Administrators Andrew Reid Posted February 6, 2020 Administrators Share Posted February 6, 2020 These staff comments give an insight into what it is like work for the camera companies and for those who stayed many years, how their career prospects fared. For Blackmagic and Canon around 40% of the reviews are very poor. Some real horror stories here... Blackmagic https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Reviews/Blackmagic-Design-Reviews-E967090.htm "Not worth the free lunches" "The CEO boasts of running an efficient company thanks to its lack of middle-management, but from what I saw during my time there this is a lie. The department sits idle the majority of the time, paralysed due to the CEO's lack of time, and refusal to delegate any decision-making to the department heads. Projects are worked on in a completely linear, unconnected way due to his intractability, and inability of department heads to use their own experience to push work through. Despite having 30+ staff in the department, there is nothing on the walls, no brainstorming sessions, not even magazines or books to look through for inspiration. Competitor research is banned, and ideas are meant to just appear out of thin air. No market research, metrics or measuring of campaign effectiveness is done. Results are graded purely on the CEO's gut. Anyone with talent is marginalised in favour of the "old guard", which means nothing modernises or changes with regard to working practices or efficiencies. I saw this company repeatedly fire (sorry, "make redundant") their most productive and liked staff members without any explanation, plan or even apparent realisation of how integral they were to both the actual work and the working environment. God, the way they let them go was appalling too - so little respect or even understanding of what a redundancy process requires. Public floggings of reputations after staff have left the buildings are common, alongside grandstand speeches from the CEO which display his clear lack of knowledge of the departments day-to-day reality. They have no HR department, so mistreatment and inappropriate actions by senior staff are commonplace. Complaints cause much consternation within the management 'cabal' but really go nowhere as they aren't empowered are trained on how to deal with them. Promotions are really on the whim of the old guard, who will build a human shield around them that they can blame for their own failings. I know this sounds like the rantings of an incredibly bitter former employee, but I've waited a long time to write this review to ensure it wasn't written in the heat of the moment. If you're an Industrial Designer, then you'll be on a good wicket at BMD - that department is well resourced, well run and well respected within the company and by the CEO. But if you're unfortunate enough to be in the Marketing department, you will be the company whipping boys. Worked to the bone during tradeshows and product launches, and left to languish the rest of the time." Other reviews of Blackmagic follow similar lines: "Blackmagic Design has no HR department. Many young woman have been bullied to the point of quitting by their direct manager with no repercussions despite it being a known fact by other staff." ... On autocratic leadership: Very little opportunity to progress your career. You will sit at your desk and be given little chance to use your talents. Management motivated by self interest rather than shipping great products. Except for the CEO who is a talented product visionary but poor manager that rules with an iron fist. CEO can only concentrate on one thing at a time. If there is a problem somewhere, the rest of the company sits idle waiting to get decisions made. ... And complaints of a lads club culture: "Morale level of many people is rock bottom a lot of the time. If you're 'one of the lads' or 'one of the girls' then you stand a fighting chance. Definite lads club culture" ... And complaints from the sales office too: "Newer products not as innovative as they used to be. Wasteful of money. Sales offices being squeezed hard on margins. Most lower level employees complain of low salary." ... A member of staff in Singapore where Blackmagic manufactures the Pocket Cinema Cameras: "If you're younger and more capable the old vanguard will reduce your role and have you fired and ask you to quit... Good place to retire and leech money." ... A senior engineer in Melbourne complains: "I worked at Blackmagic Design full-time for more than 5 years... [Blackmagic has] a CEO who does not know how to manage a company and is a bit full of himself, now focused on solving "old" problems in media (albeit successfully.) There are a whole host of new problems upper management fails to see. Salaries are not competitive to industry standards (far low-end)." Canon https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Reviews/Canon-Reviews-E3522_P6.htm Like Blackmagic, Canon has an overall review rating of 3/5 stars meaning that nearly half (40%) wouldn't recommend a job there to other people. A complaint that comes up at Canon time and time again is how slow the company runs, which perhaps explains their camera release strategy of the