This is probably how things work in most big old software corporations. It is not open to big surprises, like a revolutionary new product, or a catastrophic failure. If the company is on a profitable turf, I would say, it is the way to go.
For individuals though, it makes the utterly limiting environment, where gatekeepers and not the ones with merit flourish.
On the bright side, my unscientific observation is that, in the best case, such an organization can go on like this only for one career time (~20 years). So, if you are coming in towards the end of that period, you are in for an adventurous ride.