GSMA Reviews

Updated 25 Feb 2021

To filter reviews, or .
2.7
34%
Recommend to a Friend
28%
Approve of CEO
GSMA Director General  Mats Granryd  (no image)
Mats Granryd
86 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "This is what you have with GSMA: a C grade leader with a C grade executive leadership team(in 18 reviews)

  • "Senior management for many years has mainly consisted of white males with a token woman/Asian person(in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
  1. "Great place to make an impact"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Market Engagement Manager in London, England
    Recommends

    I have been working at GSMA full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Cutting edge - You feel you are making an impact - There is mutual respect for colleagues - Senior management is very good

    Cons

    - Long hours specially when working across teams

    GSMA Response

    February 2, 2021

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with the GSMA. We are proud of our team and their work. If there are other comments or feedback, you feel we should hear, please contact us on hrbp@gsma.com

  2. "Good organisation facing challenges"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Programmer Manager II in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at GSMA full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Range of exciting projects, new technologies, travel, global reach

    Cons

    Deliver through other companies, projects don't always have clear goals

    GSMA Response

    February 23, 2021

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with the GSMA. We are proud of our team and their work. If there are other comments or feedback, you feel we should hear, please contact us on hrbp@gsma.com


  3. "Low pay, no oportnuties"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at GSMA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Smart people, nice coffee, nice office

    Cons

    Salary, lack of opportunities, no benefits

    GSMA Response

    February 2, 2021

    Thank you for your comments. We are proud of our team and our work and appreciate we can all do better. If you would like to share further comments or have any questions, please contact us on hrbp@gsma.com

  4. Helpful (2)

    "It's a highly political organisation"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Analyst 

    I worked at GSMA full-time

    Pros

    Good location and decent bonuses at entry level

    Cons

    Sr. managers are more involved in politics rather than measuring the performance of emplyees

    GSMA Response

    February 2, 2021

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with the GSMA. We are proud of our team and their work. If there are other comments or feedback, you feel we should hear, please contact us on hrbp@gsma.com

  5. Helpful (3)

    "Great people but culture needs changing"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at GSMA full-time

    Pros

    The people Nice offices Employee wellbeing is often considered opportunities to travel Flexible working Decent salaries

    Cons

    There is a lot of politics for a small organisation Challenging to progress in your career, more about who is liked than what you achieve. Hierarchial many "directors" and titles are looked at more than the person's ability Current DG focuses on a lot of UN initiatives... the tech and mobile focus is lacking at times Lack of transparency

    GSMA Response

    February 2, 2021

    Thank you for your comments. We are proud of our team and our work and try to foster an environment in which everyone feels valued. If you’re willing to share specifics to help us toward a culture consistent with our values, we’d appreciate hearing more. Please contact us on hrbp@gsma.com

  6. COVID-19

    "Good people, challenging times"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at GSMA full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good people, lots of teamwork

    Cons

    The organisation has been negatively impacted by Covid 19

    Continue reading

    GSMA Response

    February 2, 2021

    Thank you for your comments. We are proud of our team and our work and try to foster an environment in which everyone feels valued. If you’re willing to share specifics to help us toward a culture consistent with our values, we’d appreciate hearing more. Please contact us on hrbp@gsma.com

  7. COVID-19
    Helpful (2)

    "Some Balance and Perspective!"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mid-Level Manager in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at GSMA full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great people - a genuine and meaningful commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce. Don't be put off by some of the more impassioned recent feedback from those who clearly have an axe to grind (and a fairly unsubtle agenda to be honest!). Whilst not perfect, this is a great place to work. I've never worked anywhere that has exposed me to so many different areas and allowed such opportunity to gain complementary skills to my existing expertise. The recent increased focus on career development is well-timed, the organisation has an excellent opportunity to invest in the talent they currently have. Commitment to the mission. Whilst not everything GSMA does is perfectly conceived or flawlessly executed, there is a genuine passion and desire from its workforce to deliver on the stated goals. Offices - great location and a really good collaborative working space. I can't wait to get back there to be honest - perpetual home-working isn't for me!

