Bezos’ comments came just days after Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama voted against forming a union by a more than 2-to-1 margin – a major win for the retailer that has fiercely resisted unionization for decades.
“While the voting results were lopsided and our direct relationship with employees is strong, it’s clear to me that we need a better vision for how we create value for employees,” Bezos, the world’s richest man, wrote in the letter.
“I think we need to do a better job for our employees.”
Amazon, the second-largest private employer in America, has been criticized by some of its 800,000 employees for having harsh working conditions.
Bezos pushed back against that criticism in his letter, saying that reports that the company’s workers were treated “as robots” were inaccurate.
“We don’t set unreasonable performance goals. We set achievable performance goals that take into account tenure and actual employee performance data,” Bezos said.
Bezos, who is stepping down as CEO of the company he founded 27 years ago later in 2021, said he planned to work on how to make Amazon’s workhouses safer in his new role as executive chairman.
Andy Jassy, head of the company’s cloud division Amazon Web Services, will take over as CEO.