By Fortune Editors
April 26, 2017

There are a lot of great places to work in the Bay Area. It’s an economic hub replete with free snacks, ping pong tables, and whimsically named conference rooms. But it takes more than perks to sort out the truly great workplaces from the so-so ones. Here, consulting firm Great Place to Work, partnering with Fortune, has crunched the numbers on thousands of employee surveys to create a new ranking of the best companies to work for in the Bay Area. What does it take to get on this list? These companies are thinking about HR in a new way, they get high marks for ethical leadership, and crucially, they’re just as popular with their frontline employees as they are with upper-level management. Plus—good news for non-engineers—they’re not just tech.

This list includes only companies with more than 1,000 employees. For our list of the Bay Area’s best small and medium-size workplaces, click here. And find out more about how this list was compiled here.


1. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

Josh Litwin

Employees say: “Since day one, everyone in this company has treated me with respect and made me feel special. Everyone in management has always made me feel like family. Companies often say that ‘there is room for growth’ for their employees, but this company really delivers, and they make sure that you are ready when that opportunity comes! I always look forward to coming in to work no matter what is going on in my life!”

“Our website events page has a picture of a lesbian couple embracing each other. As an adopted daughter to a gay couple, this was so inspiring to see. This really is a safe workplace for any and all types of people. I have made some of the best of friends working here, and I’ve worked alongside amazing bosses who make it exciting to come to work every day. Kimpton embodies everything the hospitality industry should be about. This is not just another corporate hotel, this place is a FAMILY. I will be with Kimpton for a very long time.”

Number of U.S. employees: 8,142
Industry: Hospitality
U.S. headquarters: San Francisco
Number of locations: 116

Read Great Place to Work review here.

2. Cooley

Sherry Tesler

Employees say: “Cooley is truly a team-focused environment first and foremost. You could walk into a conference room or a happy hour and not be able to tell the staff from the most senior partner in the sense that everyone is encouraged to be themselves, contribute meaningfully and drive toward the common goal of meeting our clients’ needs. While everyone knows their particular roles, hierarchy and in-fighting is antithetical to our culture.”

“There seems to be a sort of unwritten ‘no jerks’ rule. It’s the first law firm I’ve worked for where I’ve never run into someone being full-on jerk. Cooley seems to recognize that your work speaks for itself, and that presenting a pretentious persona isn’t what makes others believe in your success. Also, the emphasis on being human here is something that’s unparalleled in other firms. It is clear that the people here are truly comfortable being themselves, and that they appreciate the same in the people around them. You’re free to be quiet, or quirky, intense or laidback, without the pressure to conform to a company persona. The diversity of opinion, personalities, ages, backgrounds and lifestyles is refreshing and welcoming, and a key reason why we’re successful as a firm.”

Number of U.S. employees: 1,788
Industry: Professional Services
U.S. headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.
Major locations in Bay Area: Palo Alto, San Francisco
Number of locations: 10

Read Great Place to Work review here.

3. Intuit

Courtesy of Intuit

Employees say: “To actually get up every morning knowing that I get to do a job I love, and go to a company where I can do the best work of my life, is a blessing. I am constantly on Facebook singing the praises of this company because of its values and the leaders and the people that live them daily. This isn’t a company that doesn’t walk the walk. Being able to be openly gay and bring my whole self to work is one of the reasons I love working here. I worked at a company where that wasn’t possible—I had to check that part of me at the door. I don’t have to do that here, and that makes a huge difference. I feel accepted and valued, and I love what I do.”

“Throughout my 21 years at Intuit, the one thing that clearly stands out for me is the sense of caring and community. The company has a culture of truly caring for each other as employees, for the well being of our customers, for the betterment of individuals, and for the health of our community as a whole. Ultimately, we fundamentally believe that we can make a difference in the world.”

Number of U.S. employees: 6,216
Industry: Information Technology
U.S. headquarters: Mountain View, Calif.
Number of locations: 12

Read Great Place to Work review here.

4. Salesforce

Courtesy of

Employees say: “This is an extraordinarily special place that really cares about their employees, customers, and community alike. We are strongly encouraged to give back to the community. I have helped on projects from working in a soup kitchen to working in a children’s hospital in Morocco, all supported by the company. We have many opportunities to do the best work of our careers, be recognized for it, and advance. I feel I can be creative and offer solutions that really help the company be successful. Most importantly, I look forward to coming to work everyday, working with our wonderful community, and doing satisfying challenging work.”

