‘It’s probably not going to work out for you’

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By Dan Sears

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy told company employees who defy his edict to return to the office for at least three days a week that “it’s probably not going to work out for you.”

Jassy made the comments during a meeting earlier this month during which he expressed frustration over the fact that some employees were not taking the return-to-office mandate seriously, according to the news site Insider, which obtained a recording of the CEO’s comments.

During the meeting, which is known in internal Amazon lingo as a “fishbowl” meeting, Jassy declined to share data that motivated his decision to require employees to return to the office.

The CEO told his charges it was a “judgment” call. Employees who were unhappy with the decision were invited to seek employment elsewhere, Jassy reportedly said.

“It’s past the time to disagree and commit,” he said.

“And if you can’t disagree and commit, I also understand that, but it’s probably not going to work out for you at Amazon because we are going back to the office at least three days a week, and it’s not right for all of our teammates to be in three days a week and for people to refuse to do so,” the 55-year-old Jassy said.

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Amazon CEO Andy Jassy issued a stern warning to employees who are resisting his return-to-office mandate.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy issued a stern warning to employees who are resisting his return-to-office mandate.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jassy told his employees that he spoke to scores of other CEOs and that “virtually all of them” preferred having their employees back in the office.

Last month, Amazon confirmed that it was asking some corporate workers to relocate to other cities as part of its return-to-office policy.

Amazon employees who refused to relocate near main offices of their teams were told they either have to find a new job internally or leave the company through a “voluntary resignation.”


Amazon required its corporate employees to return to the office for at least three days per week beginning May 1.
Amazon required its corporate employees to return to the office for at least three days per week beginning May 1.
AFP via Getty Images

In March, around 30,000 workers signed a petition begging Jassy to cancel his directive that most employees work on site at least three days per week.

The return-to-office plan took effect on May 1.

In February, Jassy said the company made its decision to bring workers back after observing what worked during the pandemic.


The above image is a stock photo depicting an employee working from home.
The above image is a stock photo depicting an employee working from home.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Among other things, he said the senior leadership team watched how staff performed and talked to leaders at other companies.

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He said they concluded employees tended to be more engaged in person and collaborate more easily.

Earlier this year, Amazon, which employees more than 1.5 million people worldwide, announced it was laying off 27,000 workers as part of a broad cost-cutting push.

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