Jeff Bezos counters claims Amazon has a 'souless and dystopian' work culture

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has hit back at accusations that Amazon is a "dystopia."
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has hit back at accusations that Amazon is a "dystopia."

The company's founder sends a memo: This is not "the Amazon I know"

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has responded to a critical New York Times article that alleges Amazon is a "brutal" place to work, with colleagues regularly pushed to their limits and to tears.

The investigation, which comprised interviews with 100 current and former Amazon employees, paints a picture of Amazon as a harsh, unforgiving and relentless environment. 

The TImes article claims that the company experiments with pushing staff to their limits, running a "continual performance improvement algorithm on its staff" where backstabbing is encouraged and people are encouraged to "rip apart" each others' ideas. 

It also claims that people wih illness, children or relatives with cancer were sidelined out of the business. 

However, Bezos sent an internal email hitting back at the accusations. 

He said: "The NYT article prominently features anecdotes describing shockingly callous management practices, including people being treated without empathy while enduring family tragedies and serious health problems. The article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day. But if you know of any stories like those reported, I want you to escalate to HR."

He added: "The article goes further than reporting isolated anecdotes. It claims that our intentional approach is to create a soulless, dystopian workplace where no fun is had and no laughter heard.

"I strongly believe that anyone working in a company that really is like the one described in the NYT would be crazy to stay. I know I would leave such a company."

Amazon has previously faced criticism over treatment of employees, including a BBC investigation in 2013 that claimed Amazon warehouse workers were at increased risk of mental illness as a result of long shifts requiring order picking every 33 seconds. 

This article first appeared on

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