“I love the focus on giving back to the community. Working at Salesforce is more than just a job. I feel like our mission is really to make the world a better place both in business and in life. It’s not just a software company. We have a greater mission.”

Number of U.S. employees: 14,410
Industry: Information Technology
U.S. headquarters: San Francisco
Major locations in Bay Area: San Francisco
Number of locations: 59

Read Great Place to Work review here.

5. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

Nick Allen

Employees say: “I have been with Orrick since the start of my career and very much feel that this is my work family. We have a close-knit, supportive group, and a small firm atmosphere with all of the resources and compensation of a big firm. We have a top-notch, transparent and dedicated leadership team, including our CEO Mitch. He truly wants everyone in the firm to make it a better place. All partners are charged with spending 2% of their time on an initiative of their choosing to make the firm better.”

“People at this company truly care about one another and they will do almost anything they can to help you in a time of need. The employees truly bond together like one big family, and the company itself treats their employees as if they were relatives. I recently lost my father and this company was there to support me and check in on me during his time of sickness and, even more, after his passing. I have never had another employer do so much for me. I would gladly recommend Orrick as one of the best places to work in the country.”

Number of U.S. employees: 1,440
Industry: Professional Services
U.S. headquarters: San Francisco
Number of locations: 11

Read Great Place to Work review here.

6. Workday

Prentice Wongvibulsin

Employees say: “I have never in my entire career been told to take some PTO time—and when I am on PTO, I’m really on PTO. I’m not expected to respond to email or messages. It’s truly time away from work. I’m never made to feel guilty about taking time for my family either. Workday believes family is important and we work hard to play hard. I absolutely LOVE working at Workday!”

“This company feels like it is on a mission—part of a movement. We are all bought in and believe in it, and we have so much fun.”

Number of U.S. employees: 4,557
Industry: Information Technology
U.S. headquarters: Pleasanton, Calif.
Major locations in Bay Area: San Francisco
Number of locations: Confidential

Read Great Place to Work review here.

7. Swinerton

Courtesy of Swinerton Incorporated

Employees say: “This company gives you the ability to utilize your skills to the fullest. There is nobody breathing down your neck and forcing you to do things a certain way. The ability to put talented people together to foster chemistry is like nothing I have ever seen.”

“This company is unique because it provides employees the opportunity to grow within the organization, and management is always willing to mentor and support employees. The diversity of people is also unique; we have a wide range of people with different interests, backgrounds, and experiences.”

Number of U.S. employees: 1,447
Industry: Construction & Real Estate
U.S. headquarters: San Francisco
Major locations in Bay Area: San Francisco
Number of locations: 15

Read Great Place to Work review here.

8. Marriott International

Courtesy of Marriott International

Employees say: “What truly makes Marriott a great place to work is the people. There is a sense of camaraderie and longevity among Marriott employees that is not common. Observing just my department, we are 16 strong with 267 combined years of Marriott experience. We work as a cohesive team, valuing each other’s opinions and working together to achieve company goals.”

“Marriott’s history is legendary and fascinates me. It started as a family business—the first A&W root beer stand—and over the span of almost a century has evolved into the largest hotel company in the world. Hard work and dedication resulted in the true American Dream. Management empowers their associates. In the more than 20 years of my career, I have never been empowered to make decisions or offer suggestions without fear of being judged or criticized. The diversity of all the associates—their race, culture, sexual orientation, and age—is what makes Marriott a unique and welcoming place to work.”

Number of U.S. employees: 100,525
Industry: Hospitality
U.S. headquarters: Bethesda, Md.
Major locations in Bay Area: San Francisco
Number of locations: 741

Read Great Place to Work review here.

9. MOD Pizza

Kevin Yang

Employees say: “This is one of the few companies I’ve had the pleasure of working for that is true to its word. Managers and my bosses have always followed through on what they say, and made sure to communicate clearly throughout my time here. In less than a year I’ve grown from an entry-level position (dishwasher/cashier) to a fully-salaried General Manager with benefits and bonus opportunities. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity that MOD Pizza has provided me with. I believe this is a company where performance counts, and they have provided plenty of opportunities for me to seize. I’ve grown with this company and look forward to continuing my career with them in the future.”

“Over the years, the idea of giving people second chances or fresh starts has really become a focus for the business, and as a result it feels like the whole company is motivated and inspired make a positive impact on the lives of as many people as possible. Stories of inspiration are shared throughout the company on a regular basis, so we feel connected and aware of how lives are being improved by MOD. Sometimes the stories are about an individual MOD Squader’s journey, or sometimes we hear about how a community partner has benefited from MOD’s contribution. It is awesome to work at a company that has a purpose beyond just profit. It is a meaningful and rewarding place to work.”

