Ciena

  www.ciena.com
  www.ciena.com

Ciena Reviews

Updated 25 November 2014
Updated 25 November 2014
154 Reviews
3.3
154 Reviews
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Ciena President, CEO, and Director Gary B. Smith
Gary B. Smith
90 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

17 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Marginal Products, Political Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Director Engineering in Ottawa, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Senior Director Engineering in Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Ciena full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Commute to work is good. Salary is on the low end for the local area but options outside of Gov't contract work in this area are very limited.

    Cons

    SW is weak, not a differentiator in the market. I feel this opportunity to capture market share is slipping away because Exec Leadership has not acted aggressively. Customer satisfaction with some of the larger carriers has become a significant problem and will likely limit sales growth - this impacts a significant portion of Ciena's revenue stream.

    Politics seem especially virulent among the execs. Probably because we have not hit our margin goals and stock is way down. Reorgs happen pretty regularly, VPs disappear without explanation. Trust level feels low among execs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Address SW issues with transparency and leadership.
    Gary Smith should take a bigger role in developing a positive culture.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 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
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overall average

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Leadership Role in Hanover, MD (US)
    Current Employee - Leadership Role in Hanover, MD (US)

    I have been working at Ciena full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Product technology is leading edge. Market position. Partnership with Ericsson opens up opportunities for growth.

    Cons

    Ciena needed infusion of new more mature and savvy talent. Nortel MEN acquisition provided some of that, but also brought with it a culture that had, over the years during the Nortel downturn, self-selected managers, directors and IC's that were too readily compliant with the direction some execs took. The culture had placed a higher value on compliance ("alignment") over real debate and transparency - this lead to very real situations where the company's ability to achieve its goals were undermined.

    My experience was that the issues with culture and transparency went beyond the former Nortel exec leadership to in some specific cases to the senior exec's as well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    First phase of the company post-integration was to grow revenue, attack costs and try not to die.
    Next phase needs to be centered around a strong people-first approach to push the culture in a direction that effectively identifies and nurtures talent, provides an environment for growth and allow more effective work/life balance.
    Would add that a selective culling of the ex Nortel leadership is probably necessary to drive the level of change that is required for the company to thrive.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Work environment.

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

    I worked at Ciena full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits. Most positions and managers have a balanced work ethic. Great technology, though not implemented well, too splintered.

    Cons

    Non-test positions and managers have a better grip on reality. Many ex-cisco test employees and managers, who brought along their 'drag-me-down' mentality that ruined Cisco's work environment. Training is not so great, always behind the curve. Upper management is not involved in the trenches, thus they are mis-lead. HR does NOT want to hear what you really have to say!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train your employees. Listen and follow your employees advise on improving the work atmosphere.
    Get into the trenches!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Hardware Engineer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Linthicum, MD (US)
    Former Employee - Principal Engineer in Linthicum, MD (US)

    I worked at Ciena full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Salary is competitive. Good co-works. New technology

    Cons

    The upper management does not know what they are doing. Short term focused and all are about making themselves rich.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The board is not doing the job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Major part of the quality work is Off-shored,

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

    I have been working at Ciena full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexibility. International Presence. Company seems to be growing

    Cons

    Ciena is not a place that will enhance your technical skills. Its a place to do some legacy ownership, and light work. The technical teams are Disorganized, disconnected. This mainly happens because most of the quality work is off-shored, with major control given to off shore teams. The vibes hence is on buying specialized skills from outside rather than build technical expertise, within, but in reality these specialized skills have little experience, and quite little tendency to share the work, or transfer knowledge to those internal to team. Less transparency and reliability witnessed on the culture of the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Building internal skills always helps long run. But if outsourcing is the path chosen by company, it maybe a better idea to hire internship managers who can manage this team. Technical people would obviously expect an enhancement of their technical skills, and its only fair hence not to hire them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Optical vendor, state of the art technology in long haul and metro DWDM optical solutions for telecommunications.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Engineer P&T in Alpharetta, GA (US)
    Former Employee - Lead Engineer P&T in Alpharetta, GA (US)

    I worked at Ciena full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Best in their niche, one of the few of it's kind that survived the tech bubble

    Cons

    Big H1-B visa house, slave labor for a few years till they get their green card. About 90% Indian at the Alpharetta location. Not a diverse workforce.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get the majority of your employees from US citizens graduating college, with less that 10% H1-B candidates.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Accounting Department

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

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

    Pros

    Decent benefits, work life balance, good people to work with

    Cons

    very bureaucratic, still struggling to get back to been a profitable company after the nortel acquisition, layoffs are a common place

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Systemically bad management, no investment back into ERP or employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Middle Level Management in Linthicum, MD (US)
    Former Employee - Middle Level Management in Linthicum, MD (US)

    I worked at Ciena full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The increasingly dwindling employee base still had a few folks left who were tenured enough to know the day to day process.

    Cons

    *Extremely high employee turnover
    *Bonuses were a farce
    *Terrible upper management
    *Horrible cross departmental communication/cohesiveness
    *Complete lack of concern about employees
    *Zero corporate culture

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Years before joining Ciena I had heard it was a great place to work - after joining Ciena I heard this used to be such a great place to work. Clean house with old upper level managers/execs and bring in folks who want to work and can respectfully treat employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Place to work 2012 for "Seniors"

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

    I have been working at Ciena full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    1. Casual Work Environment
    2. No need to inform your supervisor for Leaves, just take and then say "unplanned leave"
    3. Full of extra curricular activities, nothing technical.
    4. Informed (not Mock) Fire Drill every 6 months
    5. Annual Party thrown at Five Star Hotel
    6. Developes everything in software viz. DSP, drivers, embedded applications, user interface in india center only, but you won't get everything to learn because you will be tied up with just one module for years, after all they want to develop expertise for themselves.
    7. Very Good in hand salary

    Cons

    1. No career growth
    2. Either No or very high work pressure
    3. Every hour verbal reporting, email reporting is additional
    4. Management hardly knows people managment, just puppets of their foreign counterpart.
    5. No defined criteria for promotions, may get based on your criticality
    6. Reward program is extremely poor, basically management does not know when to reward an employee, for them it is always expected performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do some full time management course

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

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