As part of its praised Leadership principlesAmazon likes to say that it starts with the customer and works backwards to shape its business and products. Jeff Bezos realizes that the mantra has its limits.
"Dave, you are the kind of customer I like to lose," said the Amazon CEO wrote on Instagram this weekend after posting a profane, racist email message from a customer whose last name has been obscured from the screenshot.
"This kind of hate shouldn't be allowed to hide in the shadows," wrote Bezos. "It is important to make it visible. This is only one example of the problem."
Bezos called it an example of "a series of disgusting but not surprising" messages after a separate email exchange he had posted Friday in response to another customer who objected to the Black Lives Matter support message above on Amazon.com.
The company announced last week that it would donate $ 10 million to groups working for social justice and justice, including the ACLU Foundation, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the NAACP.
Amazon has been criticized by the ACLU and others for law enforcement's use of its facial recognition technology, including the technology's potential to misidentify black people. At its last annual meetingThe company rejected several proposals from shareholders regarding the gender and race of its workforce and products, outlined its progress in these areas, and said it had programs in place to address these issues.
Critics also point out the lack of diversity in leadership roles at Amazon. The company's executive suite and board of directors have been largely white over the years. Last year, Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Rosalind Brewer was the first black woman to serve on the board since the late 2000s.
The advocacy group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice beat Amazon for firing Chris Smalls, a black warehouse worker who organized a strike to call for greater protection against the corona virus. The group accused Amazon of racism after a memo from the executive that discredited Smalls as "not smart or articulated" had been leaked to the press.
According to Amazon, Smalls was not fired for organizing a protest, but "because he endangers the health and safety of others and violates his employment conditions." He had received warnings for violating social distance guidelines.
The news from Bezos is in response to the latest customer emails gaining support from other Amazon customers.
Bezos took a similar approach last year in a separate edition. He published letters he received from American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, and accused the blackmailing and extortion publication of threatening to publish compromising photos he had received.
GeekWire editor Monica Nickelsburg contributed to this post.