The Washington Post has reported that a well-regarded software development leader, who held a title as distinguished engineer, and serving in a vice presidential role, has resigned over the online provider’s recent practices in firing protesting warehouse workers as well as internal employee protests regarding the company’s actions in areas of climate change.
According to the report (Paid subscription or complimentary metered view):
“Tim Bray, who held the title of distinguished engineer, wrote in a blog post that he was giving up his job, and forgoing a paycheck that could top $1 million, because he no longer felt comfortable working for a company that’s comfortable firing whistleblowers with legitimate concerns.”
Bray further wrote:
“It’s evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture,” Bray wrote. “I choose neither to serve nor drink that poison.”
In an email to The Post, Bray indicated he made his action because he believes “strongly in telling the truth.”
Amazon declined to comment the publication regarding this report. Readers might recall that the publication is owned by Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and Chief Executive.
The Amazon actions cited in the report centered on ongoing warehouse worker demands for added virus safety measures, including the temporary closure of customer fulfillment centers for deep cleaning when workers test positive for coronavirus, along with added calls for paid time off for workers who are required to self-quarantine.
A further brewing issue have been vocal calls from Amazon’s technical employee ranks for the online provider to up the company’s public commitments in climate policies and combating the effects of climate change.
The recent firings of two reportedly vocal warehouse employees who worked at a large Amazon customer fulfillment center in Staten Island New York raised the attention of the city’s political leaders as well as the State’s Attorney General office. The protests of internal employees over climate change stance have further been brewing for several months, including a spillover into the U.S. Presidential Election campaigning process among prior Democratic candidates including Bernie Sanders.
The resignation of a well-respected technical leader is likely to heighten the looking glass onto the online provider in aspects of corporate social responsibility beliefs and action.
This development further comes as the online provider is under increased pressures by government regulators to police the increasing presence of perceived counterfeit goods being merchandised on the buying platform and on new allegations that the online provider has been developing private branded products by allegedly copying designs and specifications of similar products from existing hosted sellers merchandising on Amazon. That move has motivated calls for a Congressional anti-trust focused investigation.
Timing also does not help since Amazon is still struggling to keep-up with overwhelming demands from online shoppers that have exhausted inventories and led to elongated product availability and shipping times.