Over the weekend, the New York Times published a deep dive into working practices at Amazon, alleging that many of the company’s current and former employees “tried to reconcile the sometimes-punishing aspects of their workplace with what many called its thrilling power to create.” One former employee told the Times that he regularly saw coworkers crying at their desks.
In an internal email, CEO Jeff Bezos encouraged employees to read the article but argued it did not reflect what he believed was Amazon’s ethos–that he did not “recognize” the company portrayed by the piece.
“The article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day,” he wrote. “But if you know of any stories like those reported, I want you to escalate to HR.” Bezos provided his own email address and said employees could contact him directly if need be, writing that “our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero.” He also urged employees to read a detailed rebuttal to the Times article by Amazon executive Nick Ciubotariu, who currently works there.
“I strongly believe that anyone working in a company that really is like the one described in the NYT would be crazy to stay,” Bezos adds. “I know I would leave such a company.”