Amazon.com

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Amazon.com Reviews

Updated Jul 23, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 3,262 reviews

85% Approve of the CEO

Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

(2,275 ratings)

64% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You will learn a lot while working at Amazon that will be useful for the rest of your career(in 98 reviews)

  • Density of talent: Some really smart people spoiling their careers here(in 302 reviews)


Cons
  • Company is not at all sorry to screw people's work-life balance for itself to excel(in 535 reviews)

  • There is literally no work life balance inside this company(in 123 reviews)

3,262 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Approves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Stepping stone into retail

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Slough, Berkshire, South East England, England

    ProsDynamic
    Fast Moving
    Interesting and exciting at times
    Passionate people - at first or when they're being advanced in their careers

    ConsChurn and burn
    "If you don't like the pace - go and find a new job"
    Everyone's expendable, they'll just replace you
    Expect you to do two people's work, for the salary you earn - reluctant to bring in support to manage workload

    Advice to Senior ManagementLead effectively as Mr Bezos intended
    Bring managers in who can lead
    Don't burn people out
    Value Employees - walk the walk don't just talk the talk

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    only if you are young

    Inventory (Former Employee) London, England

    Prosonly for career starters, if you are young, fresh from school, want to be surrounded with like minded careless wannabees

    Conschaotic, lots of improvising and ms communication, office games and politics, unnecessary attitude, lack of seriousness and taking ownership, lack of support

    Advice to Senior Managementtreat people with respect, acknowledge achievements, don't be scared of innovation ideas and the success of others, utilize obvious talent

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    A job to fill the gap between other jobs, but nothing more.

    FC Associate (Current Employee) Glenrothes, Scotland

    Prosgood, friendly people to work with

    Consthe pay is poor, opportunities for promotion are minimal, treatment of staff by upper management is poor.

    Advice to Senior Managementrespect the employees more.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Work/Life Balance
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    Not a bad place to work

    Share Service Analyst Uk (Current Employee) Slough, Berkshire, South East England, England

    Prosjob stability good staff communication

    Consvery competitive and lomg hours

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you are going to put people in levels that they aren't completely qualified for, you need to spend the time and money to develop them into that role

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Great company to work for...

    Senior Financial Analyst (Former Employee) Slough, Berkshire, South East England, England

    ProsThere is a tremendous pool of talent working for Amazon. Anyone joining the company will be able to make a contribution from day one, while being able to take on responsibility early on. The opportunities for personal development are many.

    ConsThe base pay isnt great. The share package seems attractive, however, you salary increases and incremental share grants take into the account the shares which you have already been issued, so in reality, there is no upside if the share price outperforms.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAmazon UK is doing really well, keep doing a great job. Make sure you pay your staff in a manner which reflects the unfortunately location.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Don't bother unless you are desperate to bolster your CV

    Senior Marketing Manager (Former Employee) Slough, Berkshire, South East England, England

    ProsGood for CV reputation and professional learnings esp data analytics

    Constreat staff like idiots - 'frugal' is the word they use, in fact it is more like cutting corners. People get demotivated and leave making more work for those left behind. Senior management take pride in their buollshit macho aggression. Thisck skin needed.

    Advice to Senior Managementget a life - form a meaningful HR department, give people a break. Chill out.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    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

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    140 people found this helpful  

    Can be amazing for some people, horrible for others

    Software Development Manager (Current Employee) Seattle, WA (US)

    ProsAmazon is doing lot's of cool stuff...but lots of boring stuff too. There are really well run teams...and very badly run teams. The experience for software managers and engineers is all over the board, from really run low operational load teams to teams where people burn out after a year.

     - Amazon is built, quite deliberately, to be Darwinian. You can generally expect that anyone who's been here for more than 2 years is competent and motivated or they wouldn't have survived. You can count on them as long as your priorities are aligned. There aren't many slackers here, and they don't survive long.
      - We work on so much stuff that there's always an opportunity to find amazing cool stuff to work on (note that it's an 'opportunity', one that you have to pursue)
      - A chance to make a huge difference
      - A place where you can learn a lot about all kinds of things, both technical and about yourself
      - Amazon encourages high mobility - even your manager can't prevent you from moving to another team within 6 weeks (normally, more than a few months under unusual conditions).
      - Your friends and family have actually heard of the place you work and have at least a vague notion of what Amazon does without you having to explain

    Cons- You're responsible for your own career progression and finding the places and teams that are doing the stuff you want to do. No one is going to take you by the hand and help you with that.
    - Amazon is built, quite deliberately, to be Darwinian. The strong survive and the weak perish (metaphorically speaking) and the 'bar' is constantly increasing. The level of performance that would have been acceptable five years ago will get you canned today. It's a kind of crucible that'll help you develop a harder edge, if you can survive, that can serve you well in your career and in life, but it's often not a pleasant experience.

    I wouldn't recommend it as a place to work for just anyone.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStack ranking is a horrible practice since it's rife with favoritism. It's also not Amazonian in that it's not data based (arbitrarily designating a certain percentage of employees that must be put on performance management isn't a data driven criterion) and it's not frugal (effectively forcing an individual out of the company in one division who would make the grade in another is either retaining someone who doesn't meet the bar or a waste of talent). The goal is to force managers to actually make the hard decisions about how their team members compare with each other (not everyone can be exceptional), but it has more defects than virtues. Replace it with a common comparison of each person against the bar for their position, based on data. The percentages that are assigned to each performance category will turn out how they turn out, but there will be an evaluation mechanism that's fair and frugal.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Approves of CEO

    209 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

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    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Generally satisfied Amazonian here...but I can only speak for my team

    Software Development Engineer (Current Employee) Seattle, WA (US)

    ProsAs mentioned in the title, I've only worked on one team at Amazon, and it is in the context of a new/secret project, so I'm not sure my experiences are representative of the company as a whole. That being said:

    - Fast pace
    - Plenty of responsibility
    - End-to-end project ownership
    - Smart co-workers

    Cons- Not the most "positive vibe"
    - Collaboration with other teams can be a bit adversarial (I guess this is a slightly less vague example of my first con)
    - Work environment: open work space (lots of interruptions), frequent moving (on a rapidly-growing team, anyway), dearth of conference rooms
    - Focus on code quality tends to lapse severely in the face of totally arbitrary deadlines -- and isn't usually accounted for at all during planning

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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