Amazon Senior Manager Reviews | Glassdoor

Amazon Senior Manager Reviews

Updated May 26, 2017
395 reviews

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Senior Manager

3.5
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Amazon Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
311 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance is a challenge (in 1688 reviews)

  • No work life balance around the holidays (in 370 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Sr. Program Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This is the most innovative environments I have ever been in. When choosing between Amazon and another tech company a few years back there was some bad press out about the company. This bad press actually motivated me to accept the offer at Amazon. To me this bad press was intriguing. Since working here I have found that the bad press i had read was not at all true for me. I always feel empowered by my team and fulfilled by my work.

    Cons

    There is a lot of ambiguity and the environment is fast. If you are a person that likes to know exactly what they are going to do everyday and needs firm structure and guidance, you will not like it here. Amazonians are encouraged to think for themselves and not be babysat.


  2. Helpful (588)

    "Exciting Work, Abusive Culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Engineering Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Jeff Bezos and his "S-Team" are brilliant and continue to make great decisions for long-term growth.

    You work with smart people, you work on exciting projects, you are pushed to your limits...which can be rewarding when you accomplish great things. The diversity of the potential work and innovation can be very alluring. I've often called Amazon my "Sexy Mistress...she's emotionally abusive, but she's so sexy that I go back for more punishment."

    Cons

    The management process is abusive, and I'm currently a manager. I've seen too much "behind the wall" and hate how our individual performers can be treated. You are forced to ride people and stack rank employees...I've been forced to give good employees bad overall ratings because of politics and stack ranking.

    Advice to Management

    Don't pretend that the recent NY Times article was all about "isolated incidents". The culture IS abusive and it WILL backfire once stock value starts to drop. I'm an 8 year veteran and I no longer recommend former peers to interview with Amazon.


  3. "I love it."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    * Never in any company have the leadership principles (LPs) been followed this religiously. LPs are referenced every day, for every single decision.
    * You can challenge any idea or opinion based on LPs.
    * Voicing concerns or alternative opinions is NOT frowned upon like in some big companies but is encouraged.
    * Tons of opportunities in the company, employees are very mobile. It is very easy to move to other teams (assuming you don't have performance issues). Managers are aware of this mobility and are paying extra attention to keeping their direct reports happy / motivated.
    * Experimenting is a part of the culture, it is ok to fail as long as you learn from it
    * Stock keeps soaring

    Cons

    * Work life balance is not easy to maintain. There's something about the work that makes you want to put in 15 hours a day. There's no external pressure to work long hours but endless opportunities make employees extra ambitious. So the pressure is coming from the inside.
    * Frugality is a leadership principle and is followed strictly. 15 hour flights in economy and paying for your own parking is no fun.

    Advice to Management

    Keep experimenting, keep disrupting!


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  5. "Senior Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Fast-paced, dynamic, challenging, exciting, innovative, smart people, great CEO

    Cons

    Employees are expected to do a lot of ramp-up on their own. Creates a good culture of learning, though.

    Advice to Management

    Keep innovating and trusting staff with great ideas!


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great values from the TOP down"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Amazon's Leadership Principles (e.g., Customer Obsession) are real, not some marketing/PR stuff made just to look good. Unlike some other companies, I've seen top leaders use the Leadership Principles to make decisions. We also use them for hiring, promotion, and general feedback.

    Cons

    I've seen a lot of variability between teams. My team is amazing and I know many other happy employees, but I've also seen a few toxic groups. Be sure to ask a lot of questions and try to get a feel for who you will be working with.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure that communication lines are always open. The most successful teams work together.


