10 Things in Tech: Attrition at Amazon


Happy Friday, readers. Employees are running away from Amazon’s Prime Air drone division, and in case you’ve ever wished you had a tiny house to set up in the backyard of your full-sized home, we’ve got the startup for you.

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1. In Amazon’s drone delivery division, attrition is skyrocketing. Leaked documents obtained by Insider show Amazon’s ambitious Prime Air drone division had a 30% turnover rate in 2021 and its drone testing team is losing more than 70% of its employees.

  • This turnover rate is significantly higher than the 20% of the previous year and more than four times higher than Amazon’s annual goal of 6% for what it calls “no regrets attrition”.
  • The unusually high turnover comes at a time of flux and internal turmoil: employees left amid cultural clashes between new hires and long-serving staff, high costs and delays due to testing accidents, among other things .
  • Skyrocketing attrition rates caused delays in achieving project goals within the division, according to the documents.

Here’s what else we found in the leaked documents.

In other news:

10 Things in Tech: Attrition at Amazon
Elon Musk.REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

2. Elon Musk will probably name himself CEO of Twitter. A CNBC report said the temporary arrangement would last “a few months” after he took over the business. According to The New York Times, Musk has also been busy courting potential investors saying he can double or triple their money.

3. The demand for Slack admin and developer skills is expected to skyrocket. Salesforce is launching a major campaign to get professionals certified on Slack, as part of an effort to train its vast network of partners and customers on the platform. We’ve covered how to upskill and land a Slack job that could pay up to $185,000 a year.

4. Technology corporations have donated millions to political committees that oppose abortion. An analysis found Amazon alone donated $974,718 to anti-abortion organizations, despite announcing it would cover up to $4,000 a year in travel costs for staff seeking medical treatment , including elective abortion. Here’s everything the scan found.

5. A crypto billionaire’s exclusive Bahamas conference drew the likes of Bill Clinton and Tom Brady. Hosted by 30-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried, the conference cost more than $3,000 and had thousands of attendees, including two Insider reporters, who came to give you an inside look at the exclusive event.

6. Shareholders arrive for Activision Blizzard. In a new lawsuit, New York-based pension funds accuse CEO Bobby Kotick and his board of rushing into his $69 billion merger with Microsoft to avoid liability in workplace scandals. Get the trial summary.

7. Fintech Buzzy Revolut has ruled out going public in 2022. As the global IPO market slows, the SoftBank-backed fintech has decided to focus on increasing revenue rather than risk the same fate as stock trading app Robinhood. What we know so far.

8. Tech companies want to go passwordless. Apple, Microsoft and Google announced yesterday that they are committed to working on passwordless login processes on all platforms they control. The Verge explains what this means.


10 Things in Tech: Attrition at Amazon

9. A startup is building tiny solar-powered houses that can fit in your backyard. Tiny prefab homes, which people add to their yards for use as rental units, offices, gymnasiums, etc., can also provide excess power to the main house. Take a closer look at the units.

10. Ford swept away space-obsessed billionaires in a new ad. Focusing on the space race between the likes of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, the spot hits on the billionaires who “fly off on their own personal spaceships when the going gets tough.” You can watch the full advertisement here.

The latest movements of people in technology:

  • Second Life has just hired Steven Feuling as its very first CMO.
  • The direction of Google Cloud is changing as senior executives leave. Here are the 12 most important executives currently running the company.
  • Michael Sayman, Twitter’s Gen Z adviser, resigned less than two months after joining.
  • According to Bloomberg, Apple has hired a 31-year veteran at Ford to support its electric vehicle ambitions.
  • These nine recent hires are transforming JPMorgan Chase in its race to attract Gen Z customers.

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Keep up to date with the latest tech news throughout the day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic brief audio from Insider’s newsroom. Listen now.

Organized by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Comments or advice? [email protected] or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.


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