    Cons

    Given the nature of the work it does - it can get political at times. This being said, there has been a sustained commitment to breaking down the internal divisions and cross-departmental collaboration has improved a lot during my time here. Bench-marking & remuneration - pay is generally good (assuming bonuses are paid!) although somewhat inconsistent across the organisation. There are a few big earners who probably don't punch their weight and a number of promising junior and mid-levels who deserve more than they currently get. The covid-mandated reorganisation is a great opportunity for the GSMA to reset the balance in this regard.

    Continue reading

    GSMA Response

    November 3, 2020

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with the GSMA. The GSMA has undoubtedly been through one of the most difficult years in its history. Leading during unprecedented times is a significant challenge. You have our commitment that we are balancing the immediate needs of the organisation with a longer-term strategy that begins by assessing our priorities and aligning resources to those priorities.

  8. COVID-19
    Helpful (6)

    "This review is redundant soon"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at GSMA full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - You will learn more than ever about the telecoms industry - this could be due to the industry as I have heard many people say this at different companies - Was a nice office in London with decent facilities - Some great people to work with - MWC was a great event, lots of people looked up to and talked massively about it. - The name was a good talking point with other industry experts - Hugely diverse workforce - I cannot believe anyone could say they are being treated unfairly based on their race or gender here. - MWL is a good source of telecoms news - Pay was good, Bonuses were great, Career progression was not.

    Cons

    - I was made redundant in 2020 due to, yes you guess it, the pandemic, so my review will be of a mostly negative nature - doesn't really matter because in several years this company sadly won't exist and so no one will ever read it anyway. - There is a major split between the top half and the bottom half of the company, I was, yes you guessed it again, in the bottom half. In the bottom half you very rarely come into contact with the top half and so do not really understand what they do up there. You are then asked every 6 months to rate how they do. When a pandemic hits, then you realise their job is to fire most of the bottom half and leave the top halves salaries virtually untouched. - Very dull and boring staff calls that didn't tell anyone anything except "just keep doing your job" and "if you want to go, theres the door". - I felt there was a lot of bureaucracy working here and not enough of just doing your job. The 7 slogan mantras that are no different to any other companies do not help either as most people working at the GSMA do not even know them all, let alone believe in them. Do you honestly think cutting your workforce before cutting massive top level salaries is doing the right thing? - Top half people here give me the creeps.. - Redundancy process was terrible, no opportunity to reconcile or negotiate. I'm better off out, thanks. - Was not allowed much work from home here as the head of department said we couldn't, even though its against company policy. - I obviously would not recommend working here to friends (as you are unlikely to get hired now and if you do will be made redundant soon after) and I obviously do not approve of the director general for reasons explained.

    Continue reading

    GSMA Response

    February 2, 2021

    Thank you for your comments. We are proud of our team and our work and try to foster an environment in which everyone feels valued. If you’re willing to share specifics to help us toward a culture consistent with our values, we’d appreciate hearing more. Please contact us on hrbp@gsma.com

  9. COVID-19
    Helpful (15)

    "Beyond redemption"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Director in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at GSMA full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    The association touches most of the plethora of issues affecting the mobile industry and the wider Digital Economy. Every mobile network operator in the world must be a member and because of this, opportunities for access and influence at domestic, regional, and global levels are profound. Within the organisation, talent and a genuine desire to acheive things is generally impressive. Pre-Covid perks (driven by the rivers of gold from the annual Barcelona) event were world class, especially in terms of travel and especially for junior team members, who could normally expect such largesse at far more advanced stages of their careers.