Number of U.S. employees: 3,198
Industry: Retail
U.S. headquarters: Bellevue, Wash.
Major locations in Bay Area: San Jose
Number of locations: 152

Read Great Place to Work review here.

10. Indeed

Courtesy of Indeed

Employees say: “The company takes care of employees—we get all the usual tech perks (free food, a gym, etc.)—but I think this stuff is meaningless if the work is tedious or boring, or the management is of poor quality. At my last job, the perks were a bit of a bait-and-switch. They dangled them in front of prospective employees, but treated them badly once they were onboard. Here, they are kept in perspective. First and foremost, the work is interesting and meaningful and challenging.”

“I’m particularly inspired by my managers and the overall management style of the company. I never feel micromanaged. Indeed allows a ton of career advancement and provides tools for us to know what needs to be accomplished for promotions and movement. I have not stopped learning since I came here, and that is probably the best part about working here. It is a rich place culturally and intellectually.”

Number of U.S. employees: 2,310
Industry: Professional Services
U.S. headquarters: Austin
Major locations in Bay Area: San Mateo, San Francisco
Number of locations: 7

Read Great Place to Work review here.

11. Adobe Systems

Courtesy of Adobe Systems Incorporated

Employees say: “I admire the fact that we are dedicated to corporate responsibility initiatives that are not heavily branded, that target people of color and women, and that address issues of inequity within tech and our larger communities. I also admire the fact that this commitment is reflected with dollars, jobs and programming. Similar things can be said about our green and sustainability initiatives as well. To be blunt, I love that Adobe embodies, defines, and sets the standard for being a creative tech company.”

“I have always felt that Adobe’s culture emphasized individual ownership and accountability—and that we are all hired because we are competent, innovative, motivated employees, and our contributions to the business are appreciated, acknowledged, and rewarded.”

Number of U.S. employees: 6,995
Industry: Information Technology
U.S. headquarters: San Jose, Calif.
Major locations in Bay Area: San Francisco
Number of locations: 11

Read Great Place to Work review here.

12. Slalom

Courtesy of Slalom Consulting

Employees say: “The leaders at Slalom truly care about each person in the company. We live our values, we define our values, and we are one team worldwide. Our Slalom culture is paramount to our happiness as a firm and the key to our success. It is unique, and passionately defended and nurtured by the company.”

“There seems to be a genuine concern for the growth and development of people in the organization. The company cares about the employees themselves, and is not just chasing consulting work or revenue targets. We are known as the ‘Slalom Family’ because of the trust put in us by people inside and outside of the workplace.”

Number of U.S. employees: 3,890
Industry: Professional Services
U.S. headquarters: Seattle
Major locations in Bay Area: San Francisco
Number of locations: 24

Read Great Place to Work review here.

13. Zillow Group

Courtesy of Zillow Group

Employees say: “While we continue to grow exponentially, the company focuses on maintaining the culture that has been cultivated since the early days. We are a large company executing like a small one—that’s a good thing.”

“I love our Hack Weeks. We have them three times a year, and they provide opportunities to work on something that you’re really passionate about but that might otherwise be outside of your regular work. It’s also a great opportunity to meet and work with other people across the company with similar interests. The entire product team gets involved, and it’s a ton of fun (plus a great way to get even more great features out to our customers).”

Number of U.S. employees: 2,603
Industry: Information Technology
U.S. headquarters: Seattle
Major locations in Bay Area: San Francisco
Number of locations: 8

Read Great Place to Work review here.

14. Dropbox

Courtesy of Dropbox

Employees say: “The amount of trust and responsibility given, along with the transparency from executive management, is unparalleled compared to all my previous employers. As a result, everyone feels like an integral and unique part of the success that is being generated here.”

“There are talented people at many of the successful, growing technology companies, but Dropbox seems to have attracted a very particular type of crowd. There’s an overwhelming sense of humility among employees. I’m truly honored to be a part of a company that feels like a family; a place where I refer to my peers as friends first, coworkers second; a place that I can wake up every morning and get excited about going to; a workplace environment that empowers its occupants to produce their absolute best work; and a place that is full of so much love, care, dedication, and selflessness that the only appropriate word that I can think of to describe it would have to be ‘magical’. (This all sounds very cliche, but it’s how I truly feel!)”

Number of U.S. employees: 1,286
Industry: Information Technology
U.S. headquarters: San Francisco
Number of locations: 7

Read Great Place to Work review here.

