Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has denied the etailer is a “dystopian workplace” after allegations over employment practices were reported on Saturday.
The New York Times article included allegations that white-collar workers who had suffered from cancer, miscarriages and other personal tragedies had been evaluated unfairly or forced out of the company.
In an internal memo, Bezos claims the portrayal in the article “doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day”.
He added: “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 recognise this Amazon and I very much hope you don’t, either.
“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.”
Bezos argues in the memo that a company who adopted such an approach would not be able to thrive in the “highly competitive tech hiring market”.
He urged anyone who had experienced the type of stories recounted in the article to escalate them to HR or send them directly to his email account.
He added: “Even if it’s rare or isolated, our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero.”
Anecdotes included Molly Jay, a former member of the Kindle team, who claims her status at the company changed when she began cutting back working during the evening and on weekends to care for her dying father.
Molly Jay claims she was blocked from transferring to a less pressure-filled job and told she was “a problem”.
Meanwhile, an anonymous employee who miscarried twins went on a business trip the day after surgery after being told by her boss “the work is still going to need to get done”.
Her boss also allegedly told her: “From where you are in life, trying to start a family, I don’t know if this is the right place for you.”