure, and faced with the inane questions of a CEO who can barely operate his own iPad, let alone operate a supposedly up-and-coming online health products retailer.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAt this point, put the company out there and let a decent group acquire it while the name is still worth something. Failing that, maybe the shareholders will recognize the issues and ask the CEO to sell his shares and walk away.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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