Amazon.com

  www.amazon.com
  www.amazon.com

Amazon.com Reviews

Updated December 18, 2014
Updated December 18, 2014
3,945 Reviews
3.4
3,945 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,672 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You can definitely learn a lot in short spam in Amazon as they make you work a lot (in 118 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 352 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 636 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 145 reviews)

More Highlights

588 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 11 people found this helpful  

    Worked hard. Did not have fun. I'm history!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Machine Learning Scientist in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Machine Learning Scientist in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Amazon thinks big and dives deep. They are willing to pay big bucks for the right people that can get the job done. The hiring process is borderline neurotic, so almost all employees are there to work hard. Jeff Bezos, the CEO is also the founder. He is a brilliant guy.

    Cons

    They are first and foremost an online retailer. Product development takes second place. The most frustrating element is the middle management. Most of them are workaholics that are never satisfied with anything anyone ever does. Some companies expect your professional life to take precedence before your personal life. At Amazon, people do not have personal lives. They're always working. Most employees only last one year. There is a high amount of turnover. The management knows that you will eventually burn out, so they stoke the fires to get as much out of you until you quit. The most frustrating part is that Jeff Bezos loves to experiment and try new things, but the middle management hates it. Many employees have a mindset that Amazonians are superior to other people outside the company. That gets in the way of hiring people that can do things they cannot do. The people at Amazon are very proud and not in a good way!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Amazon is getting too big. They are trying to do so many things, they cannot possibly expect to be good at everything. Inside the company, feudal kingdoms are starting to coalesce. There are factions forming within software development, customer service, etc. Your middle management does not know what it is doing and refuses to listen to the people they hire to develop new things. That is a recipe for disaster! The Microsoft way of racking and stacking employees based on feedback from peers is not working.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    The Darwinistic Game of Thrones for the leadership incompetant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Development Manager III in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Development Manager III in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com

    Pros

    Nice Campus, Great Technology, Major tooling (both a pro and con, but the common infrastructure is great)

    Cons

    Favoritism, Politics, "Old Guard", Excessive Overhead, Perpetual Abuse from Management, Weak Leadership, Darwinistic Cut-Throat

    Very prone to favoritism and politics - they stack rank at all levels applying a very Darwinian "survival of the fittest" mold to the employee population. This often yields itself well to games of politics where other managers try to 'put people down' to make themselves appear better. (You will see this when stack ranking your reports as well....basically if you don't speak the way they want you to, your people will suffer). Be warned...there is some serious 'group think' at play, so much so, if you differ in belief you will find yourself quickly outed. I learned the hard-way where my manager frequently would engage in political discussion baiting me into defending my differing beliefs (my fault for engaging that idiot).

    Management may or may not be from an engineering background. My manager was actually a TPM and very obvious he's never had to be responsible for a budget or delivering a project on a deadline. His lack of technical expertise...and more 'theoretical' science made the work relationship extremely tenuous. He did not do a good job at providing leadership, only was able to take credit for the projects I put forward.

    Main point, management is weak and only experienced in their way of management (not very adaptable, more 'good old boys').

    In terms of the large culture - - there is a habit for management in different teams to make very bold commitments to the S-Team (Senior VPs), without recognizing the cost or funding dependent teams. This often leads to tough resourcing decisions where if the team doesn't get their way they will write 'anonymous' feedback - which if your management is a putz will not be vetted, discussed, but just held against you. Essentially you can provide 'feedback' on any body at any time with or without reason and it will appear in their bi-annual review.

    They say they have a "Bias for Action" - which is not very true.... they tend to spend more time writing documents than prototyping or engineering. As a manager at Amazon you will essentially write documents (size of a thesis) to promote your employees, define the projects you will work on, fire your employees, answer to teams wondering why you are not working on their very special request, etc. If I would be to break down my time, I spent at least 50% customer meetings, 20% meetings with reports, 10% meeting with management, 20% answering email. Now that's just the 50 hours you will spend in the office, after that you have to find time in your personal life to do the things you think actually provide value / writing docs.

    Compensation is ok...the max salary is $160k a year by policy, so they pad the rest in Stock (after it vests). The effect is you feel your raises at least a year delayed (if the stock performs), salary hardly every raises with inflation or just to meet increases in rent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop buying every company under the sun and start turning a profit. Drop the non-kindle hardware, the phones were stupid and didn't have the app ecosphere to support. If we are to take most of our compensation in stock, it needs to at least grow 15% YOY as you project it to.

    Invest in your managers, senior management should know how to develop new managers without micromanaging or being completely handsoff - you will never develop management from different backgrounds than yourself that way.

