Amazon.com

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Amazon.com Reviews

Updated Jul 29, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 3,282 reviews

85% Approve of the CEO

Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

(2,287 ratings)

64% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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
793 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

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

    Buyer Risk Investigation (Former Employee) Slough, Berkshire, South East England, England

    Prosgood 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

    Consfirst 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 Senior ManagementListen to your employees! If you think the European market is low key think twice!!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

    213 people found this helpful  

    Make sure you know exactly what you're getting into

    Marketing (Former Employee) Seattle, WA (US)

    ProsThe 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 Senior ManagementIt'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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Machine Learning

    Account Executive (Current Employee) Seattle, WA (US)

    ProsAmazon is a well oiled machine and you'll learn a lot if you have the stomach to stay plugged in.

    ConsNegatives outweigh the positives - long hours, politics, unreasonable demands, and disconnect from leadership principles and from employees make it an environment better suited for robots.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Amazon culture

    SDEII (Current Employee) Beijing, Beijing (China)

    ProsGood business future, good infrastrcture for developer.

    Consbureaucracy from managers and bad habit to evaluate what's a good engineer

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Brilliant people and no life

    Quality Assurance Engineer I (Former Employee) Cambridge, MA (US)

    ProsAmazon will teach you a lot. You'll be around brilliant people all day and are bound to learn something new from them, even if you pick it up by osmosis.

    The things you do are likely to ship. Not everything does; as with every company, some projects get canned or put on hold indefinitely, but most things move pretty quickly. Even if your particular project never sees the light of day, it's likely that some of the things you did will get repurposed.

    You'll have a pretty good idea of where you fit into the machine based on your job title and the people around you. This isn't the sort of place where you're going it alone and everyone is siloed off; there are literally thousands of people who can answer questions or collaborate.

    If you meet or exceed "the bar", you will be recognised to a degree. In most cases, effort in equals reward out.

    Being so process-heavy can actually be a blessing in disguise as resources are always available for any problems you might run into and things are fairly well-documented.

    Amazon gets things done and one of the key values is having a backbone -- you're expected to stand your ground if you disagree. This lends itself extremely well to things like eliminating code debt and keeping things moving; there's no groupthink. It can sometimes become a little bit adversarial, but it's not a big issue and is a small price to pay for the advantage it gives the organisation. For a huge company, it's outright nimble.

    Everything is data-driven, which I'll also mention in the Cons section. As a pro, though, if you have the data to back it up, you'll be able to get what you want. Additionally, your performance is measured with data-driven metrics, so your review shouldn't come as a surprise -- good or bad.

    ConsI hope you took pictures of your work-life balance while you had it, because it's gone the second you step in the door. If you're not in the office until 2 in the morning some nights, you're probably not meeting the bar. This is an unfortunate fact.

    Salary is average, perks are nil, and bureaucracy is outrageous (though you have to expect the latter in a company of 89,000 people).

    "The bar" is either something you stand on or it hangs over your head. Not "raising the bar" means you're toast eventually. Amazon has a monumental turnover rate; most people will give up after a year.

    Office politics happen, largely in the form of needing to suck up to the right people in order to be heard and having to manipulate colleagues to get them on your side. Again, fairly common in an organisation this big.

    Everything is data-driven. You can't go on instinct or gut feeling; if you don't have the data, you don't have an argument. Your experience means nothing if you don't have data to back it up.

    If something comes down from Jeff, people drop everything in order to kowtow -- which would be fine if it wasn't completely inconsistent with Amazon's stated values. You might lose your job for daring to argue with the decisions of a hypercompetent genius from Mars, but if you want to be consistent with having backbone, that's a chance you have to take. The fabled "question mark emails" mean someone's not sleeping for the next two weeks.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI know Jeff is a visionary-slash-juggernaut, but he is not omniscient and sometimes questioning his judgment is a good thing, even if it's just to suss out why something is being done a certain way.

    Your people are people, not cogs. Your turnover rate is abysmal; start with fixing the work-life balance and you'll see your turnover rate improve.

    Treat your warehouse employees better; if they collapse, you collapse.

    Offices that aren't Seattle shouldn't be second-class citizens. Give them the same or similar perks where it's possible; otherwise you start to breed resentment.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person needs to do 5 persons Job

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsYou can definitely learn a lot in short spam in Amazon as they make you work a lot.

    ConsRandom decisions, bad planning, adhoc work and immense work load.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Innovative business, tough on employees

    Senior Recruiter (Current Employee) South Seattle, WA (US)

    Pros-Top etail site in the U.S. & much of the world = great talent, awesome brand
    -Very smart, hard-working people

    Cons-Management often takes a back seat to customer obsession = some teams are very poorly run
    -Insane work hours if you want to succeed
    -Low tolerance for collaboration

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Work-From-Home -- It's Not What You Think

    Work-From-Home Seasonal Part-Time Customer Service Associate (Former Employee) Seattle, WA (US)

    ProsHome office, no commute, paid full-time training.

    ConsBarely above minimum-wage pay, and the company also seems to value negative behavioral reinforcement towards employees (rather than positive), cynicism, and self-serving ideals. They are very much for-profit rather than people driven, despite their "treat the customer like a friend," customer-centric processes. There was a lot of behind-the-scenes customer bashing by the management that was disturbing to me at the forefront. In training, frequent loss-of-job threats involving late completion of training materials were sent out globally, regardless if they were applicable or not. The training process itself was based on a "survival of the fittest" premise , and there was little mercy for the fallen.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPositive reinforcement solves more problems than negative, especially when dealing with problematic employees. This environment was toxic for me. Though I had no issues there, the assumption that every worker must be a villain was a huge deterrent, and final dealbreaker, for me.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    All work and no play makes you an ideal amazon guy/girl

    Business Intelligence Engineer (Current Employee) Seattle, WA (US)

    Prosleadership, ownership, visibility and great people

    Consall work no fun, too much work, no family life if want to succeed

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Sweet and Sour

    Warehouse Associate (Current Employee) Phoenix, AZ (US)

    ProsThere are many opportunities to grow with the company and they like crazy ideas and embrace difference so it never feels stiff to work there. There is monthly profit sharing, yearly stock and benefits on day one.

    ConsThey seem to hire alot of college grads and older military, this is not a bad thing per say but when they are brought on to manage and have no experience in the warehouse or even in management then not only do they not get the respect but also there is tension and resistance to follow. This makes it hard on everyone and its worse when there is to many of these chiefs.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop looking at your computer all day and see what's going on once and a while.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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