An Amazon software-development manager who was with the tech giant for over three years decided to quit his job after the company asked him to return to the office in the US. The employee had to forego company stocks worth $200,000 (about Rs 1.6 crore). The man who has opted to stay anonymous told Insider that they were informed in May that they would need to report from the office in Seattle in June.
The employee said that they were “blindsided” by the decision and felt that it was a betrayal of the company’s original promise to allow him to work remotely. “I tried negotiating. I showed them an estimate I’d received to pack up my family and move us across the country with our livestock – it would have cost $150,000 – and asked what the relocation package would look like. I didn’t get an answer,” they told Insider.
With mounting pressure from the company, discussions arose about employees being less productive while working from home, despite lacking any data to substantiate these claims.
“And then we were being told, ‘We don’t have the data, we just know it’s true’ — a phrase so patently un-Amazonian that it became hard to sit there and preach leadership principles… It didn’t make any sense. It still doesn’t,” he said.
He also revealed that he ultimately quit his job, losing $203,000 in unvested stock. The former Amazon staff member is now employed at a company with another former Amazon colleague. He mentioned that his present role offers a similar salary to his previous one, yet it’s clear they cannot rival Amazon’s stock options.
Amazon spokesperson Brad Glasser told Insider via email that they couldn’t confirm the employee’s story. He went on to say that “a single anecdote could not characterise a company of Amazon’s size.”
Mr Glasser added, “We’ve repeatedly made our position clear: In February, we shared with employees that we’d be asking them to start coming into the office three or more days per week beginning in May because we believe it would yield the best long-term results for our customers, business, and culture. As part of this process, we’ve asked a relatively small percentage of our team to relocate to be in the same location as their teams. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, so team hubs and relocation timelines will vary based on a number of factors, and we’re communicating with employees individually and providing relocation support. As is the case with any of our policies, we expect our team to follow them and will take appropriate action if someone chooses not to do that.”