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Koch Industries Reviews

Updated 25 March 2015
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3.1
67 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Helpful (2)

    Electrician

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Electrician in Clatskanie, OR (US)
    Former Employee - Electrician in Clatskanie, OR (US)

    I worked at Koch Industries full-time (More than 10 years)

    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The pros are rapidly disappearing. The pay may sound good for a stable job, but the stripping of benefits is taking its toll. Use to be friendly and some people still are. But there is a lot of back stabbing union to union because Koch likes it that way. Opportunity to learn if you make the right friend.

    Cons

    Lower and mid Management doesn't care about people,s safety, family lives or attempts to add value to the bottom line.
    Seen many people thrown under the bus for standing up for principles.
    Bonuses are given out by the good old boy system.
    Resources to fix things quickly are being stripped away by poor work management practices and no one seems to care and just blames the system. This will be demoralizing if you care about keeping things going.
    Training does not exist for all.
    Opportunity does not exist for all
    Again it's good old boy system.
    Union and management create a non functioning work environment that many just hate to return to each day.
    This is why about 1/3 of the electricians and instrument techs have left in 2014.
    If you live in Washington you will pay 9 percent to a state you don't live in.
    If you live in St Helens or Scappoose, there's better jobs with normal managers in PDX.
    Raises are set by a national contract that has averaged 1.5 percent a year from 2010-2018.
    While giving sub standard raises Koch has stripped good health care, such as kaiser and replaced it with a PPO that ran about 400 a month. Then they took away the PPO plan and forced on a HSA that takes several 100 dollars a month to buy if you have a family, then pays nothing until the first 2500 out of pocket and you keep paying out of pocket until you are out 6 grand. In 2018 it's quite likely Koch will push everyone to Obamacare. (According to union sources). There is also the possibility of a labor dispute as the contract is almost a year past due. The union and the company has agreed to changed some of the responsibilities and definitions of being an electrician. You may come to work here and find your days filled with greasing mechanical equipment because the company is looking for ways to save money and perhaps eliminate other trades. This is obvious by the language in the proposed contract. You will beed to be ready to become a millwright.
    Terrible safety record.
    Many Osha complaints and fines over the last decade of Koch's ownership

    Advice to Management

    Listen to people.
    Try to get along.
    Your workforce thinks many of you are jokes and undermines you often.
    Look around you, much of the talent left and there is a high turn over of people who have nothing to lose by leaving while the old managers stay to preserve their vacations.
    Give managers raises do they will be happy
    Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
    Practice what you preach or just don't preach it and let the work force get things done.

  9. Helpful (4)

    Dead end tax attorney role.

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

    I have been working at Koch Industries

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

    Pros

    Sophisticated, challenging tax work that will stretch your ability to analyze complex issues.

    Cons

    Toxic culture. The only thing I can compare this experience to is an abusive relationship. You can expect to be emotionally abused, ignored, disregarded, publicly shamed and humiliated. The work is highly interesting, but at some point the abusive culture outweighs the interesting tax issues. This is a miserable, depressing environment to work in. You will also be told that bonuses are 50% - 100% of your base in the recruiting process while the reality is they are more in the 7% - 30% range depending upon how long you have been here.

    Advice to Management

    None. These people revel in making people miserable. Good luck.

  10. Former employee

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

    I worked at Koch Industries

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Nice buildings on local campus

    Cons

    Small town with limited air service

  11. Helpful (1)

    Very reputed and establish company

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

    I worked at Koch Industries full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Very diverse team of people and get to work in very friendly and manner organisation. They value people and their integrity. Also help establish career growth plan.

    Cons

    very stringent on following MBM principle and would be cultural shock for people moving in from other company.

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