At some point, even for business beast Amazon, what goes up must come down.
It seems Jeff Bezos’ imminent departure will simply be another big shot headed out the door. The company is leaking senior leadership since the start of 2020, with at least 45 VPs and other senior execs having left over the past 15 months, according to Business Insider statistics.
“The risk-reward isn’t there for big leaders to stay at Amazon right now,” a former Amazon exec told Insider. “It would not surprise me if 2021 has more VP attrition than 2020.”
Including the exec quoted above, Insider spoke with seven who departed Amazon since the start of last year — almost all of whom spoke anonymously.
Their reasons were basically that the grass appears to be greener on the other side – where there’s more of an opportunity for a chance to join a C-suite, a better culture than they were experiencing at Amazon and better pay.
Insider reports that Amazon’s base salary caps at $160,000 a year for most employees, and stock rewards are heavily back-loaded.
The incoming CEO, Andy Jassy,has plenty on his plate.
One former vice president called it a “huge” exodus; another said it was “highly unusual” for Amazon to have this much executive turnover in such a short period.
Not surprisingly, Amazon didn’t necessarily agree with the narrative.
In a statement to Insider, an Amazon spokesperson said a recent internal survey showed 84% of senior executives said they are able to innovate: “We have remarkable retention and continuity of leadership at Amazon. The average tenure is 10 years for our vice presidents and more than 17 for our senior vice presidents.
“Like with any company, people leave from time to time for personal or professional reasons — many return to the company over the course of their careers.”