Amazon.com

  www.amazon.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Amazon.com Reviews

Updated Jul 22, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 3,261 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)

789 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • 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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    5 people found this helpful  

    Stretch, learn, work, work and work

    Senior Manager (Current Employee) Seattle, WA (US)

    ProsOpportunities abound. Innovative new work being done all day every day. Rapid growth company. Environment that encourages creativity. Autonomy is granted if you know your stuff. Dogs allowed in the office. Casual dress environment. Learned more about business and process efficiency in 4 years at Amazon than I did in 10 years in my prior jobs.

    ConsChronically understaffed. No work life balance and HR Is not seeking to implement it. Churn and burn environment. Arrogant attitude of SVPs with little or no value of employee and employee contributions - i.e. "you're lucky to work here" . Compensation structure is heavily equity based, such that at best salaries are at mid of market requiring sales of shares to meet competitive market salary--leadership principle of "ownership" is a farce. Stock compensation is heavily taxed resulting in a lower overall total compensation package. Benefits are beyond skimpy. Tools, and systems for non-customer facing infrastructure work are fragile and require much manual work to prevent failures.

    Advice to Senior ManagementValues and leadership principles are good. Improve benefits, change compensation structure to more appropriately compensate top talent that work hard to contribute to the company's success.

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

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person 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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Very peculiar

    Technical Program Manager II (Current Employee) Seattle, WA (US)

    ProsAmazon is indeed a very peculiar place to work. There are a lot of opportunities to move around, intelligent people, there is never a dull moment and diverse culturally. My experience has been positive so far, but it differs from team to team. I've known people who left the company due to a bad experience with management. They either left at their own or were fired. The relocation package is very generous and the hiring team does an excellent job of recruiting talents.

    ConsBe ready to work long hours, have little work-life balance, bad health benefits, no career guidance, lack of processes, still runs as a start up, little teamwork, raises are miniscule and I wish they were as obsessed with their internal customers as they are with external ones.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvest in really developing your people. Be more transparent with your employees and develop more ways to reward good performance. Teamwork has actually proven to be a good practice and I think everyone could benefit from it.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    It's a job

    Warehouse Associate (Former Employee) Breinigsville, PA (US)

    Pros- Office staff was present 24/7
    - The company was definitely moving to make things better for employees at the time I left
    - Decent hours (I prefer the extra days off to having a shorter workday)
    - One of the few companies still hiring for general labor while most are/were cutting back

    Cons- Poor compensation (benefits, salary, etc.)
    - Not many transferable skills learned/taught
    - Mediocre promotion availability (to be expected when you work in a warehouse with 2300 employees)

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep giving the employees a voice in how to change things and improving the workplace as a whole.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Software Engineer life sucks

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsYou get to learn a lot and get very good experience

    ConsOn calls are horrible. You can get paged anytime 24hrs/day for 7 days. Screws up your health

    Advice to Senior ManagementConsider that employees have a life outside work too

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Good company but..

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Seattle, WA (US)

    ProsWorking with great talented set of people, opportunities for cool projects

    ConsCareer growth, salaries (!?, yes, really). If you are in operations, that's hectic job as well. Work-life-balance is not so great.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRecognize the employee's work more effectively

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Pays lip service to putting employees first, doesn't deliver.

    Customer Service Manager (Former Employee) Huntington, WV (US)

    ProsInteresting work that was different all the time. Lots of interaction between different departments. Good benefits as far as Health Insurance was concerned.

    ConsPoor base compensation for position, relies too much on stock grants to make up pay. No work-life balance at all and if you are religious, you're frowned up (at least at the location I was at) if you as to have Sunday mornings free. Being moved out of areas of responsibility once you get really good at them and can add value.

    While they stress people are important, if you try to work with people if they have issues, your reprimanded about trying to help them. It seems like they would rather just get rid of them and hire someone else. No respect for experience and knowledge learned from other companies.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCustomer Service starts with taking care of the internal customers that are not in Seattle also.

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

Worked for Amazon.com? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.