    Writing docs is not the only way to think, nor the most effective way. You can express intelligent thought that is easier to parse in bullet point or presentation. (Every doc review you end up having to present the whole thing again anyways as they are always so long and hard to parse).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Cutthroat and Competitive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Recruiter in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Recruiter in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com

    Pros

    Interesting Work and affordable products

    Cons

    We are so pressured to hit our hiring #s, people do not treat the candidates and each other with respect. It's impossible to feel good about what you do when you are bringing people into this environment. Recruiting leadership is overall weak and toxic. HR knows but doesn't do anything either because they don't care or have no clue how to fix it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    be fair and consistent

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Overworked and low respect.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - FC Associate in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - FC Associate in Bellevue, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Always had overtime if needed.

    Cons

    They did not hire within.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show respect to those under your position. Everyone is needed to make the operations run smoothly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Slave Drivers....amazonian=robot (kiva)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Inbound/Receive Associate in Robbinsville, NJ
    Former Employee - Inbound/Receive Associate in Robbinsville, NJ

    I worked at Amazon.com

    Pros

    Consecutive 3 day-off schedule, there is always plenty of work, hence O/T opportunities.

    Cons

    Poor training, you have to figure out everything by yourself. The management tells you "Teamwork", I have helped so many new associates to understand the procedure & trained them, but management have come up to me & said 'My rate is low", I have a written warning. Could you believe it? They tell you "a teamwork is a must" & then they nail you. Of course, they do not give you a credit when you help the other people. They are bunch of idiots!... No work-life balance for 4 working days, compensation is not minimum wage but they push you work to off-limits & they suck your all energy at the end of the day. Walking & standing up (absolutely no sitting) for 11+ hours, too tiresome job, too cold in winter & extremely hot in summer time. Unfriendly, cold-looking, noisy, dirty & dusty work environment. The warehouse setting looks like a modern prison with the exception that males & females together. The management treats you like a number not like a person. They constantly remind you your performance rates through out the day, they play lots of games, all managers are bipolar & have two faces. I have never seen so many tired, cranky, miserable & unhappy workmates together in my life. Obviously nobody likes this job. The management always threaten you that they can fire you in any day. The list goes on & on, just horrible place to work. I am so happy I no longer work here. Indeed, I would like to thank you very much amazon.com & my temp agency ISS to release me from the job (prison), I really appreciate it. You have done a big favor me !... I was luckily separated from this working environment before I have become a permanent disabled person.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat warehouse associates like human beings not like robot !.... Stop slave driving just to make your customers happy & your shareholders richer !.... Do not copy "Japanese car manufacturer's warehouse system & their terminology", we are in USA, not Japan!.....Your motto "Work Hard, Have Fun, Make History" should be changed to "Work like a slave, Have exhaustion, Make yourself disabled". You might be No 1 & the most powerful in the e-commerce platform worldwide, but nobody likes you including your employees !....You are just lonely at the top. Watch your back because you have so many enemies.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Bad experience, but very team-dependent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time

    Pros

    Huge company - Lots of opportunities if you want to change your career path or switch teams

    Name recognition - nice to have a big company like Amazon on your resume

    Flexible work options - You can work from home without missing too much (team-dependent and job-dependent)

    Benefits - The bus pass and 10 percent off discount off of the website are good perks. Health insurance was decent. Kitchenette was available and clean. Some teams/organizations have free food in the kitchens.

    Pay - Salary was above average for the area, but still not as much as other big tech companies.

    Cons

    Huge company - You can't turn your head in South Lake Union without seeing an Amazon employee wearing a blue badge. The company is expanding extremely rapidly, and while they are building new office spaces in downtown Seattle, work spaces feel cramped. You'll feel like a number at company meetings.

    Work-life balance - On-call rotations are a norm because of the companies notion of 'ownership'. Though I was an software developer, managers are also subject to being paged. My shift usually started between 9 and 10 am and most days didn't end until after 7pm. This was normal for all of my team members. Of course, this is also very team-dependent.

    Benefits - The retirement plan is lackluster compared to other tech companies. New hires only get two weeks of paid vacation (10 paid days off not including weekends and holidays). That's lower than all companies I've researched. Not only is it lower than other companies, you are not given your vacation days upfront. You a portion of them per month. Also, Amazon (in the U.S.) only recognizes 5 holidays, versus most other companies which I've seen with a minimum of 8 paid holidays).

    Your happiness here is directly influenced by the team you're put on. If you don't like your team, you can either leave the company or wait out until the first anniversary of your employment. After one year of employment, you are allowed to switch teams (if you have a good performance review). You might still need to interview with the team that you plan to switch to.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow employees to do what it says in their job description. Managers should manage and developers should develop. Increase benefits and perks and address work-life balance issues.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Faceless, anonymous corporation where people don't matter at all.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Manager, Software Development in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Manager, Software Development in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com

    Pros

    Challenging problem space, some execs are not complete morons.

