Currently, there are a number of big named VoIP companies that generate buzz within the industry; however, of these names, which companies are truly the best to work for? Though compiling any “best of” list is highly subjective, there are a number of critical factors to look for within a company--i.e. job security, benefits (healthcare, perks, discounts, etc.), salary, time off, etc. Though these factors are important, perhaps the most crucial aspect of a company to consider is the CEO.
The CEO steers the company, and while he or she may answer to a board, they still have a lot of pull when it comes to company matters--i.e. they have at least some control over the policies and practices of the company. That being said, a CEO’s practices, experiences, and insights can work to make or break a company--making work for employees a dream come true or their worst nightmare. With so many VoIP companies emerging, we took a look at the men and woman behind the names. In referencing Glassdoor.com, we’ve put together a list of the top 19 VoIP CEOs to work for in 2013. In doing so, we've rounded-up current CEOs with 5 or more employee reviews/ratings, and an approval score of at least 70%.1. 8x8’s Bryan R. Martin Creates a Fast-Paced & Friendly Environment ______________________________________________________________________________ CEO Approval: 73% 8x8’s CEO, Bryan R. Martin has been involved with 8x8 in the CEO capacity since 2001. Prior to this (and during in some cases), Mr. Martin served as President, Chief Technical Officer, Senior Vice Predent of Engineering Operations, Executive Chairman, Executive Director, and Director for 8x8 and its subsidiary, Centile, Inc, respectively. With a thorough knowledge of both technology and business, Mr. Martin offers 8x8 and its employees a sprawling vision under a friendly corporate culture. Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "Lots of opportunity to advance if you're willing to learn and work hard. Company is doing well and creates an exciting environment to work in. Great benefits. Coworkers are generally helpful and most supervisors will work with you to help you improve"
Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype saw Skype CEO Tony Bates become Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Business Development and Evangelism group. As such, he is tasked with maintaining relationships with various partners, vendors, and developers. Bates utilizes his experiences, which tally up to over 25 years, to provide employees with a fun and comfortable work environment. Though Bates’ expert touch is sometimes lost in delegating tasks to managers, the CEO does work to ensure that employees are respected and treated fairly.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "Great sales managers and fellow employees, very open to new ideas. As long as you are doing your job they will not micro-manage you. It is a great place to work."
CEO Approval: 76%
Appointed CEO in April of this year, Combes brings with him over 20 years of experience within the telecommunications industry both domestically and internationally. Though many employees find the company infrastructure to be unstable and limiting, Combes works to inject positivity, comradery, and respect into the workplace as much as possible. Additionally, the CEO works to engage employees through challenges and incentives; however, with these does come more responsibility. Combes expects a lot from employees, but compensates fairly and looks to improve infrastructure when possible.
Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "Professional environment with no micro management. Good managers, continuity sought when possible, good benefits"
CEO Approval: 75%
Roberts has received a number of awards and accreditations including Fortune Magazine’s “Businessperson of the Year” award (2012). Despite these acknowledgements, Roberts is very open, welcoming, and receptive to his employees’ opinions and insights. Though newer staff will need to prove themselves to earn trust and credibility, once this is done, Roberts and the management staff truly work to allow flexibility with employees.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "Great management, genuinely cares about their employees. Once you earn trust, credibility, you also gain flexibility - work from home, etc. Entrusted to make decisions and it's okay to fail and try again."
CEO Approval: 79%
Larry Ellison has been CEO of Oracle since founding the company in 1977. In this time, Mr. Ellison has spearheaded a number of different projects, which have found the company success. In regards to employees, Oracle can be a bit demanding (long varied hours and base pay), but the staff is mostly composed of go-getters. As such, the infrastructure is very supportive and interwoven.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "Excellent exposure to a wide range of key technologies, smart coworkers hired from top schools, connections that will serve you well throughout your career. Competitive benefits and perks like an on-site fully-equipped gym, great food at cheap prices in several on-campus cafes."
