Amazon.com

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Amazon.com Reviews

Updated 20 August 2014
Updated 20 August 2014
3,532 Reviews

3.3
3,532 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,460 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good opportunity to learn a lot in a particular area of software development (in 101 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here (in 306 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel (in 540 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company (in 125 reviews)

More Highlights

828 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    It's a good start for your career, but don't expect too much

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Buyer Risk Investigation  in  Slough, Berkshire, South East England, England
    Former Employee - Buyer Risk Investigation in Slough, Berkshire, South East England, England

    Pros

    good benefits, if you have a team of nice people and they have enthusiasm you can enjoy your job, Amazon is the leader on the retail market, launching new products to the right time in the US

    Cons

    first of all, the market in the US comes first, all others have to wait, not a really good communication from the high/upper level management to low level employees which is very frustrating, employee morale is going up and down - depends on how fair they are with recognitions and compensations, career opportunities are limited, unfortunately not all managers/employees are qualified and don't know how to socialise with their employees/colleagues, they should move to an other city, the place is not the best

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees! If you think the European market is low key think twice!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 239 people found this helpful  

    Make sure you know exactly what you're getting into

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

    Pros

    The name will precede you. This company can legitimately be called a "Disruptor" and perhaps even a world-changer. Customers love it and it's amazing to watch it all unfold at times. It's a pleasure to be even a small part of that.

    Even low-level employees are given some ownership, more than they might in some other places. Processes like the customer service andon cord demonstrate this.

    Pay is mostly good, with some caveats (see the Cons section).

    You will learn a ton. You'll be put through the ringer, but will emerge stronger for it. It's been said that a year at Amazon = two years elsewhere. That's definitely true. You'll learn business, supply chain, tech, retail, you name it. You're surrounded by smart people who challenge you to grow constantly. That was one of my favorite parts about working here.

    You can bring your dog to the office, dress code is casual, and South Lake Union is a fun neighborhood to work in. Seattle is stunningly beautiful in the summer, too (if you have time to enjoy it, that is.)

    Bezos is one of the few CEOs I've seen who earns the glowing reputation. He's a genius and a visionary. It's exciting to work in his company, though the thought of what will happen when he moves on is also a bit frightening.

    Cons

    "Work-life balance" means different things to different people, so I'm not going to say it's bad here per se. That said, long hours are the norm at all levels across the company, and usually that's required and expected just to keep up. Expect 60 hours as your baseline year round and 70 or more during Q4. You should expect that your time and mental energy for kids, hobbies, etc. will be extremely limited. Plan accordingly. Whether this is a negative will depend largely on the individual; just ensure you know where you stand on this before you sign an offer letter.

    That Amazon is a massive company with tons of smart people at all levels can actually be a huge negative. You might be a solid individual contributor, but so is absolutely everyone else - and you're all fighting for the same attention. It can be very hard to stand out, and you have to ensure your manager and your manager's manager know what value you bring at all times or you're toast. (You may still be toast regardless.) That means politics, backstabbing, and stack ranking do occur, despite some claims to the contrary. People definitely look out for themselves and themselves alone here; it's not a collaborative environment. It's also very easy to get the sense that you are a highly expendable cog even if your contributions bring significant value to the company. Plan to fight for yourself hard here, and be prepared to not get much acknowledgment or praise. Even if you do prove yourself well, know that advancement opportunities are limited. Most transfers in my observation were lateral, with big new hires being external. I've heard that the strategy of many people is to do a few intense years of lateral moves which can then be leveraged into a higher position at another company.

    Compensation is a mixed bag. Salaries are just average, but you get a huge signing bonus and stock which vests in strange increments over four years. Since the average employee lasts less than two years, you will not see most of that stock and you may need to repay some of that signing bonus (usually awarded over two years) if you leave or are pushed out. Raises are very, very small each year - your salary will not substantially increase even with a good review. Most people work startup hours, so their effective pay rate is pretty low. Additionally, the company espouses frugality as a core value. While this can be a positive, it also means they're downright cheap on some things, including hardware. Employee perks are pretty much nonexistent, and that's compared to most big companies and not just the Googles of the world. Benefits like health insurance and 401k match are mediocre at best. No free Prime accounts. No paid parental leave; moms get disability and dads get zip. (As in zero. None.) I did mention earlier that this isn't the most kid-friendly company to work for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's great to work at a place that highly values customer experience, so please keep that up. Work on your compensation - it's not competitive when compared to other tech giants. If I'm going to work as hard or as much as I did, at least I'd get free haircuts and food and massages at Google. Hell, even some paid paternity leave would be a start.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Developing at a leader and in a winning company, but do expect sacrifices, and frustration of not a lot of reward

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director  in  Paris (France)
    Current Employee - Director in Paris (France)

    Pros

    Business model and top level vision. Winning and international environment. Strong culture for excellence, analytics, action and results, giving autonomy and material operational responsibilities quickly. High level of systems and processes. Very smart people and engagement levels of the teams. Ability to challenge status quo and constantly re-invent to improve. Learning and self development across all leadership, management and business operational areas. Fast pace and reactivity, capability to quickly correct course of actions to restore performance. International career opportunities (provided individual flexibility, mobility and acceptance of below par compensation though).

