One of the companies that fascinates me is Amazon. I mean don’t you love how Amazon Prime allows you to get almost anything you could ever imagine in two days? I am not gonna get much into why people think Amazon is cool, but even President Obama praised it by wanting to “highlight Amazon as an example of a company spurring job growth.”
However, in August, The New York Times published “Amazon: Wrestling Ideas in a Bruising Workplace” portraying Amazon as a brutal employer that puts innovation and company performance above the well-being of its people. The author, supported by many present and ex Amazon employees, paints a picture of long and late workdays – and nights -, unreasonably high expectations, and a Big-Brother-management style where colleagues send secret feedback to bosses that equates to career sabotage.
After this article, a current Amazon employee Nick Ciubotariu gave an answer on LinkedIn and initiated a wider discussion with the community. These are some of the quotes from former or current employees of Amazon that are worth highlighting from the discussion:
“Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk.”
–Bo Olson, worked in books marketing
“I was so addicted to wanting to be successful there. For those of us who went to work there, it was like a drug that we could get self-worth from.”
–Dina Vaccari, worked on projects from corporate gift cards to sales of scientific supplies, 2008 to 2014
“I would see people practically combust.”
–Liz Pearce, worked on Amazon’s wedding registry
However, Ciubotariu disagrees with everything the article says: “This particular article, has so many inaccuracies (some clearly deliberate), that, as an Amazonian, and a proud one at that, I feel compelled to respond.”
He has received many supporters for this statement, both from current and ex employees. So, whom should I believe? I’m sure there is truth in both points of view. In Amazon’s defense, I’ve seen firsthand how biased even reputable journalism can be -Apple and Daisey – . But, I believe that in order to see if these accusations are right we would have to look at the internal culture of Amazon and since I cannot get a first hand view of this, I find very hard to assess the validity of the information I have found.