Founded in 1999, bandwidth.com has a very strong focus on providing excellent customer service. Luckily, this level of care carries over into the employee environment. First off, the company is very supportive of the staff--recognizing any and all accomplishments. That being said, CEO/Co-Founder, David Morken, is noted as being very involved with employees. In regards to benefits, compensation is fair, and the company offers full health coverage. There are also a number of perks too--90 minute lunches, gym/lunch sports, personal trainers, etc.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "The CEO, David, is extremely approachable and accessible. He has a Q&A every Thursday that’s open to all employees. He genuinely cares about the employees here and strives to make this the best place to work in the area."
CEO Approval: 77%
Since starting with Cisco in 1991, John T. Chambers has helped grow the business into a billion dollar company. In doing so, Cisco takes a heavy interest in all employees, offering advancement opportunities at every chance. There’s a lot of layers to management, which means there’s a ton of room for employees to grow with the company. Though the company has been a bit focused on hiring younger, fresh-out-of-college employees as of late, they also keep a number of seasoned professionals on hand, too. Chambers allows for flexibility with proven employees.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "Management takes a lot of stock in your career, and provides resources for advancement. The 'fun' culture diminished for a while, but executives have recognized, and are empowering management to improve."
President and Co-Founder Greg Provenzano appeals to his employees by inspiring them to immerse themselves fully in their professional lives. In doing so, ACN offers employees incentives for hard work. Though working for ACN can be challenging--as training is a bit vague and instable schedule--the company does reward those who put in time and effort. Additionally, employees are given opportunities to help one another too, which creates good rapport amongst staff.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "It does have its benefits, this is not a scam and it will get you to where you want to be if you just apply yourself. I know you probably heard this millions of times, but its the truth and nothing else matters but you, your co-workers and most importantly your customers."
Mr. Stanton has served as both CEO and Director at ADTRAN since 2005 and as Chairman of the Board since 2007. With a versatile background that’s as well versed in Marketing as it is Engineering, Mr. Stanton understands how to ensure the best work from employees. As such, under his rule, ADTRAN offers employees substantial benefit packages, a relaxed work environment, and a knowledgeable body of co-workers (which lends itself to team building). While there is some room for improvement in some areas—i.e. more stability despite growth and change in the industry—Stanton and co. offer users a welcoming environment.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- While there is some stress to get the job done, employee-employee and employee-management relations could not be better. Very enjoyable work environment. Very talented engineering team, everyone pulls their share. Management is conservative (long history of profitability) and accessible. Traditionally low turnover. Excellent facilities."
10. Twilio's Jeff Lawson Embraces Supportive Work Environment________________________________________________________________________________ CEO Approval: 100%
With over ten years of experience in product leadership (with companies like Amazon Web Services, NineStar, and StubHub), Twilio CEO and Co Founder, Jeff Lawson, is one of the most positively ranked CEO’s. The reason? Twilio provides users with a fun, fast-paced work environment filled with knowledgeable and helpful superiors and co-workers. The company is very accepting of any all employee ideas and offer unique opportunities for many. Mr. Lawson understands innovation. Furthermore, he understands that it is derived from employees. As such, Twilio cultivates an open and supportive work environment that embraces employees and their ideas fully. In doing so, there is a very strong relationship between management and employees that expands past the office. In addition to this, Twilio also offer employees all the perks found with other companies, too—i.e. free meals, gym, kindle allowance, weekly massages, etc.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "It's an incredible team of hard working passionate people that embrace their coworkers. And they're a lot of fun: corn hole tournaments in the office, social work environment, dinners on Wednesday nights with fascinating speakers, and fun events of all types for foodies, techies, the outdoorsy, gamers and everything in between."
