Over the weekend, Jeff Bezos sent out a memo to all employees. Follow the headline link to read the whole thing, but here are a few excerpts:
Across the world, people are feeling the economic effects of this crisis, and I’m sad to tell you I predict things are going to get worse before they get better. We’re hiring for 100,000 new roles and raising wages for our hourly workers who are fulfilling orders and delivering to customers during this period of stress and turmoil. At the same time, other businesses like restaurants and bars are being forced to shut their doors. We hope people who’ve been laid off will come work with us until they’re able to go back to the jobs they had.
We’ve placed purchase orders for millions of face masks we want to give to our employees and contractors who cannot work from home, but very few of those orders have been filled. Masks remain in short supply globally and are at this point being directed by governments to the highest-need facilities like hospitals and clinics. It’s easy to understand why the incredible medical providers serving our communities need to be first in line. When our turn for masks comes, our first priority will be getting them in the hands of our employees and partners working to get essential products to people.
My own time and thinking is now wholly focused on COVID-19 and on how Amazon can best play its role. I want you to know Amazon will continue to do its part, and we won’t stop looking for new opportunities to help.
Amazon is certainly filling a vital role during this crisis. I do worry about the fulfillment and delivery people at the front lines, in terms of potential exposure.
I also worry that Amazon is making further inroads on replacing mom and pop brick and mortar, shops that might never recover from this crisis, territory that Amazon might never give back. So the phrase “until they’re able to go back to the jobs they had” is a real question mark for me.