Audible Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

Audible Reviews

Updated 17 January, 2018
199 reviews

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3.0
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Audible Chairman and CEO Donald R. Katz
Donald R. Katz
145 Ratings

199 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • There IS something called a "free lunch" (in 51 reviews)

  • The free food, raffled event tickets and RSU's are just some of the awesome perks Audible has to offer (in 35 reviews)

Cons
  • No Work life balance among management and executives (always working even on PTO) (in 8 reviews)

  • Senior Management is nothing but good players of politics (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Beware..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Audible full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This is an incredible product and the company is experiencing some amazing growth due to the popularity of digital audio. Audible has some decent perks and is part of Amazon (best part). With a new CEO and management team, this could be a 5 star company.

    Cons

    The glassdoor reviews and "ratings trends" tell the story here. Just read the reviews and you will get a sense of exactly what is happening. There is an incredible amount of turnover at all levels. I can't overstate this.

    Audible attracts very talented people but the unhealthy amount of chaos and dysfunction drives everyone out. Much of the chaos starts with the CEO. This is well documented so don't overlook. Some of the senior leaders who "run" the company are also responsible holding this company back. Politics are alive and well across Audible and good luck growing your career if you don't have the "right" manager. Consistently exceeding your goals has little to do with career growth at Audible. Again, beware of choosing Audible over Amazon, Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Congrats to the CEO for launching and growing this amazing company over the last twenty years. It might be time to move on and focus on your other passion (rebuilding Newark). This business may have outgrown your ability to run it effectively. Don't be too proud to step aside and let a new CEO bring this company back to greatness and lead it through the next phase of growth.

    Advice to senior management: Look inward. You can't hire your way out of a bad and toxic culture. What does the constant turnover say about the company you are leading? Don't overlook that there are some serious problems just because the business is growing.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Nice but slow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Audible full-time

    Pros

    Good direct manager
    Felt empowered to make decisions
    Lively drinking culture
    Work on some of the best audio projects
    Work/Life Balance (because there is very little to do)
    CEO seems like a good person - sends strong all staff emails on issues that impact them, works hard to regenerate Newark.
    If you just want to go somewhere and coast and take the amazing shares then this is the place, but if you ever want to feel like you're having an impact or doing stuff then it's a no.

    Cons

    Projects drag on and on and on. Senior management are left to make the ultimate decision and wildly pivot about not making decisions.
    Very celebratory of average work.
    Disorganised compared to Amazon and weird culture where they press that even though they are part of Amazon they 'still have startup culture'. Sadly that just means nothing ever gets done.
    Extreme lack of diversity, everyone is the same. HR don't care.
    Tech and Non Tech barely interact so issues obviously arise.


  3. "Software Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Audible full-time

    Pros

    1. The working environment is awesome. Smart office, smart desk, entertainment room. And each floor has a kitchen.
    2. Free Lunch. The lunch is very tasty and you can definitely find some food that meets your expectations.
    3. People. People there are very nice.

    Cons

    It is located in Newark, there are no much things around Audible hc.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "If you're creative, talented, motivated... don't work at Audible!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product in Newark, NJ (US)
    Current Employee - Product in Newark, NJ (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Audible full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Amazon stock! This is by far the biggest reason to work here. For some reason, Audible has a much more generous vesting policy than Amazon does for direct Amazon employees.

    - You get to put Amazon on your resume. That carries a lot of weight in tech.

    - Very nice catered lunches. For a company the size of Audible, the caterers do a remarkable job, both in varity and quality. You're not going to confuse it for a Google cafeteria, but it is very good. Given the lack of options for dining in Newark, it's also well needed.

    - If you aren't creative, talented or motivated, you can get a cushy gig where you don't have to do very much and tiny "accomplishments" are recognized. If you were to add a help button to an app, that would be considered a big deal. You can seriously pad your estimates and no one will call you on it.

    Cons

    I've never worked for such a top-down company.

    Decisions are made capriciously, based on very little analysis. If Don (the CEO) were to tell product to build a version of the Audible player that is optimized for a Samsung Galaxy 8 in a BWM 7-series that is driving down the New Jersey Turn Pike at 68 miles an hour to a home in Montclair, product leadership would say "OK, would you like another version for when you are going 45 miles an hour?"

    When I interview people for jobs, I make up progressively more ridiculous requirements to see if/when they will push back. The best candidates push back on absurd requests. Not so with the product leadership here.

    The company's supposed top "people principle" is to be customer obsessed. As far as leadership goes, the only customer they obsess about is Don.

