Amazon.com Reviews

Updated 21 September 2014
Updated 21 September 2014
3,510 Reviews
3.3
3,510 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Amazon.com Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
2,431 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

Employee Reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    "It's like doing an MBA on amphetamines."

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Head of Sales, UK  in  London, England
    Former Employee - Head of Sales, UK in London, England

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Amazon is an astonishing place to work. Highly meritocratic, with enormous weight given to KPIs and metrics, and letting data guide your way. The high hiring bar means that you'll genuinely be working with the smartest people around - I spent the first year trying not to be the dumbest guy in the room. The green field thinking is awesome - you can approach problems without constraints. The leadership principles are also superb - they work, because Amazon uses them to guide and steer every part of the company, from hiring, to making strategic decisions, to resolving point issues - that makes them very, very powerful as a way to align an entire company. I also got to work with some of the best SVP/management talent in the world.

    Cons

    Jeff Bezos - "You work smart, hard and long - and two out of three don't cut it. "

    The working hours can be appalling - I was doing 73-74 hours per week, and it's very unsympathetic towards anything outside work, like family. It's also quite an unsentimental business - people don't tend to build great personal relationships, or if they do, they can be jettisoned quite fast.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Watch for burnout in your level 7 and 8 staff. Everyone's terrified of saying that the are taking too much on. In an offsite, after much beer, one person started quite bravely saying 'I'm working myself into the ground' and pretty much everyone sighed and agreed. These are some of the best and brightest, and Amazon can literally be killing them. A bit more understanding of that would be good for the company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    BHX1

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Warehouse Associate  in  Rugeley, England
    Current Employee - Warehouse Associate in Rugeley, England

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Decent pay for the work that is involved... Plenty of help from certain other people when needed... Good lead who is always fair and listens to individuals cercumstances

    Cons

    Quite often shot handed in the area I work and request for extra people to help when busy are often ignored or refused

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Not like anywhere else

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Site Merchandiser  in  Slough, Berkshire, South East England, England
    Former Employee - Site Merchandiser in Slough, Berkshire, South East England, England

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    If work is the most important thing to you right now, Amazon UK is a good place to do it. Incredibly fast pace of growth means a large amount of varied and interesting projects to take responsibility in with equally driven people. However you'll be expected to juggle this alongside your day-to-day role with no impact on your category deliverables, hence the need to be able to absolutely dedicate yourself to the job if you want to get anywhere and not have a breakdown. You will give up plenty of evenings and weekends if you intend to be there for a few years.

    Promotion can be achieved but you need to be political - identify tools or fixes that will improve most categories, figure out a scalable way to deliver them and start shouting about them. Peer reviews and cross-category influence are key to progression whatever level you're at. True of every company to an extent, but you'll quickly see how Amazon takes that and everything else to the nth degree.

    Cons

    The demanding environment combined with the relative rarity of promotions means that many level 6 and 7 managers are hired from outside the company rather than being promoted from within. The effect of this limits continuity planning and actually attracts some very average managers, because Amazon isn't like most workplaces. If you end up with a one of the poorer managers, you're going to struggle. Make sure you speak to/meet your prospective manager before agreeing to join a category.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You seem to be doing fine so far.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Good place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - FC Associate  in  Peterborough, England
    Current Employee - FC Associate in Peterborough, England

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Job security,Career development, Good pay, Fitness.

    Cons

    Work life balance, culture and values.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a rid of the dead wood and reward the hard workers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Challenge work but changing the world

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales  in  London, England
    Current Employee - Sales in London, England

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    growth company
    Challenges - new./interesting stuff
    Customers
    Team - nice people, hard working

    Cons

    Long Hours
    Lots on to do list

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in more headcount

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 8 people found this helpful  

    Burnout factory

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer  in  London, England
    Former Employee - Software Development Engineer in London, England

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I learned a lot. Amazon employs some very smart people who've done good work solving some very hard problems. If you want to know about scaling, look no further.

    There's no question that having Amazon on your CV is good for your career.

    Cons

    Poor direction from senior management who couldn't decide what they wanted.

    Bureaucracy. Oh, the bureaucracy.

    Politics. Woe betide you if you worked in a group or on a project that senior management didn't find sexy.

    Churn. Despite intensive recruiting, people left faster than they could be replaced. The hiring bar was rightly high, but there were too many ways to fail the interview for spurious and/or arbitrary reasons. The recruitment process may work better in Seattle where Amazon is one of the biggest names in town, but the competition for developers in London is too intense. There are other prestige tech giants, there are big media companies, there are startups, there are banks with deep pockets. In this environment, Amazon can't turn down good people and meet its hiring needs (and indeed, they had to import lots of staff from Seattle to keep the office afloat).

    On-call. Being woken up in the middle of the night got very old after a while.

    And finally, the kicker: work-life balance. The company pretty much destroyed a few of my colleagues. Amazon are very good at using guilt to get people to work all the hours God sends, for no particular reward. At the end of one spectacularly hellish project, everyone got -- a T-shirt. Not the best way to make your employees feel valued.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decide on your product road map *before* sending your development teams on death marches.

    Admit that London is a different labour market to Seattle and act accordingly. It's hard to get things done when half your colleagues have left and there's nobody to take their place.

    Don't treat staff as disposable tools to burn out and throw away. It's not nice and it's not good for your business either.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    High pressure, medium reward

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Human Resources Team Member
    Former Employee - Human Resources Team Member

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great place to build experience develop quickly

    Cons

    Annual review process with a forced distribution curve causes cultural issues in teams. The work-life balance is very poor due to the high expectations on each role and managers are not given the time and freedom to manage leading to dissatisfaction across all levels. Current focus is on externally bringing in skills rather than developing our existing internal talent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Obsess over your great employees in the same way you obsess over your customers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Very metric driven company, sometimes to the point where it becomes irrational. Many opportunities within the company.

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

    I have been working at Amazon.com as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Good on the CV
    Become comfortable with data
    The experience is what you make of it, you can do as much work out of your remit as you want

    Cons

    Can be too metrics driven
    Can be overworked
    Very frugal company, will hire as little people as possible meaning workload can be unmanageable.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10.  

    A decent place to work, if you enjoy being highly stressed.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Amazon Warehouse Worker  in  Hemel Hempstead, England
    Former Employee - Amazon Warehouse Worker in Hemel Hempstead, England

    I worked at Amazon.com as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Some vast and interesting technology. Can be fun when working with the right group of people.

    Cons

    Despite high levels of strictness and seemingly having very high targets for all staff. Many people do not practice what they preach, which sometimes makes for an unsafe environment in warehouse floors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat people a bit better, stop pushing so hard and so constantly. People may in turn enjoy working for you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Amazon is a great company if you are a customer, not so much if you happen to work there!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales  in  London, England
    Former Employee - Sales in London, England

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great place to learn. Working with the best in the industry

    Cons

    Poor management approach where individual managers do not take responsibility and provide no guidance/mentoring. When something goes wrong, they can wash their hands of it using the 'leadership principles' as cover. Poor pay. Bad office conditions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take some responsibility and don't hide behind the silly leadership principles. Provide better growth opportunities to staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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