I would bet at some point in time during AMD’s time of troubles, you’ve wondered, “What do the AMD employees think about all this?”
Well, there’s a fairly recent website called Glassdoor.com which lets you post salaries and general comments about the company you work/worked for.
Yes, the comments found need to be taken with a few grains of salt if you’re trying to get an overall feel for the company; some provide an ant’s-level view of the company (of course, that view is important if you’re thinking about becoming an ant), some are a little self-centered, and some complain about practices inherent to any bureaucracy.
However, there are relatively few scorched-earth rants to be found and most participants seem to be making a good-faith effort to judge their employer.
So I went and looked at the comments by the AMDers, and noticed a few areas of general consensus among the AMDers.
Employees like or at least want to like the company Day-to-day, on a personal level, people seem to like working for the company, they feel on the whole that they’re being treated decently. Most complaints on the human resource level stem directly from AMD’s financial crisis (i.e., no pay increases or bonuses), and they generally understand and accept that the company needs to make money for them to get more money.
They don’t know what’s going on, either If you’ve felt AMD was overly mysterious and secretive and run by the seats of certain executives’ pants, you’re not alone. So do the employees. While you wouldn’t expect top secrets being exposed left-and-right in a place like this, a very common complaint was that employees didn’t know what was going on. This was true not only strategically (they have no more as to what “asset light” is than we do), but even when it came to providing technical information needed for work.
No confidence in management While a generally high level of complaint about management is to be expected from non-management in any company, it’s almost total at AMD. More importantly, while other employees at other companies tend to complain more about middle than top level management, at AMD, it’s top-level management that gets called clueless almost every time.
Part of the rating system at Glassdoor asks you to indicate approval, no opinion, or disapproval of the CEO. It also asks for an overall evaluation of the company. Of those companies which have a significant number of employee responses, the employees of a few tech companies give their CEO more than an 80% approval rating (Apple, Cisco and Google). Typical CEO ratings range from the low forties (IBM, HP) to around 60% (Dell, Intel).
President George W. Bush is considered a pretty unpopular guy; he has a bit less than a 30% approval rating. Other Presidents have done worse, a few have gotten down to the low-twenties.
Hector gets 8%.
That’s not the absolute worst rating, but it’s very close to it.
Even worse if you’re Hector, if you compare Hector with the other CEOs rated way down there, AMD employees think considerably better of the company than they do Hector. AMD employees rated AMD a 2.9 on a scale of 1-5. Most other tech companies that give their CEO a 15% or 20% or 30% approval rating rate their companies rather lower than AMDers rank AMD.
So it’s not a matter of Mr. Ruiz being made the scapegoat for the employee’s dislike of the company. They actually kind of like the company; what they don’t like is what Mr. Ruiz and his buddies are doing to it.