Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos has refuted the claims of “callous” management practices, lack of empathy and the annual culling of employees not performing up to snuff. In an internal memo sent to employees, Bezos claims he did not recognise the bad areas portrayed in the article, urging anyone affected to contact him directly.
It is interesting to see Amazon come out with this statement, with a follow up article from Head of Infrastructure Development Nick Ciubotariu claiming that most of the accusations against Amazon were falsified or spun in a way to make it seem malicious.
Normally, Amazon allows the media to soak up the reports of abuse in the workplace and remain silent. This time is different, making us wonder what nerve the New York Times article hit with Bezos to make him and Ciubotariu respond.
In Bezos’ case, it appears to be a genuine worry that some of this abuse is happening. The call to push it to HR or email Bezos directly points to Amazon facing some internal problems, but not being able to find out where the abuse is happening.
All tech companies have been pushy at some time, with Facebook and Google employees regularly pushed to perform better than the rest. Microsoft has been accused of employee mistreatment for decades, and Apple under Steve Jobs was considered an innovative or cruel world depending on who was answering.