Under President & CEO Pat Esser, Cox Communications is a privately owned, employee and customer service focused company that offers many of the same amenities as other companies—i.e. solid pay, good benefits, pension plan, affordable health plan, on site gym, cafeteria, etc. Additionally, much of the upper management staff strives to maintain a positive and relaxed relationship with the staff. While this is somewhat advantageous, there may be more of a need for structure and rigidness. Employees are all knowledgeable, which allows many workers to pool resources, creating a nice team dynamic. There is a lot of opportunity for growth amongst workers. All in all, employees are very well taken care of; however, there is a high demand expected back.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "Cox is a privately owned, employee-focused company. They are flexible with schedules and a promoter of things like teleworking. Employees at Cox are generally happy and tend to stay with the company for many years. (This is both a pro and a con.)"
As CEO and Co Founder, Mr. Tessler brings over 20 years of business strategy and technology experience to Broadsoft. In doing so, he provides employees with a welcoming work environment that encourages originality, individuality, innovations, new ideas, and forward thinking. In doing so, they are very accepting of employees and their ideas. Past this, its small size allows for more personability amongst workers. In utilizing uniqueness though, the company could benefit from some more consistency in regards to practices. In regards to compensation, pay is said to reflect performance reviews; however, many employees don’t find this to be all that accurate. Overall, Broadsoft offers a welcoming environment with mostly helpful staff.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "It's an innovative SW-based firm with a fast-changing corporate environment, A pragmatic management style with quick decision-making; Despite it's small size (approx. 350 employees) the company has an international business focus."
CEO Approval: 74%
President & CEO Raymond P. Dolan adopts a “play-to-win” mentality with Sonus Networks. Though this doesn’t create the most wholesome work environment, employees are compensated with stock options and substantial compensation, flexible work hours, and common purpose. Though unified vision is sometimes lacking, Dolan provides employees with enough perks to keep them interested. Also, Sonus Networks provides employees with a solid learning experience and substantial growth opportunities. This helps extend a good work culture. Some employees will have the option to work from home. With this can be a huge perk, it can also be detrimental to work culture/environment.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "Work life balance.....Mostly on job training. Enough time given to learn things. Efficient HR team and brilliant techie people.Employee benefits like free Volvo bus passes,free evening snacks, free chocolates and variety of biscuits through out the day and month end company provided grand meal..You can think of Cisco, yahoo n amazon after working here. Many recreation activities. Cash reserve maintenance is good in the cmpny...its economically growing day by day."
CEO Approval: 89%
With over 30 years of experience, Lloyd Carney took the reigns as CEO of Brocade Communications in January of this year. Under Mr. Carney, employees engage one another in a fast paced, dynamic, and welcoming environment. While the environment is dynamic, management may want to allow for more openness to change and ideas, as the workplace can be a bit rigid. Though this can sometimes cause tension and stress in the workplace, Mr. Carney provides his employees with a number of opportunities to grow and be heard. In voicing opinions and growing, employees don’t have to worry about inter office politics as they don’t have much of a role within the company. In regards to compensation, salary structure is competitive and fair.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "Brocade has lots of potential and traditionally has been a people focused company. In some of the businesses there is still a high value placed on being nimble and not putting in too many processes or structures that will slow things down."
CEO Approval: 71%
Shaw Communications utilize a simple streamlined process that allows for flexibility and enables employees to work without being micro managed. Management is typically easy going, which is both a positive and a negative. Positively, employees have more freedom and the environment is more friendly and pressure-free. Negatively, there is room for indecision and reoccurring mistakes, as managers aren’t as involved as they may need to be. Also, in this regard, with a lack of management backing, employees must independently seek out others to help if they need assistance; however, in doing this, there is a web of connectivity spun between staff. The work load can be a bit demanding at times, but employees are pretty fairly compensated—i.e. Shaw offers employees solid benefits plans, staff packages on services, and competitive salaries.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "There are many different departments and locations, so no matter what your profession, you can probably find a role that suits you whether it's legal, marketing, TV, tech, IT, customer service, etc. Flexible with hours if you're in college or taking classes. Reduced cost for cable, Internet, etc."
