Amazon to offer employees $5,000 to quit

Katie Callahan Contributor
Font Size:

In Jeff Bezos’ longest letter to shareholders, the Amazon CEO introduced a new program called “Pay to Quit,” a $5,000 offer for employees to quit their job at Amazon.

Borrowing the “Pay to Quit” idea from Zappos, Bezos said the program will push employees to seriously evaluate whether they are where they want to be.

“We hope they don’t take the offer; we want them to stay,” said Bezos in the letter to shareholders. “Why do we make this offer? The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want. In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.”

Here’s how it works: employees are given the option to quit once a year. If they want to quit, they get an offer of $2,000, which increases by $1,000 each year until it reaches $5,000.

Geekwire reports that this year’s letter is 4,434 words. His first letter in 1997 came in at 1,641 words.

Bezos praised the company’s “patient, pioneering, customer-obsessed culture.”

“This decentralized distribution of invention throughout the company — not limited to the company’s senior leaders — is the only way to get robust, high-throughput innovation. What we’re doing is challenging and fun — we get to work in the future,” he wrote in the letter.

Bezos finished the letter remembering CFO Joy Covey, but also noted that “inventing is messy, and over time, it’s certain that we’ll fail at some big bets too,” and “it’s still Day 1.”

Here’s to Day 2 for both Bezos and his employees, or lack thereof.