    Cons

    The most annoying part of working at Amazon is how people don't matter at all in this company. You are a number. No one will give a damn about training you, growing you, advancing you. What you do is completely irrelevant. You will be passed over by the cronies of your newly hired director or VP (mistresses, drinking buddies, soccer team mates, etc.). Reviews and interviews are passive-aggressive-driven beauty contests: for your success it is much more important to be "nice" with everyone and not rub anyone the wrong way rather than actually getting something done.
    Management is all hired from outside, almost never promoted from inside. The attrition is ridiculous also because of that.
    The pay and the benefits are such that those able to, leave amazon as soon as the all-cash compensation period is over, especially with a stagnant or declining stock. Those who stick around, tend to be those that cannot go anywhere else, and it shows. In my career I have never seen so many incompetent morons with the title of director or higher, spending all their time and energy trying to defend their position rather than get work done. In two years I had the team produce 100x more lines of useless planning documents that no one read or cared about than actual code.
    The few great people I have worked with were all in the intermediate to low levels and were all leaving or looking around.
    The technology stacks I have worked on were all put together with tape and wire. More than 90% of the resources were spent trying to get the stratified hacks of ten years to keep working rather than creating something new (and it was a mission critical system). The technical leadership is the division was non-existing. There may be some pocket of excellence elsewhere in the company, but after I have seen the shambles the supposed core business is in, I ran for the door at the first opportunity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a good look at your leadership teams and cull the deadweight. Start a policy of fostering growth of the talented employees instead of flushing them when they don't align. Foster technical excellence.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 7 people found this helpful  

    Great technology. Poor company culture. Confrontational management philosophies

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - AWS Territory Account Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - AWS Territory Account Manager in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Working as an AWS account manager, you are selling some of the most exciting and bleeding edge solutions in IT infrastructure. Prospects are extremely interested in speaking with you and most customers are ones looking to disrupt their respective businesses by going to the cloud. You are forced to stay up to date on the latest products and enhancements. Also, AWS typically pays well given a qualified background.

    Cons

    Too many to mention. A good summary:
    -You end up managing your manager when you focus should be on generating revenue
    -Some managers prioritize their own tasks and deadlines over your own customers' priorities
    -Confrontational management: highlights your mistakes and shortcomings in front of other team members. Pits team members against each other by asking what you think of your team members
    -Commission cap: the variable component is limited and accelerators are capped. The bulk of your pay is in salary. Little chance of knocking it out of the park
    -Microsoft + Oracle culture: leadership and senior team members are hired from these companies and therefore all the negative aspects of company culture exist - bureaucracy, stack ranking, managing up, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When you leave Microsoft or Oracle, leave your bad habits behind.

    Let sales reps sell. Stop putting your own interests first.

    Invest in your team as opposed in expecting them to invest in you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 7 people found this helpful  

    Come for the brand; leave for your sanity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Grade-A talent - by far the smartest people I've ever worked with. Engineering is on par with Microsoft, Google, and Facebook
    Product recognition - Everyone knows Amazon.

    Cons

    Work life balance is extremely poor. Go into this with your eyes wide open. This is a serious Amazon culture problem that doesn't just happen to other people.

    High attrition rate - the average employee tenure is around two years. This is because the signing bonus is paid over a two year period.

    Excessive culture of meetings - Developers and managers alike will find themselves in 4 to 9 hours of meetings a day. This is no exaggeration. Meetings are considered the insurance policy of communications. Something hasn't been said if it wasn't said in a meeting, to a group of people that were listed as attendees. (Case in point: this review isn't official unless I invite you to a meeting and have you read it in my presence.)

    Promotions are extremely difficult to maneuver. You're better off leaving and rejoining in order to move up a level.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is for Jeff Bezos and nobody else:

    1) The weekly CPR meetings ends up consuming days of effort just to prepare status. It's killing productivity. You know this.

    2) Adopt Agile

    3) Stack ranking is hurting the company. I've seen great talent get pushed out because of favoritism. What a shame.

    Approves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Was Great , Now Horrible. I worked in corporate there for 5 yrs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Corporate Employee
    Former Employee - Corporate Employee

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    work with smart people
    casual dress
    nice downtown location
    transit and parking subsidies

    Cons

    Every man for himself attitude
    No perks
    no career guidance
    Promotions unheard of
    stacked seating and honeycomb cubes
    you can only make lateral job transfers. You cannot apply for jobs above your current level
    politics, politics and politics

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    stop living the new Amazon motto "frugality" and clean up management

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

Work at Amazon.com? Share Your Experiences

Amazon.com

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.