    There are so many levels of management that it feels like people are playing "company." CXOs (except Don), SVPs and VPs all map to the same level as a director at Amazon. That's a very big role at Amazon. Why Audible needs three levels for that I can't explain.

    Every level wants reporting. I don't know whether Don knows this or not, but the product team probably spends more time managing spreadsheets, status reports and plans than it does building products.

    Even though the company is top down and doesn't allow people to make decisions, the leadership is never available for meetings. A common cycle:
    Hey, do X.
    X is done and ready for approval.
    First available meeting slot to review X is scheduled for three weeks later
    Meeting canceled at last minute.
    Meeting rescheduled two weeks later.

    Meanwhile boss is yelling about why his product isn't done, oblivious to fact that it's not done because he canceled the meeting to approve it.

    There has been a ton of attrition lately. I hope management is taking note of that and the plummeting ratings on glassdor.

    If you are creative, talented and motivated, you will have the life sucked out of you within the first quarter.

    Advice to Management

    Weed out the sycophants. Hire people who will actually challenge you. (Try my test above - make progressively ridiculous requests to see who will push back.) Actually listen to customers in a systematic way, versus one-off requests from customer service. It's great that you're investing in Newark, but not enough focus on the company and it's people.


  6. "Amazing culture, great learning"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Newark, NJ (US)
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer in Newark, NJ (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Audible full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    People around are very smart and helpful!

    Cons

    I wish it was closer to downtown NYC.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Changes in the horizon...."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Newark, NJ (US)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Newark, NJ (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Audible full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Part of Amazon
    Lots of alcohol

    Cons

    POLITICS
    POLITICS
    POLITICS

    Senior Management is nothing but good players of politics. HR is a JOKE. Finance is another big JOKE.
    Senior management in Tech and Product - no words...

    Advice to Management

    Thank God you guys are finally firing senior folks who created a haven for dirty games and politics. There are many more out there. Clean the ship before it sinks.


  8. Helpful (7)

    "Risk-averse management who really want you to drink the Kool Aid"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Audible full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free food available all day. Lunch in a great cafeteria.
    Cool office, mostly upbeat people. Very smart people as well.

    Cons

    Risk averse management who are hesistant to go places they haven't been before.
    Often ridiculous reasoning behind decision making. Can be as simple as "customer called to complain" aka one customer decides what's best for everyone or very small focus groups.
    The people who are enthusiastic about working there are almost cult-like .

    Advice to Management

    Let people do what they're best at. Don't limit people because something "has always worked in the past". Go for it.


  9. "Great Culture, Amazing Company, Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Vice President in Newark, NJ (US)
    Current Employee - Vice President in Newark, NJ (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Audible full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Strong, culture. extremely smart people, team mentality, start-up feel yet still part of a top Fortune 15 company, openness to new ideas and thinking to continue growth, inspirational leaders, internal promotions + external hires means the growth plan isn't one-sided.. Even with continued growth, the company has made it critical to retain the small company feel. Amazing company.

    Not to mention, free lunch, snacks, coffee/drinks, ice cream Thursdays in the summer, etc.

    Cons

    None really. Commute in Newark can be long in traffic. But worth it.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the growth plan and don't lest the culture slip. Great job so far!


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Go from good to great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Newark, NJ (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Newark, NJ (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Audible full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    > Very smart, experienced people
    > We care about customers a lot
    > Tech teams are the best in Amazon
    > Famous people show up at the Newark HQ a lot
    > Company parties and free food
    > Amazon stock is looking good

    Cons

    > Long hours
    > Can be very stressful
    > Very risk adverse senior management
    > Business people beat up on engineers and product a lot

    Advice to Management

    It is mostly good. A small group of mean MBA-type leaders ruin the morale and should go. Enforce the no a-holes policy. Treat people kindly and we will all succeed.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Really looks after its people -- and customers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Newark, NJ (US)
    Current Employee - Director in Newark, NJ (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Audible full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Internal promotions take precedence over hiring outside
    Access to leadership
    Great benefits
    A strong pro-social activation
    Feeling you're helping better people's lives

    Cons

    Constantly shifting, unclear goals
    Micromanagement
    Red tape
    Too much diplomacy
    Flexible work not entirely encouraged

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work, making people's lives better with a great product, and for looking for new ways to innovate. A lot of really smart, talented, people work here, and you're well-positioned to empower your deputies to make more decisions on your behalf. If you clearly communicate your priorities, everyone will fall in line, because you are highly respected.


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