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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tech Industry Reacts To New York Times’ Amazon Exposé

Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos presents the company's first smartphone, the Fire Phone, on June 18, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. The much-anticipated device is available for pre-order today and is available exclusively with AT&T service. (David Ryder/Getty Images)

Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is pictured on June 18, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (David Ryder/Getty Images)

The New York Times article published Saturday about the workplace culture for Amazon’s white collar workers sent a shockwave through the rest of the tech industry. The piece describes a “bruising workplace” where work-life boundaries are willfully eroded and employees are encouraged to anonymously critique their colleagues via human resources software.

Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos responded with a memo to employees, saying, “The article does not describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day.” Silicon Valley leaders have also responded, some claiming the anecdotes in the piece are taken out of context, and others saying tough working conditions are worth the sacrifice for a successful company.

Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with Peter Kafka of Re/code for a look at the reactions and how the Times’ depiction of Amazon compares to other well-known tech firms.

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