There are natural animosities between Jeff Bezos and Amazon and the New York Times. The animosities probably didn’t inform the reporting that produced this weekend’s controversial Times article that paints Amazon workers as badly treated white collar indentured servants, but the conflicts are there. The once mighty New York Times bestseller list, for instance, looks antiquated next to Amazon’s boots-on-the-ground real time book sales figures. And billionaire Bezos bought Times rival The Washington Post.
Amazon’s Head of Infrastructure Development for Amazon’s Search Experience Nick Ciubotariu did his best to deface the Times article in a LinkedIn post. Careful to say he wasn’t urged to write a response (read: not a PR move), Ciubotariu called the Times article “blatantly incorrect” while admitting this is only so because Amazon has “changed its ways.” (And “continues to work hard to do so.”) He also contends that [working at Amazon] is “still significantly better than industry practice.” (Damning with faint praise?) Ciubotariu calls out the Times on inaccuracies, bias and naivete, focusing on Times statements like this: [Bezos] has “designed what many workers call an intricate machine propelling them to achieve Mr. Bezos’ ever-expanding ambitions.” What, you hadn’t heard? Newsflash: Amazon is an ambitious company led by Jeff Bezos. The quote most people are talking about is all the crying that supposedly goes on at Amazon. Ciubotariu has been there 18 months and never seen anyone cry.