Zimlon

Over the weekend (August 15th 2015), the New York Times published a scathing account of Amazon’s culture & employee dissatisfaction. The Times claimed that the account was based on over 100 interviews over a 6 month period with current & former employees and stood the by the story. Not surprisingly, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, disagreed and said “The article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know. 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 recognize this Amazon and I very much hope you don’t, either.” This piece by Nick Ciubotariu, an Engineering Manager at Amazon, defended Amazon on the strongest terms. The New York countered the Jeff Bezos & Ciubotariu response by rounding up more quotes against those responses.


Amidst, all the anecdotes, personal experiences & he said, she said discussion, where was the proud Amazon approach of leading the discussion with data?


There is already a rich source of crowdsourced data on employee satisfaction from Glassdoor. We decided to analyze the data for Amazon and its peer group of tech companies to see where Amazon ended up. We focused on reviews made by people whose job title had “Engineer” in them. We filtered on that segment because comparing across companies with different employee profiles may skew the data & this would make it “apples to apples”. For example, Amazon’s warehouse workers may rate the company differently than Google’s Adwords copy reviewers.


The summary of the data, is that Amazon is in the middle of the pack in terms of employee satisfaction among engineers. Google, Amazon, Facebook, Linkedin, Salesforce & Workday are at the top of the pack with ratings above 4. The companies in the middle with ratings between 3.5 to 4 include Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Twitter, Yahoo & Cisco.


The rankings seem to reflect the views of a commenter on the popular engineer focused news discussion forum Hacker News:

"BREAKING: Hugely successful big co has ex employees not fully satisfied, willing to criticize it. It also has current employees who appreciate it, willing to defend it.


Rankings of Engineer Ratings of Tech & Internet Companies on Glassdoor.com



Rank

Company

Average Rating

# of Reviews

1

Google

4.6

364

2

Facebook

4.6

209

3

Netflix

4.6

77

4

LinkedIn

4.5

85

5

Workday

4.4

25

6

Salesforce

4.2

67

7

Microsoft

3.7

1623

8

Intel

3.7

253

9

Twitter

3.6

80

10

Amazon

3.5

633

11

Apple

3.5

326

12

Yahoo

3.5

257

13

Cisco

3.5

793

14

eBay

3.4

176

15

Oracle

3.3

29

16

EMC

3.3

138

17

Trip Advisor

3

20

18

Hewlett Packard

2.9

161

19

IBM

2.8

1221

20

Priceline

2.8

5

Note About the Data:

  1. The peer group of 20 companies was chosen mainly by rankings of top publicly listed tech software & internet companies.

The locations for these engineers were mostly at the headquarters (Seattle for Amazon, Mountain View for Google etc…) and across US if it was not clear like in the case of IBM