A former Amazon drone engineer who quit over the company’s opaque employee ranking system is working with lawmakers to crack it open

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    A former Amazon drone engineer who quit over the company’s opaque employee ranking system is working with lawmakers to crack it open




    From the article: A former Amazon drone engineer who quit the company after being told he was among the worst-performing members of his team is working with lawmakers who want to force companies to open up their employee-ranking systems.

    Pat McGah told Bloomberg that in February last year, managers told him he was one of the “least effective” members of his team. When McGah asked managers why he was ranked so low, they didn’t provide details, he said.

    McGah, who had worked at Amazon for 18 months, was told he could either submit a 30-day performance plan or accept severance, Bloomberg reported. McGah said he chose severance because he didn’t understand the feedback from his manager, who suggested McGah learn to create “structure in ambiguous situations,” among other things.

    “What does that even mean?” McGah told Bloomberg, adding: “It sounds like a fortune cookie.”



    To play devil’s advocate here: it sounds like they were telling him he needed to work with less supervision.



    Wack. But this is coming from the same company that has a turnover rate higher than 100% because they let bots hire and fire people.



    Not sure on this one. Ultimately feedback on ways of working is always going to be subjective. Slightly odd that he claims no feedback was given to explain his ranking but also that he didn’t understand the feedback that was given, and performance plans always have a series of objectives attached so it’s not as if anyone is hiding what needs to improve – that’s the point of their existence.

    Tbh this sounds like an engineer who thought they were doing great and became offended when told otherwise. You see it a lot in tech, people who are undoubtedly solid on the tech side but whose ways of working let them down.

    I’m not going to bat for Amazon at all ever, but this doesn’t feel like the story of someone I’d want to have representing those goals.



    Amazon is notorious among FAANG for its PIP culture and URA (unregretted attrition rate), a goal each business unit gets for minimum attrition they have to meet each year. They stack rank, and the bottom performers get put on a PIP to drive them out or fire them eventually.

    It’s a toxic culture and not worth the TC. They also backload the vesting on their RSU packages, so they save money given the high turnover rate.



    From an executive position….what is the purpose of decimating your workforce every year?

    Is it motivating people to work harder?

    Is it saving on costs to keep people for a year and then can them?

    It seems to me that this would be one counter productive hell hole with everyone staying just fast enough to avoid the rampaging bear






    Is it really uncommon or illegal for a company to be able to rank it’s employees how it sees fit? Why are lawmakers even concerned with things like this? Because attacking Amazon gets you brownie points?

    >Senator Patty Kuderer introduced a bill in January last year that would force employers to disclose employees’ personnel files, including details of where they sit in internal rankings.

    This seems like an overreach of power.



    Amazon has a reputation for being an absolute shithole to work at. Whether in the warehouse or the higher paying tech jobs. However, Congress has no authority to “crack” anything open and its just bullshit for attention. Amazon is not going to respond to subpoenas to turn over how their employee rankings work. They will win in court. Legislators just do bullshit like this to pretend like they care and are doing something.

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