Glassdoor.com is a website that lets employees anonymously complain about or lavish praise upon their company and C.E.O, and in its most recent survey for 2008, the site found that Steve Jobs had a 90% approval rating as the C.E.O of Apple, coming in second place behind Arthur D. Levinson, the C.E.O of a biotech company called Genentech. Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, came in fourth place with an 88% approval rating. Incidentally, Schmidt also sits on Apple’s board of directors.
Obviously, these surveys should be taken with a grain of salt. As all the rankings are done on a purely voluntary basis, its more likely than not that anyone inclined to participate already harbors some strong feelings, one way or the other, about their company and CEO.
You can check out actual employee reviews of Apple over here. I should point out, though, that many of the reviews come from those working in Apple retail, though there are definitely a fair number of insights from those who work at Cupertino as well. Overall, the reviews give the impression that working at Apple is fun and fast-paced, but also extremely demanding when it comes to putting in hours. Work/Life balance seemed to the main complaint for those working at 1 Infinite Loop.
In contrast, Steve Ballmer of Microsoft had a 44% approval rating, and employee reviews of Microsoft, often emanating from the Redmond campus itself, are littered with some pretty harsh complaints. Work/Life balance is an issue, but like Apple, that’s bound to be an issue at any large company in the tech industry. What’s more troubling, from Microsoft’s perspective, is the abundance of complaints from seemingly mid-high level people who bluntly call Microsoft out for being 2-3 years behind the market in terms of innovation, and for having a system in place that perpetuates that position. Ouch.
Glassdoor has more on the story over here.