Amazon to look into accusations made by NYT
Bezos said that any company where employees were not given due consideration could have become as successful as Amazon. Despite that, he said that Amazon would be looking into any truth behind such accusations and called for employees having heard of such cases of callous behaviour to contact him directly. In a memo, he said that such behaviour would not be tolerated in Amazon.
The New York Times, had published an article which depicted the work culture at Amazon as "soulless" and extremely brutal, which had left many employees scarred. The article said that employees who had faced personal problems or health-related issues had been edged out, rather than being given enough time to recover in the company which could not afford to slow down.
New recruits are supposedly told to lose the "poor habits" that they had picked up at other companies. Employees are reportedly told to "toil long and late" and encouraged to destroy others' ideas at meetings. Supposedly, a tool exists which is to be used to secretly give feedback, or rather sabotage colleagues to the other's boss. An ex-employee said he had seen colleagues crying.
Several ex-employees have said that Amazon was unrelenting in its demands for long hours. An employee, who now works for HP, said that Amazon was the most "toxic" environment he had worked in. Another former employee with Amazon Web Services said that she would begin crying on Sunday nights and her husband would have to console her.
The founder and chief executive of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, reacted to the article saying that Amazon does not have the "soulless, dystopian workplace where no fun is had and no laughter heard" that the article depicted. Bezos has been often quoted saying that he wants a friendly and intense work atmosphere, but he decried the extremely brutal portrait that the article had drawn.
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, having decided that his company would not bend to inordinate spending and lackadaisical work ethics, which had destroyed previous companies. Hence the name Amazon, which indicates a place that is exotic and different.
A current employee said that Amazon had really high work standards, but it was nothing that was not expected of such a company. She said that she had taken multiple maternity leaves and time off for childcare emergencies without her career at Amazon being negatively affected. Another employee said that he had never seen any of this work pressure or the crying at work.
Amazon encourages a frugal style of working, without the overly generous and fun aspects of Google or Microsoft, but delivers great results. Some employees said that this method was useful and extremely productive because it encouraged people to work harder and reach beyond their limits. Amazon is what the modern technology office should be; "more nimble and more productive, but harsher and less forgiving."