15. VMware

Damion Hamilton

Employees say: “The VMware Foundation provides awesome opportunities for employees to give back to the causes and organizations that matter to them. Through matching donations, paid time off to volunteer, and milestone awards to donate to the charity of your choosing, VMware shows their devotion to their employees by inviting them to share the joy of giving back to others.”

“I am proud to be part of a company that is a major force for change and transformation in our industry. As we have grown from a small startup to one of the largest software companies in the IT industry, we have not lost sight of our company values and the importance of our people and customers.”

Number of U.S. employees: 9,202
Industry: Information Technology
U.S. headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.
Major locations in Bay Area: Palo Alto
Number of locations: 51

Read Great Place to Work review here.

16. SAP America

Courtesy of SAP America

Employees say: “We truly want to help the world run better, and I love that about my company. We are heavily involved in local community activities around the globe, including many social sabbaticals that donate weeks at a time from our experts in different areas. Our solutions are used by the best in each industry to be best that they can be. I like being a part of that.”

“I believe this company has more than its share of bright and dedicated employees. It has a stricter ethical code than its peers. It shows greater care for employees than its peers. And it shows greater care for communities worldwide, often donating generously towards disaster relief and the economically disadvantaged. It is aggressively attacking gender bias and supports the LGBT community. I am very proud to work for SAP and don’t see another place I would rather work.”

Number of U.S. employees: 13,548
Industry: Information Technology
U.S. headquarters: Newtown Square, Pa.
Major locations in Bay Area: Palo Alto, San Francisco
Number of locations: 58

Read Great Place to Work review here.

17. Cisco

Courtesy of Cisco

Employees say: “This is one of the most unselfish companies. As employees, we have the luxury and benefit of working for a management team who makes learning and growing a top priority for the individual contributor. Our leadership works with each team member to discover and grow individual talent. The belief here is that if the teammate grows, our team and our company grows. We are encouraged to explore our career interests even if that means we might leave our current team for another position. In fact, our leadership provides career advice and management.”

“To say that Cisco is a progressive company would be understating things. Before I worked for Cisco, I had not encountered a company that cares for its employees this much. I have had some critical medical issues and, working for Cisco, I felt as though I had a big brother who cared for me as my health changed. Knowing I was coming back to work at Cisco helped me cope with the issues I had. All in all, Cisco has helped me be a better person, and I continually strive to better myself here.”

Number of U.S. employees: 37,108
Industry: Information Technology
U.S. headquarters: San Jose, Calif.
Number of locations: 171

Read Great Place to Work review here.

18. Stryker

Toan Truong

Employees say: “After four years with this company, I can honestly say Stryker takes and teaches the ethical and moral position in all business transactions. That is something I am proud of in an industry where, despite the best efforts of governing bodies, unethical decisions often affect patient care and hospital bottom lines. I am proud to wear the Stryker logo on my chest every day, and I think that my coworkers and managers all put in 110% to get the job done. It is a special group of people. “

“Hard work and dedication are extremely highly valued at Stryker. With the medical industry the way that it is, there are a lot of highs and lows, and through these times I feel that all aspects of our company supports me and my efforts. I do not ever feel like my job is on the line as long as I’m working hard and doing what I’m supposed to. Management celebrates my wins and supports me during my losses. I feel very proud of the fact that I can call Stryker my company, and I also love the level of prestige that comes with the name.”

Number of U.S. employees: 13,357
Industry: Manufacturing & Production
U.S. headquarters: Kalamazoo, Mich.
Major locations in Bay Area: San Jose, Fremont
Number of locations: 197

Read Great Place to Work review here.

19. Nugget Market

Courtesy of Nugget Market

Employees say: “Here at Nugget Market, our goal is to get the job done with a smile on our face and have fun. We do so many extra things within our company that I know sets us apart from others. That’s anything from the Bag Off contest, to store parties, to whitewater rafting, even to a flash mob that we are doing this year. This really is an amazing place to work.”

“Nugget definitely has a way with making its associates feel appreciated. Nugget realizes that without us they wouldn’t be so successful after 90 years. I’ve never worked for a company that really truly cares about its people. Every single week associates are recognized, it’s incredible to feel so loved. It really feels like you are coming home when you come to work. Nugget has pride in family and you can see that every day.”

Number of U.S. employees: 1,818
Industry: Retail
U.S. headquarters: Woodland, Calif.
Major locations in Bay Area: Vacaville, Novato, Sonoma
Number of locations: 19

Read Great Place to Work review here.

