Top Amazon exec Jay Carney: 'This is an incredibly compelling place to work'

Over the weekend, The New York Times published a highly critical inside look at Amazon’s workplace.

The piece describes an intense, “bruising” work environment, where employees are asked to “diplomatically throw people under the bus” while those suffering personal crises are pushed out of their positions.

Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who joined Amazon as senior vice president for corporate global affairs in February, defended his employer in an interview with CBS This Morning.

“This is an incredibly compelling place to work,” Carney said. “I think the fundamental flaw in the story is the suggestion that any company that had the culture the New York Times wrote about, sort of a cruel, Darwinian or Dickensian kind of atmosphere in the workplace, could survive and thrive in today’s marketplace.”

He added: “People could walk away any time they wanted. These are people who are in as much demand in well-paying industry as anybody in the world.”

Amazon shared its global headcount during its Q2 earnings call in July. As of the end of the quarter on June 30, the ecommerce giant employed 183,100 workers.

That’s an increase of 18,000 people since Q1, not including contractors or temporary personnel — the biggest quarterly increase in the company’s history.

It’s also a 38% increase over the company’s headcount at the same time last year, when it employed a workforce of 132,600 people.

That number will continue to rise — as of this writing, Amazon has more than 4,500 job openings in Seattle alone.

When asked if the Times article contained any inaccuracies, Carney said, “The story is sort of based on the idea that there’s high turnover and attrition, but the facts are that the attrition, people leaving, cycling in and out of this company, is completely consistent with other major companies in the United States.”

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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