Pros: it may still have momentum from its glory days
Cons: top management is not honest with employees or line management
I joined Qualcomm in 1995 and remained with the company almost 20 years (if you don't count an interval when the business unit I was in was sold and its employees were expected to help the buyer get up to speed). Looking at Qualcomm today, it's hard to see traces of the features that made the company so special in its earlier days.
At one time there was an egalitarian spirit, a general mood of playfulness, and a sense that everyone was on the same team. Because of that, and of course because of what happened to QCOM stock (in which all employees had lots of options), it was a glamour company, – more... the place where just about everybody in town wanted to work. Yes, we worked very hard. We sometimes worked very long hours. But that was fine. Working at Qualcomm was fun, and I was proud to be there.
Growth itself put a damper on some of that spirit, inevitably. For me at least, the work began to call for less creativity and more stamina. But the compensation and benefits remained superior. I continued to feel intense loyalty, and could not understand coworkers who left to work for competitors.
At present, management is worried that its most important customers are losing market share to a large number of small upstarts, who may end up not doing business with Qualcomm at all. Management is worried about looking good to shareholders and so is pruning its workforce--with a machete, not with clippers. This is not the same management that made the company great, and the changes being implemented are having a negative effect on productivity.
As of this point in my career, Qualcomm is by far the best employer I have known. But someone joining today may have a different experience. – less