    Cons

    Before discussing the organisational culture - as most reviews here have led with - the first key point to note is the career value of having GSMA on your resume. Formerly impressive and a powerful stepping stone into a converted industry, government or NGO role, things have changed over the past 5 years or so. This is because - there's no sugar-coating this - with the exception of the WARC processes (where the GSMA represents the mobile industry in securing spectrum for operator against competing industries such as satellite and TV), GSMA has comprehensively failed to deliver results for members. These failures exist both at the domestic level (market opportunities, regulations, taxation) and regional/global levels (big-picture directional strategies, including around financial transactions, security, UX issues). This failure was patently demonstrated at the last few years' Mobile World Congresses, where the GSMA had, literally, nothing to announce on behalf of the mobile network operators it supposedly represents: instead, the odd Samsung Galaxy launch, a few data points around mobile usage, a few small-scale UN SDG happy stories ... and that's it ... for what it probably the world's largest, best-funded industry organisation. Mobile network operators are not necessarily members of GSMA because they want to be, but because they have to be: it is a pre-requisite of being able to participate in global roaming. Once Apple or whomever else renders this current technical requirement obsolete, the present facade of ubiquitous industry engagement will disintegrate, probably very quickly. Like an ancient regime that appears impregnable until suddenly, it is not (think: Berlin Wall), the GSMA might not have too much longer to go, at least in its present, bloated incarnation. The sad, simple truth is that the GSMA is not results-driven: instead of seeking to align with members by simulating an industry culture of performance measurement (real, not faked), it is preferred to create a UN-type culture where targets are either opaque, malleable or capable of being reworked (ie, kicked down the road). This ensures that internal project teams always have a reason to continue existing - the sun never sets on a GSMA programme. There is also a geopolitical element to GSMA's gallop into irrelevancy. Increasingly, the mobile industry overall faces a global challenge from rivals such as Apple, Google, Amazon and a number of other players in the data and financial services spaces, who are able to operate seamlessly on a global basis. To match this, the mobile industry needs to be able to coordinate and collaborate very effectively - a secular opportunity for GSMA (some might say, its raison d'etre). But such degrees of collaboration require careful navigation of geopolitical issues and interests, and the GSMA has not done this. It is an organisation where the large operators share less than they used to, and far less than they need to in order to face these competitive challenges. In fact, a degree of collaboration continues to exist, but the GSMA is being bypassed. Part of this is GSMA's fault, part isn't. But ignoring issue accelerates the demise. All of the above means that GSMA is no longer a guaranteed stepping stone to a real career, where bring young things could do 2-3 years then move on, confident that you'd find your way onto a good programme and go from there, avoiding the glass ceiling of upper management dysfunction. I would suggest that such an outcome will now be more unlikely than likely. Which now brings me briefly to GSMA culture and leadership, which is difficult to describe objectively without appearing to be subjective. That is how bad it is. I have seen some posts on this site - and replies by HR - which appear to blame GSMA's current culture on the unforeseeable catastrophe of Covid-19. But this is not true. It existing for as long as I had worked there, well preceding Mats Granryd's tenureship. Previous generations of leadership created an environment of nepotism and favouritism, resulting in a rock-solid phalanx of low-calibre upper management existing only to protect itself and which works effectively as a group in doing so. Fast-forwarding to the present MD: Granryd is a case study in why an organisation should never appoint a B or C grade leader. As the adage goes, A-grade leaders only want other A-graders on their team, as they want results and are not intimidated by the capabilities of others. However, B and C graders are differently motivated: they feel threatened by A-graders and won't have them on their team. This cascades throughout an organisation, whereby A-graders are, one way or another, driven out of an organisation and the overall culture becomes one of defensive mediocrity. This is what you have with GSMA: a C grade leader with a C grade executive leadership team. And by C-grade, I mean spectacularly bad - like a Chaucerian tableau of the seven deadly sins, nothing to respect or admire or even sympathise with (due to the residual nastiness of some), just examples of what can happen to you if you waste your life. How this all plays out for other GSMA staff has been commented at length in other posts and doesn't need to be repeated here. Basic values or qualities of accountability, transparency, respect, honesty and fairness are profoundly absent.

