Seems pretty cut-throat, but the answer is 2 years old. From Quora:
Former Principal Program Manager at Amazon
Is being an Amazon employee as bad as some people say it is?
I was hired at L6 and got to L7. I left at Amazon in Jan 2019. I worked there for almost 5 yrs. I do not plan to ever go back.
People join Amazon and stay within Amazon depending on what they are after. Let me explain with some examples:
Money: Amazon will hire you at a higher rate based on the position you applied for, your education and your experience. After evaluation and you have received Top Tier (TT), you will be receive more money/stock. But you have to deliver more than 180%.
Knowledge: In Amazon, I learnt most awesomest things that I thought was not possible. Loved working with people who were from top universities. One of my ex-amazonian co-worker is now Chief Economist (Daryl Fairweather) of Redfin. Another was from Harvard. I got to work with the cream of the crop.
Creativity: Everybody in Amazon is trying to create the next best thing. E.g. Amazon Chime, Amazon Go, Fire Cube, etc.
But all these things comes at a cost. The cost is giving up your personal time & life. There is no “work-life” balance, even the CEO of Amazon hates it. Jeff Bezos doesn’t like the idea of ‘work-life balance’ — here’s what he swears by instead
Let me state few things that is known fact within Amazon, but no one will ever tell you.
It’s easy to get in Amazon, but hard to stay.
If you are salaried, you get paid for 40hrs/wk but have to put it in a minimum of 60hrs.
If you are delivering 100% (that is, you are delivering everything assigned to you), you probably will be fired within 6 months.
Amazon maintains an attrition rate of 6%-9% per year. In 2017 when the stock price got to almost $2000, the yearly attrition rate was not met. There was a mandate in all departments to fire people. The HR were drawing names out of a hat. They fired many people from all levels.
High Attrition rate in Amazon allows Amazon to hire new brighter people with better ideas.
In the new-hire orientation we were told that we are better than 50% of the team we are joining.
If your manager likes you, you can get everything. But if he hates you, you are out.
All these things leads to solid competition with everybody. In my first week, I met some very cool people and formed a group (around 10 of us). By the end of 1st year, it was down to 7 people and by the end of 2nd year it was only 2 left. I had to compete against my friends to keep my job.
I became the a$$*ole you’re referring to in your question. By the time I realized where I was heading, I lost most of my friends and almost got divorced.
Look at Glassdoor, there is some truth to the comments.