As CEO of Canada’s largest communications company, George Cope implements a heavy customer-centric approach rooted in service capability, network investments, and most importantly, a team culture. Bell Canada has a lot of different organizations; therefore, employees are allotted a lot of flexibility within the company—there are many opportunities available. Inversely, with so many different organizations, the company does outsource some work, which limits the number of full-time staff. This can create a little instability in regards to job security; however, employees are compensated fairly—i.e. salary, bonuses, benefits packages, etc. Again, customer service is key here, which does sometimes place a heavy emphasis on the sales aspect of the job. Overall, the workforce is pretty dynamic and consists of a variety of knowledgeable professionals spread across Canada.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "There is a lot of "baggage" in the company so it is easy to shine among the baggage without working too hard. The key is to align yourself with the right organization and managers. Don't go into something that could be outsourced or it will happen to you."
CEO Approval: 75%
In having as much experience with startups as big names, Fonality CEO David Scult understands the nature of consistency. As such, he looks to inject that into his workforce. Fonality provides balance through a fast-paced environment with a welcoming culture, friendly and knowledgeable co-workers, and a plethora of perks and incentives. The company continues on the upswing, as such, there are continuous opportunities for growth with employees. There is a true team dynamic utilized and weaved throughout the workplace. Fonality is able to challenge and excited staff regularly without overwhelming them. When it comes to compensation, Fonality delivers with good pay, solid benefits, and nice vacation time.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "Great work-life balance with competitive salary. Relaxed yet professional workplace is refreshing! There is continuous growth potential both as an individual contributor as well as a company. The relatively young average age of the office adds increased energy and excitement wile still working as a team."
Appointed President and CEO in 2006, Dave Wittwer has run TDS Telecom promoting a positive work environment—amongst other things. In doing so, Mr. Wittwer offers employees the basics—good benefits, sick/vacation time, 401K, fair pay, etc.—and fuses them with integrity and respect. As such, TDS offers a warm and friendly work environment composed of helpful and knowledgeable employees. There is a very strong team dynamic that runs between co-workers and through to supervisors. Also, there is a level of flexibility that comes to employees that have proven to be responsible and trustworthy. While the work culture is warm, there is a level of professionalism established and maintained at all times. Lastly, under Wittwer, employees have access to nearly every level of management as there are few remnants of archaic business hierarchy here.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "Nice benefits. Pay is competitive - bonus when goals are hit and sometimes even when not. Great environment mostly great people to work with. Commitment from Corporate. Limited instances of old school hierarchy mentality. Access to leadership in nearly all cases. People work hard. Madison is a great place to live. Office is a great building, in a safe place, with access to anything you need at lunch or after work."
CEO Approval: 75%
With over 35 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, President and CEO Richard A. Jalkut runs a tight ship. While the work environment is team centric and supportive, the company is run in accordance with strict protocols typically found in businesses. As such, a lot is to be expected from employees. While this is effective, management may want to consider injecting a bit more balance (work and play) to try and increase morale, and subsequently productivity. Still, Jalkut and company offer employees helpful management, flexibility, and versatility in a variety of ways. For example, TelePacific has 40+ local offices (in California), which enables employees to work from all over the state. In regards to management, all levels of superiors are made available to employees. Additionally, extensive training is conducted to make sure employees are as knowledgeable and informed as can be.Employee Insight from Glassdoor:
- "Upper management and executive staff are generally very knowledgeable and run the company according to professional protocols. HR provides ample training opportunities and hosts staff appreciation activities. They genuinely seem to care about the well-being of their employees and customers. Transfers and upward mobility opportunities are good. Because TelePacific operates out of 40+ local offices, you can live almost anywhere in CA and have an office to report to. Out-of-state and work-from-home opptys are available, too."
While there are a ton of VoIP companies out there, not all of them provide an ideal workplace. Furthermore, there are a number of attributes to look for when searching for employment; however, they are ultimately defined by each individual's preference. Still, there are some universal qualities to look for. The above company's and CEOs seem to embody these amenities and qualities rather well, making them an ideal choice for any prospective employee.