Open Letter to Jeff Bezos: You let us down, you should resign


You reviewed my work twice (2017) at Amazon before I left. I found those to be the most interesting views into your thinking, intelligence and leadership. I have over the years heard many stories from other L8 and L10 leaders who have interacted with you. You are our role model. Many of us took the leadership principles as “life principles” not just values at work.

When I read first about your divorce this week, I was deeply saddened. The first thought that came to mind was there were some leadership principles were not adhered to. I did however think that those were significant lapses. After all, you have a right to your personal life, and what you do there is yours.

Before I share why I want to set some context. Only you know the truth and details behind the allegations in the press. Many of those publications which have put forth the salacious rumors about your escapades are not ones I choose to even read. I can only go by the narrative we learned from them however incorrect or false they might be. In our age of fake news I take these with a bushel of salt.

As a former colleague, you significantly lowered the bar on “Are right a lot“, “Insist on the highest standards” and “Earns Trust“. Many more of our colleagues have been let go for fewer alignment with the leadership principles.

You displayed a serious lapse in judgement (“Are right a lot”) with the purported affair while you were married. I am not here to pass judgement on your personal choices. Doing so would make me think I have the higher moral ground. I don’t actually. I am a deeply flawed individual as well with other issues. I don’t think I need to further explain this error in wisdom.

You have lost the trust of the many young employees at Amazon who revered you. Many who I spoke with over the last week have been deeply affected by what they read and the loss of morale is palpable. They may not all agree with what the press mentions as well, but they feel you owe an explanation given how we expect you to be the torch bearer of these values and leadership principles.

Finally you did not hold yourself to the highest standards. This value is one we all cherish and hold dear. We expect leaders to have high integrity while we expect them to deliver results as well.

For these reasons I think you should resign, have a smooth transition to Jeff Wilke, who would most consider the able leader waiting in the wings.

I wish you the best and strength to your family. Sincerely