Amazon executive says the company 'used to burn a lot of people into the ground' but not any more

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By Alyson Shontell

Amazon's head of infrastructure development Nick Ciubotariu has a bone to pick with the New York Times. On Saturday Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld wrote that the work environment at Amazon is "bruising."

"Workers are encouraged to tear apart one another's ideas in meetings, toil long and late (emails arrive past midnight, followed by text messages asking why they were not answered), and held to standards that the company boasts are 'unreasonably high,'" Kantor and Streitfeld wrote.

Ciubotariu, who has been employed by Amazon for 18 months, takes issue with most of the article. He says that while Amazon may have been a grueling place to work in the past, it isn't anymore. At least, not in his departments. He cited a speech given by a "very high ranking executive" last year at an Amazon all-hands meeting to backup his point:

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"Amazon used to burn a lot of people into the ground," Ciubotariu recited the executive's words in a LinkedIn post. "This isn't how we do things anymore, and it isn't how I run my business. I want this to be a place where people solve problems that cannot be solved, anywhere in the world, but they feel good about working for a great company at the same time. And if you're burning people into the ground with overwork, you're not doing it right, and you need to course-correct, or you don't need to be here."

He says he's also never seen any Amazon employees cry during his time there, which a source told NYT was a relatively frequent occurrence.

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So, what is it really like to work for Amazon?

According to Ciubotariu, it's great!

"We work hard, and have fun," he writes. "We have Nerf wars, almost daily, that often get a bit out of hand. We go out after work. We have 'Fun Fridays'. We banter, argue, play video games and Foosball. And we're vocal about our employee happiness."

Here's his full account about working for Amazon.

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

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