Amazon Management & Welchism

Jack Welch instituted the 10 % personnel cut every year to get rid of deadwood.

An ex-Amazon manager said leadership had to rate a certain number of employees as “least effective.”

He said he defended an employee who senior leaders placed in this category despite performing well.

Shortly after, the ex-manager learned he was on Pivot, Amazon’s performance-improvement program.

senior leaders had apparently been given “unregretted attrition,” or URA, numbers — how many employees Amazon wants to lose in a given year. They seemed to be tightly tied to those URA goals. You couldn’t talk them out of it. And they would quickly try to force things into a stack ranking of who was high-performing, who was middle-performing, and if we could put people into the “least-effective” bucket.

The challenge would arise when you had managers all fighting for their employees and providing substantial evidence that they were performing well, and not enough people fit into the least-effective bucket. That’s when you would start seeing people being put there, in a way that seemed arbitrary to me.

higher-ups expect you to back up the company by manufacturing reasons and context for their performance ratings.

MEET THE NUMBERS to keep Jeff happy.
COMPLY or suffer the consequence.
What a way to run a business.


Hi @tjscott0 -

I’ve been on the side of ranking employees into categories each year. As a IT manager for 15 years in a Fortune 500 global organization with a global team, I was asked maybe 3 or 4 years to do this. Thank goodness I never felt pressured to manufacture reasons for placing folks in the bottom group. I did so as part of my job. Nothing personal. I think it’s a good thing. I also knew that I had to make sure I made it above the line each and every time trimming came around cause I knew it also flowed uphill.