  7. "You'll learn more here, than any place you've ever worked"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Salary, stock, bonuses.
    Interesting problems to solve, that have huge impact
    Best and brightest people from all over the world
    Ownership and autonomy
    Every decision is made with the best interest of the customer in mind

    Cons

    Not for everyone -

    No hand holding, very self service organization

    Intentional chaos to drive competition between teams, and therefore foster innovation

    Advice to Management

    Use your buying power to build more partnerships, and pass on the perks of those partnerships to your employees


  8. "Great place to develop as a leader"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager, Software Development in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager, Software Development in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    To succeed at Amazon, you really do need to drink the koolaid and subscribe to their peculiar ways. This is a place where you are given enormous latitude to chip in to solve problems. Your role is defined by what you want to drive and own, not by a title. I appreciate the autonomy that Amazon gives its leaders - for good and bad. We are given room to make mistakes, learn and grow from them. As a leader, I have made mistakes and I've been praised for my analysis of the failure and the corrective actions.

    I currently work in an organization with tenured Amazon leaders. They've collectively launched world-class operations and billion dollar businesses. It's amazing to learn from these leaders -- they are remarkably calm amid the chaos -- they've seen it all before.

    Cons

    You have to, as with any large organization, watch out for certain pockets where the work-life-balance is really screwy. The nice thing is there is very fluid lateral movement within the company. The policies have changed to make this easier and these poor leaders are being exposed quickly.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the momentum on improving transparency -- for good and bad. The changes to the promotion process are the right step.


  9. "Building the Future"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Development Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Development Manager in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Amazon's leaders are dedicated to generating long-term customer value, not just in their words but by their actions. There is a serious commitment to identifying and investing in future leaders who will continue to grow and improve Amazon's leadership culture. Ideas are evaluated and decisions made with an almost scientific rigor, with a strong preference for data-driven discussions. In the absence of data, calculated risk taking is acceptable as long as plans include gathering data, failing fast, and avoiding "one-way doors". The culture is apolitical, and one can find much support among universally intelligent peers, if one makes earnest effort along a compelling plan that incorporates feedback. You will learn a lot here, and you can lead amazing, high-impact contributions that are literally changing the world.

    Cons

    The performance bar is consistently high and exacts intense focus on one's efforts. The expectation is that great leaders are great owners, and no detail is beneath them. The culture demands rigor and preparedness. The work is hard, commensurate with the impact. Never underestimate the scale at which Amazon operates. No one should expect a "comfortable" post: at Amazon, if you're not stretching, you're not growing.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the rigor, the scientific approach to management, the measured experiments. Double-down on helping line managers understand how to cherish their team members while investing in their long-term potential value to the company, not just their tactical capabilities. Ruthlessly prioritize making it easier for builders to build by consolidating and/or eliminating undifferentiated (wasted) effort.


  10. "Great Place to Grow into a Leader"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Sunnyvale, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Sunnyvale, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I've grown so much in my 2.5 years at Amazon. Amazon's leaders really invest in the development of talent. They hold you to a high standard and motivate you to go even beyond that.

    Cons

    I've had an amazing experience, but I recognize it's not for everyone. Amazonians don't always take time to sugarcoat things, and if you can't deal with bluntness, it may not be a great fit. But everyone I've ever worked with is very respectful, so most people should be ok.

    Advice to Management

    We could do more to flatten the org structure (though I think that's true of most big co's).


  11. "Not a bad place"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Lots of ownership. You will NOT be a cog in the machine here, you will be given responsibilities at 1-2 levels above your position. You will actually get to own what you're working on.
    - All star cast. You will work with the best and the brightest. You will be challenged constantly and learn from the leaders in your given field.
    - Data driven culture. Decisions are not driven by the person with the highest title, they are driven behind quantifiable metrics.
    - Spirit of experimentation. They are not afraid to take risks at Amazon. They think like a startup -- try things and fail fast.

    Cons

    - Lots of Ownership. You cannot pass the buck here, the down side of ownership is that there is more stress and potentially more time invested. If you want to succeed, you need to be scrappy and do whatever it takes to make your area of ownership win.
    - Frugality. You won't get catered lunches or snack kitchens here. But remember, you'll likely be a shareholder if you join. What would you rather invest in, a taco bar or the business itself?

    Advice to Management

    Continue to keep everyone's eye's on the prize.