20. Cornerstone OnDemand

Sabrina Noel Hill

Employees say: “No matter where you are or what position you are in, you truly feel appreciated for what you do here. Management and Executives treat everyone the same, whether you are working with them or mingling with them at a company event. It is a special place that helps and encourages employee growth. It is a rewarding experience to be here and to get to accomplish greatness together. With trust from the top down, I personally would like to stay here for a long time.”

“Cornerstone offers opportunities to influence our industry and create new ideas based on industry needs. They foster an environment of change and unique thinking with a cooperative approach.”

Number of U.S. employees: 1,187
Industry: Information Technology
U.S. headquarters: Santa Monica, Calif.
Major locations in Bay Area: Sunnyvale, San Francisco
Number of locations: 3

Read Great Place to Work review here.

21. KPMG

Courtesy of KPMG

Employees say: “We work with the best people, both team members and clients, and that inspires me every day. In my own career, there have been countless sponsors and role models who have gone out of their way to coach, mentor, and guide my career to levels I never dreamed possible. I love my job! I can’t think of a better place to work and build a career.”

“I think KPMG is a great place to work because they hired me, an African American woman, who is past 50 years of age. They respected my experience and didn’t judge me because of my age. I feel respected and supported by management at all times.”

Number of U.S. employees: 30,662
Industry: Professional Services
U.S. headquarters: New York City
Major locations in Bay Area: San Francisco, Santa Clara and Walnut Creek
Number of locations: 92

Read Great Place to Work review here.

22. Protiviti

Courtesy of Protiviti

Employees say: “There are several unique things about Protiviti, but the most important is that our people genuinely care about one another and like each other! Our office environments are fun and just feel open to everyone. Our leadership team communicates regularly and is very transparent. You can feel that they care what is on employees’ minds and they react accordingly.”

“Management does a great job creating a familial atmosphere. While it is great at my local office, when I gained exposure to employees in other locations I was impressed with how consistent the hiring fit is everywhere. When first meeting employees in other locations I immediately feel like we have been friends for years.”

Number of U.S. employees: Confidential
Industry: Professional Services
U.S. headquarters: Menlo Park, Calif.
Major locations in Bay Area: San Francisco
Number of locations: 34

Read Great Place to Work review here.

23. World Wide Technology

Courtesy of World Wide Technology

Employees say: “The World Wide Magic is intangible but very real at the same time. I have worked for other good companies, but there’s something that makes WWT unique and special. Its a combination of doing the right thing, living our core values, being guardians of our culture, and the willingness of everyone to get involved if it means getting the job done and providing an exceptional experience.”

“Our CEO’s vision for the company inspires me as an employee. WWT has experienced rapid growth, over the past three years especially, and the trajectory our leaders have laid out is forward-thinking enough to cultivate a sense of business viability in a transforming industry, and tactical enough to give us a blueprint for achieving it. The ability to stimulate profitability and growth while maintaining a great place to work is uncommon for any business. WWT has done this year after year.”

Number of U.S. employees: 3,766
Industry: Information Technology
U.S. headquarters: St. Louis
Major locations in Bay Area: Pleasanton
Number of locations: 38

Read Great Place to Work review here.

24. Autodesk

Courtesy of Autodesk

Employees say: “Autodesk is a big company (publicly traded) but still has that small-company kind of feel to it when it comes to developing relationships. While we’re not a startup, the environment makes it feel more like one than an old-world legacy tech firm. People care about each other, managers are flexible, and they trust their employees to get the work done.”

“The people are dynamic, intelligent, and truly committed to the success of our company and our brand. I know we are poised to take on whatever challenges lie ahead, and we will work as a team to overcome them.”

Number of U.S. employees: 3,958
Industry: Information Technology
U.S. headquarters: San Rafael, Calif.
Major locations in Bay Area: San Francisco
Number of locations: 32

Read Great Place to Work review here.


Deborah Arajs

Employees say: “From the CEO to first-level supervisors, management strives to make the company a place where you can do your “life’s work” and make a difference in the world. Everyone I work with feels involved and engaged, and pulls together to make great things happen, fast.”

“I enjoy our group dynamics—the teamwork, the camaraderie, and the respect for each individual and their unique talents. Whenever there is a meeting in the conference room, I can hear the belly-laughing from my cube. Clearly, work is getting done there, but it’s also about personal connections. “

Number of U.S. employees: 4,882
Industry: Information Technology
U.S. headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.
Number of locations: 13

Read Great Place to Work review here.


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