    Cons

    Below average compensation in regards of the demands during recruitment process. High workload expected and little work-life balance perks. Management by criticism vs valuation of successes or people efforts. Very centralized leadership in the US and final decision making power on decisions forcing to constantly justify when not working in headquarters. Extremely high friction in promotions, leadership leveling disjoints for similar roles between US and rest of the world. Overall not high consideration for people (expendable resource). High level feelings of frustration and attrition as outcome (people all secretely dream to leave after making enough years on their resume to make a career jump).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remove once for all "frugality" as a leadership value statement used as an excuse to be in reality petty with employees on everything. Be more respectful of the people, reward internal loyalty and development more objectively on promotions vs political 360 degree assessment and constant fallback of external high bar benchmarking to staff leader positions. Stop taking advantage of Western Europe high unemployment rates to justify the below average compensation strategy.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    HIGH turnover, Some OT and maybe some unpaid voluntary time off

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Picker  in  Chester, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Picker in Chester, VA (US)

    Pros

    You get to meet people who are from most age groups. If you can stay long enough you can try most anything at your skill level or lower. Pay is ok

    Cons

    Did I say High turnover? I'd say that 50 percent of all new hires leave after 30 days or less. The performance rate they want is hard to achieve considering the work flows they put on you are challenging at best. They WILL terminate you for not meeting rate. You might stay with one manager for about 6 months then either they promote move or leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to what your employees say about the atmosphere of the company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    OK experience at Amazon... very unstructured and political environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director  in  Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Director in Seattle, WA (US)

    Pros

    Cool to be part of a growing and young company

    Cons

    Management environment is very difficult. Not a pleasant experience. Experienced managers have very dictatorial style that sucks creativity and fun out of the work experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Empower the people that you hire.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Not great, but not terrible either.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I  in  Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer I in Seattle, WA (US)

    Pros

    Pay is some of the best in the industry for a new grad, up there with Google and MS. Benefits are decent.

    Most teams work normal 40-hour weeks, unless you get unlucky enough to get put on a team with an insane workload or on-call rotation.

    Cons

    The culture hates developers and treats them like second-class citizens. Due to Jeff Bezos's obsession with miserliness (which he mistakenly calls "frugality") you will be given one standard monitor, one slow desktop, and one slow laptop with not enough RAM. If you want anything else, take it from an intern's desk after he/she leaves, or buy it yourself.

    In the same vein, funding to fix "developer pain" issues is non-existent. Could everyone's job satisfaction or productivity be vastly improved by having a few developers work on environment, tooling, or build system issues? Doesn't matter! You can either voluntarily spend your free time working on it, or do without. Actually lots of business-critical internal tooling is maintained this way, by "volunteers". Be prepared for tools you use every day to fall over when whatever random guy maintains them leaves the company! Management doesn't care. All hail "frugality"!

    Your manager will probably technically be a former engineer. But teams are informally run by business people here, not engineers. They love to strong-arm engineering managers into committing to dates for project launches without spending an appropriate amount of time investigating and scoping out the work.

    Oh, and the main reason projects take so long is because given a choice between spending two months on doing something correctly, and one month on some horrible hack that makes it kinda work but convolutes your entire architecture, guess what the non-technical people who run your org will pick EVERY time... It's gotten to the point that we have business code no one understands or is willing to touch, simply by "death by a thousand cuts" with no time ever allocated for refactoring.

    Don't even get me started on the space... I hope for your sake that you get put in one of the new buildings that are "only" normal high-density seating, not Amazon high-density seating. Otherwise, your work environment will sound like a high school cafeteria and be about as productive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give engineers what they want! You have a tech employees' survey; actually listen to it, even if it would cost you a bit more money. Giving programmers nice tools and offices would already go a long way towards happiness, and cost you barely anything as a percentage of salary.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good money but employe doesn't care for you.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager-III Quality  in  Seattle, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Manager-III Quality in Seattle, WA (US)

    Pros

    1. Stocks
    2. Interesting Challenges
    3. Very smart people

    Cons

    1. Work life balance
    2. Very Dev focussed environment so QA is always a support role
    3. Benefits are very average

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Sr. management is ruthless and need to respect engineers
    2. Please look at the attrition metric and do something about it

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Horrible

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Picker  in  Lexington-Fayette, KY (US)
    Former Employee - Picker in Lexington-Fayette, KY (US)

    Pros

    The job keep you moving and pay well.

    Cons

    Management was horrible. Time off not approved for deaths.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand your employees views and wishes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Its aight

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Warehouse Associate  in  Hebron, KY (US)
    Current Employee - Warehouse Associate in Hebron, KY (US)

    Pros

    They pay good and you can get bonuses. Plenty of overtime when busy. You have a lot of room to advance.

    Cons

    Tiring, you get dusty and managers have favorites and act unfair about certain things.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more fair to employees. Pay more money to good employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Amazon.com

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

    Pros

    Good place to work overall. A lot of very smart people who come from very diverse backgrounds.

    Cons

    Generally work a lot of very long hours. Praise for doing a good job can be few and far between.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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