In a recent article that appeared in The New York Times , it was claimed that e-commerce giant Amazon has a borderline brutal, almost inhuman work environment. Referring to Amazon as a ‘bruising workplace’, this feedback was allegedly provided by present and former employees of the company.

And now, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has written a memo to the company’s employees in response to this scathing report.


In his memo, Bezos asked employees to read the article and report the abusive behaviour talked about in the article to Human Resources or directly to him. He said the article doesn’t describe the Amazon he knows or the caring Amazonians he works with every day.

Here is what he has to say:

Dear Amazonians,

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to give this (very long) New York Times article a careful read: I also encourage you to read this very different take by a current Amazonian: Here’s why I’m writing you. 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. You can also email me directly at Even if it’s rare or isolated, our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero. 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. Again, I don’t recognize this Amazon and I very much hope you don’t, either. More broadly, I don’t think any company adopting the approach portrayed could survive, much less thrive, in today’s highly competitive tech hiring market. The people we hire here are the best of the best. You are recruited every day by other world-class companies, and you can work anywhere you want. 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. But hopefully, you don’t recognize the company described. Hopefully, you’re having fun working with a bunch of brilliant teammates, helping invent the future, and laughing along the way. Thank you, Jeff