There are newer employer reviews for Amazon.com

11 people found this helpful  

Don't go

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Seattle, WA
Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Seattle, WA

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

Pros

From outsider's perspective Amazon seems to be an innovative company focusingon improving customer experience and offering more affordable products.

Cons

1) unrealistic business targets
2) inexperienced middle management
3) no support to remove roadblocks and, as a result, no work life balance
4) sometimes no respect in communication
5) relatively uncompetitive salary, the stock compensation is a joke given 3-4 year vesting period and 1 year employee retention

Advice to ManagementAdvice

in 2-3 years it will be challenging to attract talent, if such a trend continues.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

3679 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com (View Most Recent)

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  1. 16 people found this helpful  

    Poor Treatment of Employees

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

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

    Pros

    Opportunity to work on interesting, cutting-edge projects. Generally highly competent, intelligent colleagues. Good 'name' for your resume to leverage for another position.

    Cons

    One of Bezos' fundamental values is 'frugality' and boy do they ever mean it at Amazon! Double-sided print jobs (for those awful memos you have to prepare and discuss in excruciating detail before doing anything) and stays in unsafe, sketchy hotels during business travel will be your life. No free phones here (although you may get a free IMDB Pro account, which is unintentional comedy at its finest). This emphasis on frugality is not shocking given the company barely breaks even but Jeff and his 'S' team doesn't pay the price - rank and file employees do. In an environment in which competition for talent - especially tech talent - has never been higher you would think they would at least pretend to care about their employees. Not so. When Microsoft looks great by comparison on this basis, then you know you have some work to do.

    They even went after a former colleague of mine, suing him for leaving for Google, even though he moved to California and they don't enforce non-competes there, which Amazon knows. They did this just to screw with him and to send a message to current employees who may be thinking of leaving (which is everyone below Level 8, at least). Cutthroat and awful place to be. Life is short - why spend it at a place that despises you? When my options vest shortly, I am gone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Though you don't believe it, there are other important constituents and causes besides customers. Like employees...shareholders...partners...charities. We were not all put on this Earth to maximize Bezos' personal wealth accumulation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 15 people found this helpful  

    A duplicitous and scurrilous employer which will crush your soul and drain your human capital.

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

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

    Pros

    The only reason to work here is that it will improve your future prospects of getting a better job elsewhere. Recruiters know that Amazon has a high hiring bar and employees are motivated to leave. In rare cases and for rare individuals, you will have the opportunity to build something awesome; for everyone else, it is duct tape and bailing wire to survive Christmas.

    Cons

    If you can work somewhere else, you most likely should.

    To start with, the work environment is soul crushing and more stressful than working in an airport terminal. The noise level is so great that you will need to wear headphones throughout the day. I worked in buildings which were so overcrowded that you often had to wait for three elevators to find one you could squeeze onto. I am sure that they were in violation of the fire code.

    For scientists, you will drain your human capital and have little opportunity to learn new skills or deepen your knowledge. Don't even ask about getting Amazon to pay for journal subscription -- you are expected to scrounge papers from friends still in academia or off the Internet. The "mentors" I had were largely useless and it is virtually impossible to earn a promotion without superhuman efforts, i.e., having no work-live balance. In addition, there is a culture of micromanagement which comes down from the top. This attitude makes it difficult to research and to solve important problems which are costing the company millions. And, this is not limited to a single manger -- I had five in two years, all of whom were worse than any manager I had in my 25-year career prior to Amazon.

    When you attempt to make changes, it can take six months or more of politicking and fighting the Agile/scrum schedule to launch your improvement into production. Amazon takes the leadership principles seriously, but "Deliver Results" and "Bias for Action" trump everything, even correctness. No one seems to remember who made $50MM mistakes, but they do remember who didn't deliver the XYZ feature on time by giving up endless evenings and weekends.

    Next, read the fine print on everything you sign. Amazon has many pernicious ways of clawing back money from you when you leave, e.g., you must stay two years to avoid repaying relocation expenses and you will only receive matching contributions to your 401(k) if you stay three years.

    In addition, the infrastructure is "frugal" and often unreliable. If you work in retail and need to run a query in Q4, it can take a day or more to run.

    Finally, when the market turns against Amazon -- and it will -- the stock will take a major haircut because of the insane P/E ratio.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employees are stakeholders, too -- investing in them should payoff. Most of the MBAs I encountered make the work environment worse and are huge waste of salary: they could easily be replaced, in most cases, by software and B-grade undergraduates, who at least would know how to write SQL.

    During my exit interview, the HR contact asked me why turnover was so high and what could be done to improve retention -- she was utterly clueless!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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