Amazon Employees Respond to Scathing Article About Work Culture

Some employees defend the e-commerce giant after alleged practices are revealed.

— -- Some Amazon employees are coming to the defense of the e-commerce giant after some of the company's alleged practices have come to light in a news article.

"I've read many articles that describe us," Amazon employee Nick Ciubotariu wrote on LinkedIn on Sunday. "Some are more accurate than others. Sadly, this isn't one of them. This particular article has so many inaccuracies (some clearly deliberate), that, as an Amazonian, and a proud one at that, I feel compelled to respond."

Over the weekend, the New York Times published an article titled "Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace" in which the writers said they interviewed 100 current and former employees. The article describes a cutthroat employee review process, quizzes on company principles and strict management practices that penalize workers with family tragedies or health problems.

"Amazon employees are held accountable for a staggering array of metrics, a process that unfolds in what can be anxiety-provoking sessions called business reviews, held weekly or monthly among various teams," the New York Times reported.

"Explanations like 'we're not totally sure' or 'I'll get back to you' are not acceptable, many employees said. Some managers sometimes dismissed such responses as "stupid," according to the Times.

Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos sent a letter to employees on Sunday that encouraged them to read the New York Times article and report "shockingly callous management practices" like that to the human resources department and directly to him.

"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 wrote in the letter, which was confirmed to ABC News by a company spokesperson. Amazon declined to comment to ABC News about the Times article, and instead pointed to Bezos' letter to employees.

A spokeswoman for the New York Times noted to ABC News today that "This Linkedin post is one person's account, which we report on and link to in our follow-up story today."

"Our piece is based on more than 100 interviews with current and former employees and company officials, the result of which is a balanced portrait of Amazon that we fully stand behind," spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades said.

Another LinkedIn user who worked at Amazon from 1999 to 2010 said that his past experience is similar to that of Ciubotariu.

"The Times article doesn't reflect the majority of my 11+ years of experience at Amazon," Jason McMahon, a former senior software development manager for Amazon Mobile, wrote on LinkedIn. "More importantly I think the article uses these isolated examples to imply these are common practices in present day Amazon. Everything I hear from my friends still working there, suggests that is not the case."

Another employee thanked Ciubotariu for posting his rebuttal.

"I've had an incredibly supportive group of managers while working at Amazon, who really care about developing me and setting me up for success," Dana Sasinowski, an engagement manager for the past year, wrote in her LinkedIn comment. "They trust my decisions and let me run with initiatives, and yes, the work can be intense and challenging. That's part of what I really enjoy about my job. This article was bogus click bait."

In a 2009 interview, ABC News' Cynthia McFadden asked Bezos if he is a tough boss.

"Well I guess it depends on the circumstance," Bezos said. "I am a mother bear when it comes to guarding our customer experience. And I spend the vast majority of my time analyzing our customer experience in a very fine-grained, analytical way with a lot of different metrics."

Bezos said then that the "fastest way to upset me and to make me into not a nice boss is to not have enough care and concern about some aspect of our customer experience."