last few years. "If you don't want to get anything done in a hurry then this place is for you. There is a lot of red tape, unnecessary hoops to jump and inefficient meetings. HR don't protect employees so trust is a big issue here and need to be challenged... Pros - Working hours are good as you can leave at 5pm. ... Although the hours are typically 9-5 in the US at Canon, this review from the Melville, NY office complains of a lack of flexibility: "Working moms dropping off kids at daycare and need five minutes of flexibility? Forget it. Work from home ? Forget it? Take a late lunch so you can leave early? Nope. Ten minutes late due to a personal problem? You are on a LATE LIST subject to disciplinary action. Wanna take a coffee break? Nope---better be back in five minutes or less! Sandals in the summer? Better not show your toes! Wanna take a walk to stretch your legs? Nope. Considered AWAY FROM YOUR DESK and SUSPECT. Ridiculous rules from the 1950s." ... And there are complaints of a stubborn, risk averse culture: "Too conservative and stubborn. Unwilling to take risk, afraid of taking new challenges." ... But it gets far worse: "No core values. Fire you if you report sexual harassment. No loyalty from Company and you are treated as just a number." "Boys club at the top. A company that believes it's logo deserves respect." "Extremely cold environment and I’m not just talking about the air-conditioning. Stifling environment." "Worst company I have ever worked for!" "Pros: Good quality product in the camera division! Cons: - Poor senior leaders! - Poor Culture! - Very poor employee engagement! - Top Heavy! - Stuck in the past and still think they are market leaders! "Terrible creative thinking environment. Extreme hierarchy." "Camera company should be more creative and flexible to think about the next gen of photography market. The equipment itself is not important at all because more than 80% of people already have a camera on their hands in this era. To be survived, Canon should transformed more to be a photography and platform service company, not just a camera maker." ... But perhaps the most revealing review of Canon comes from their main US headquarters in Lake Success, New York: "Remember in college when the white kids and the black kids and asian kids all sat at different tables in the cafeteria? Well, here at Canon it's exactly like that. The Top Management Japanese congregate together, speaking Japanese. They are imported from Japan (expats) and get better benefits, pay, etc. They even have a separate benefits package. They email each other in Japanese and are even sat in the same cubicle areas together. "There is a Japanese side and American side. "All the lower employees are American, thus creating an atmosphere of gossip, backstabbing and jockeying for recognition from the Japanese. Middle Management try to secure their positions by limiting your access to upper management. Management tries to encourage an atmosphere of cooperation, all new employees are subjected to a week long brainwashing orientation, encouraging kyosei, teamwork and team spirit. Great philosphy, but you find that once you get back to your small cubicle, that other employees are not buying it. "Work load is tremendous and at the same time HR sends out numerous mandated online course requirements, with deadlines and even encourages you to complete them on your off time at home. In fact, certain courses are not allowed to be completed during work hours!!!! and you are not paid for this. Also, imagine working for a camera company and not being able to buy one for a discounted price? "They run "camera" sales for only certain models at only 1 -2 times a year for 2 weeks. However, the Spring sale was cancelled unexplained.... I needed a camera and bought a Nikon. 🤣😂 "How stupid of management not to promote their camera through their employees. Big lost opportunity. Also Japanese renegs on the "rewards". About 100 people given rewards for outstanding performance with a trip to Japan, but after a month, half were told that they couldn't go and perhaps they would go next year.... huh? What if you're not here next year! Bogus. Cafeteria closes sharply at 9am! and 2pm to encourage you to go back to your desk. Arcane software that was written by Canon for their operations in 1982 and is still being used. Original programmers from Japan was called back 2008 to "retool" the software because of its bugs, redundancies and basic uselessness. Advice to Management: Stop importing your top management with Japanese expats. They don't know the culture, speak the language well enough. New expats rotate every 2-3 years so you have lower management training top management all the time, causing resentment and ineffectiveness. Of course not all the reviews are poor for Blackmagic and Canon...But the figure of 40% very poor reviews doesn't reflect well at all. When spending such a large amount of money regularly on these brands, I want to know it is going to support an ethical workplace where staff are treated with respect. A LOT of room for improvement, I think. tweak, Emanuel and tupp 2 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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