Thread regarding Cengage layoffs

Phony Glassdoor award

I know of several people who have had their negative reviews of Cengage removed from the Glassdoor site. These reviews were initially reviewed and posted, and then mysteriously removed within a day or two, so it's not like the reviews violated any posting guidelines. Cengage obviously has a deal with Glassdoor where they can remove reviews at their discretion to keep their ratings propped up. This proves that the Glassdoor award is a complete fraud and was bought and paid for. What a desperate move by a desperate company.

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU

20 replies (most recent on top)

@sdyn I was at that Town Hall where Michael talked about going to the CEO of Glassdoor and crying about Cengage's poor ratings. I found it very interesting that he decided to try and figure out how to rig the ratings rather than make Cengage a place that people want to stay. That's when I started to realize it was time to go. I bet a lot of other people are now feeling that way.

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-tjbo

Well surprise surprise! Glassdoor has been flooded with a fresh batch of positive reviews! Everyone loves Michael....the greatest CEO in the country! Greater than Tim Cook or Larry Page! All hail King Michael, a legend in his own mind....

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-tjxt

Cengage's Michael Hansen is a personal friend of the CEO of Glassdoor. At one SF townhall, Hansen even bragged about having lunch with this person. Totally bogus. No way it is real.

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-sdyn

This takes me back to the San Fran days, when I was f---ing those little rep b--ches and wining the old broads, the old regional VP's and the old vice president fat pig, what's here name Gee? was that her name? All these c--ts are corrupt old wh--es, we all know it, most are gone... in the fashion old hogs are slaughtered at the yard, they're all gone......

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-6ywn

what's most fascinating is watching the "new" talent dev coordinator in Dallas who was sh-- canned for f---ing a subordinate two years ago at Cengage re invent herself as a 'best version' and then pretend she wasn't exploiting a subordinate male for her own s-xual conquest and then pretend this wasn't her #metoo moment. Christie,? you are pathetic

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-4vdb

Search on "branding cengage employee be unstoppable"

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-3qgq

@YtlBYbU-3gsj Can you post the link or search words?

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-3shi

I found the branding case study. The intensity of the cult makes so much sense now. What a coincidence that the Glassdoor ranking and Michael's CEO award came the year after that was implemented. I'm sure the agency didn't rig and algorithm for them or anything.

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-3gsj

@YtlBYbU-3ktx I need to see this marketing/PR case study. Can you post a link? That explains so much.

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-3ycv

Very well said 3ktx. Your experience echoes mine, except I bailed out of the company about a year before my team started getting the axe one by one. I think the problem many of us who had long careers at Cengage realize is that the company does not care about retaining talent or high performers. This, along with the endless churn, is why the company is constantly hiring. MBA 101 tells you that attracting, retaining and nurturing talent is crucial for running a successful organization. At Cengage, talent is only recognized if they're part of a team that's the flavor of the month. If your team is the flavor of the month (and I'm referring to whatever the initiative is at the time....MindTap, marketing to students, Cengage Unlimited, etc.) it is very rewarding as you are given resources and seemingly have a lot of room to grow. However, when the flavor of the month switches (and it always does at Cengage) you are instantly disposable and suddenly viewed as a problem. That is what is so incredibly frustrating. A talented employee is a talented employee, but at Cengage a talented employee is only recognized if they're useful in that exact moment. This is why so many hacks and bad actors thrive at the company, while honest, hard working people struggle.

I recognized pretty early on when my team fell out of favor, and got out of the industry entirely. Sure enough, my teammates were picked off one by one. Every single one of us found jobs quickly outside of the industry, and all but one of us work for Fortune 50 companies whose names you would instantly recognize. My point is not to stroke our egos, but to point out that Cengage throws away real talent because they are run like a cult. This is why another hard fall for the company is inevitable.

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-3fug

Karma is a beotch, that's for sure. Plz keep the information and updates coming - it's popcorn time! If you haven't listened to the last investor call from a couple of months ago, it is worth doing so, if only to hear the very stern proclamation coming from an almost-angry sounding Michael Hanson: "Cengage Unlimited has been an overwhelming success. Let me repeat that: Cengage. Unlimited. Has Been. An Overwhelming. Success" . . . and in the very next breath report the latest 13% quarterly decline (which was deemed, of course, "in line with our expectations." That's Cengage these days for ya - it's a success simply because we say it is. The vast majority of the sales force thinks (in the words of one rep recently) "It's a very good time to be at Cengage." They have no idea what's about to hit them...

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-3ejc

The greatest criticism is from the professors... Cengage is losing everything because their product objectively s---s a-- and nobody is buying it...