    Continue reading
  10. COVID-19
    Helpful (42)

    "So toxic it will need to implode before it can be re-built from scratch."

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at GSMA full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Historically there had been good opportunities for travel (depending team politics) and a culture of flexible working which allowed for reasonable work-life balance. There were also the in-office perks like free fruit, pastries and drinks, as well as semi-regular drinks events in the London office... I'm not sure about other offices. Given the geographical reach of the GSMA offices and the global membership base, it was also a fantastic cross-cultural experience working with colleagues and stakeholders from every corner of the world. The majority of the 'do-ers' (junior to middle-management) plus a couple of exceptions at senior management level were deeply invested in impact their work had, and had supportive relationships with colleagues. There was also a sense of pride in the quality and reputation of our events.

    Cons

    Where to begin? Fundamentally the Leadership Team and Extended Leadership Team (ELT) have lost all sense of direction. The heady effects of cushy jobs, high profile personal platforms, global influence and a disinterested Board have led to an environment where departmental impact is measured and rewarded but individual Leadership are not accountable for their own performance. The organisation experienced a decade+ of rapid expansion, but without the essential leadership traits of integrity, courage and commitment to their own personal and professional growth, this expansion has exacerbated the dysfunction of those leaders. Initially Mats’ introduction of values and industry purpose was well received by staff and provided a ‘north star’ in aligning various parts of the organisation, but over recent years staff have become increasingly disillusioned with his perceived unwillingness to engage in the actual business of leading the organisation – specifically in dealing with his C-level direct reports and their dysfunctional teams – rather opting to pursue what was openly discussed within the organisation (including by C-levels!) as his efforts to secure his next role in the UN or Swedish government. His lack of desire to show up for staff was evident in his unwillingness to engage meaningful in the consistently abysmal staff survey scores on senior leadership year after year after year, or to deal with the systemic issues within HR. At the beginning of 2020 he berated staff on an All Staff call for continuing to complain about senior leadership behaviour... “We have the values on the wall and on coffee mugs”. Hello news flash – Values 101 says leaders have to model and be held accountable for their behaviours if you want culture change. Because Mats doesn’t show up to lead the organisation, the C-levels have free reign to act as they wish, desperately hiding their incompetence with cronyism (Advocacy), relentlessly putting profit before their people (Ltd and Marketing). HR is simply rotten to the core. Issues that were awful enough pre-COVID have become tenfold worse with the mass redundancies enacted during COVID. If staff felt that they were cared for and treated fairly before and during the redundancies, these layoffs would be sorrowful but not traumatic. However they have been so poorly handled that trust, engagement and performance within the organisation for those who survived is at all time low. This is unsurprisingly given that traits such as transparency, fairness, courage and empathy have not been practiced in the years prior. Everything you’ve read in other posts here about cronyism/nepotism, incompetence, disparity in salaries, undeserved promotion/overlooked promotion, etc is true. If you’re considering a job here – don’t. Don’t make a global pandemic worse by actively self-harming yourself joining this sh*t show. I know many current employees read the reviews here too (isn’t that a worrying sign?!) – update your CVs and make exit plans, you wouldn’t believe how much better it is out in the real world. Don’t martyr yourself for the purpose. Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you locked in this toxic environment.

    Continue reading

    GSMA Response

    November 17, 2020

    Thank you for your feedback. The GSMA has undoubtedly been through one of the most difficult years in its history and our leadership team have had to make tough decisions. Leading during unprecedented times is a significant challenge and our leaders try to balance an open environment while safeguarding the GSMA’s reputation. If you’re willing to share specific points of improvement that you think will help us toward a culture consistent with our values, we’d appreciate hearing more. Our leadership team have always been open to feedback and would welcome a conversation to address your concerns.

Viewing 1 - 10 of 182 English Reviews
</>Embed

Work at GSMA? Share Your Experiences

GSMA logo
or