Jeff Bezos runs Amazon, which a New York Times article this weekend described as a fairly horrifying place to work:
At Amazon, 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.” The internal phone directory instructs colleagues on how to send secret feedback to one another’s bosses. Employees say it is frequently used to sabotage others. (The tool offers sample texts, including this: “I felt concerned about his inflexibility and openly complaining about minor tasks.”)
Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post. But Post spokesperson Kris Coratti says Amazon’s hard-driving culture, which the Times article lays at Bezos’ feet–“You can work long, hard or smart, but at Amazon.com you can’t choose two out of three,” reporters Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld quote him as saying in 1997–hasn’t implanted itself at his newspaper.
“Jeff’s involvement has made it possible for The Post to focus on growth and innovation, and to experiment in new and exciting ways,” Coratti writes. “The culture here is built on camaraderie, enthusiasm and empowerment, which has resulted in new products like ARC and ‘Rainbow,'”–a digital platform it’s developed and plans to sell to other outlets and a digital innovations team, respectively–“as well as our enormous growth in audience, among other things.”
Indeed, while the Times article describes many people at Amazon weeping at their desks, the Post‘s new desks look like they could inspire only joy.