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-3gsd

@YtlBYbU-2tlw It is good to hear that you are enjoying your time and tenure at Cengage. I was once in your shoes - for a good twenty years, almost. No doubt you have noticed several hundred people leaving the company against their will in your decade with the company. They've been axed from virtually every corner of the concern: from sales and marketing and Editorial, production, even IT. Most of the people who built the WebAssign product and company were cast loose at the same time. I am here to tell you first-hand, one's experience with Cengage is a much different one once one's "number is up" and you have been identified as expendable.

I was a one-off, one of the quiet little layoff waves that happened without much fanfare internally or externally. I was let go without cause, along with my two field counterparts, all within a week. The news came unexpectedly and just after I'd turned in an astoundingly good sales year. Here's the thing, though: the actual cutting loose was preceded with months and months of torture from mid-Management. Territory assignments switching every few weeks. Same with bookbag assignments: Friday you're softside, Monday you're calling on Chemistry. Early morning and late Friday phone calls from some middle-manager, double-checking your gameplan for the week and questioning your every decision. The goal is to get you to quit, so that they can achieve their goal without having to pay severance or unemployment. This after 20 years of service (I was around when Thomson Learning first became ITP!). Hardly the 4.0-rated "they care about their employees" feel-good Cengage one sees reflected on Glassdoor.

Oh yeah, and the three of us let go? We were replaced by a single gal from outside the industry who was paid a laughable $52k (to do the job of three reps). She lasted a year. The position has turned over two more times after her departure. All within less than 5 years.

There is a lot of hostility out here, directed toward this particular company. It comes from faculty and from the 100's of former employees who fell victim to this failed leadership & their lousy results. It is hostility quite well-earned on the company's part.

I'll give you a little project, if you are ever bored or curious enough to look into things. Do enough of the proper web searching, you are going to find yourself staring at the PR/Branding firm Cengage hired to create its new brand. There, the company uses Cengage as one of a few case studies designed to appeal to future/new clients. Reading this is like reliving a very horrible few professional years of one's life. A good portion of this plan involves internal sales and messaging, and it's all there - the cult-style rallies, the sloganeering (We're changing the way the world learns!) designed to create the feeling of meaning and "mission" in one's work, the bright colours, the student-centered "cause", the entire stinking load of b.s. - laid out campaign-style deception designed explicitly to generate the kind of satisfied feeling you describe.

And then your number comes up and, after shaking some sense back into your head and wondering what the heck just happened to you, you begin to see Cengage for what it is. You start to feel just a LITTLE stupid for falling in line like you did (yes, I accepted a 40% raise paid for by a massive layoff the very next week - a raise that was designed to keep myself and those like me standing in place until they got around to axing me). Soon enough, you will see exactly what I mean.

But tidy up that resume in the meantime. Polish that LinkedIn profile and encourage your peeps to do the same. Dark times ahead for this company, yet again.

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-3ktx

oh look another stooge kool aid drinking drone chimed in because they're all butt hurt someone actually criticized their daddy... pathetic. must be a regional vp, dm or some other parasite like a kam, csm or marketing douche...

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-3hsv

Oh look, PR decided to chime in.

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-2xfi

Not sure where all these others worked within the company, but I have been with Cengage for a decade and love it here. Yes, we have gone through ups and downs, but the culture of Cengage has always kept me firmly planted. Sorry the experience of others hasn’t been the same.

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-2tlw

I laughed out loud when I saw the Glassdoor ranking. By far the most toxic employer I’ve ever worked for. So happy I got out.

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-1aku

It all comes down to Michael's defensiveness and insecurity over his failed leadership. He was obsessed with Glassdoor going back to when he first started at the company and talked about how he met with Glassdoor's CEO because he was so frustrated with Cengage's low rating at the time. Flash forward 6 years and Cengage is suddenly one of the "top 50 places to work" and ranks higher than companies like Apple. Yeah, ok. If it's so much better than mainstream Silicon Valley companies, then why did Cengage have to close their San Francisco office that was touted as the "crown jewel" of the company by the failed Chief Product Officer just a few years ago? Cengage is nothing more than a wannabe tech company. Michael has applied a thin coat of gloss to a dying publishing company that is owned by private equity vulture capitalists who are looking to strip and flip it.

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-jas

Is that where all the marketing budget is going?

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-opr

they pay a premium to manage their online reputations on many sites. Glassdoor essentially runs an extortion racket, they allow organizations to pull negative reviews if a certain price is met and the incompetent weirdos at Cengage are so insecure and unable to defend the truth they will spend a fortune to delete. If you notice most positive reviews are crafted by the same marketing team, they use the same language, same phrases, it's all a fraud.

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Post ID: @YtlBYbU-zkv

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