Filed Under: Tech

Amazon boosts max base pay to $350,000 in bid to retain tech talent

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Amazon is more than doubling its max base pay to try to hold onto white-collar workers after a record number of top talent left the company last year. The new corporate base salary cap is $350,000, a huge leap from the previous max of $160,000.

The previous base pay was not as competitive among other Big Tech firms. The latest salary leap puts Amazon more in line with the competition, including neighboring Microsoft.

In an internal memo first obtained by Geekwire, Amazon cited the competitive labor market as a reason for the hike.

“Weighing the economics of our business and the need to remain competitive for attracting and retaining top talent, we decided to make meaningfully bigger increases to our compensation levels than we do in a typical year,” the memo read.

Of course, base salary is just part of a tech worker’s compensation. Amazon has heavily relied on stock options and cash bonuses to lure employees in the past, but workers were starting to sour on those incentives. In a 2021 survey, nearly half of employees who were considering leaving cited low base pay as their reason, according to Business Insider.

Stock options were also losing luster after Amazon’s growth slowed, but last week Amazon notched the largest ever one-day gain in market value for a U.S. company–an emphatic response to its earnings report to the tune of $191 billion.

The company will have some help paying for those higher salaries when Amazon Prime becomes $20 more expensive in March for its roughly 150 million existing members.

SIMONE DEL ROSARIO: SEATTLE’S LARGEST EMPLOYER IS MORE THAN DOUBLING ITS MAX BASE PAY TO TRY TO HOLD ONTO ITS WHITE COLLAR WORKERS – AFTER A RECORD NUMBER OF V-Ps LEFT THE COMPANY LAST YEAR.

THE NEW CORPORATE BASE SALARY CAP IS 350-THOUSAND, A HUGE LEAP FROM THE PREVIOUS MAX OF 160-K.

IF YOU THINK 160 WAS LOW FOR TECH, YOU’RE RIGHT. THE LATEST SALARY LEAP PUTS AMAZON MORE IN LINE WITH THE COMPETITION, INCLUDING NEIGHBORING MICROSOFT.

IN AN INTERNAL MEMO OBTAINED BY GEEKWIRE, AMAZON CITED THE COMPETITIVE LABOR MARKET AS A REASON FOR THE HIKE, ESPECIALLY THE NEED TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN TOP TALENT.

OF COURSE, BASE SALARY IS JUST PART OF A TECH WORKER’S COMPENSATION.

AMAZON HAS HEAVILY RELIED ON STOCK OPTIONS AND CASH BONUSES TO LURE EMPLOYEES IN THE PAST, BUT WORKERS WERE STARTING TO SOUR.

IN A 2021 SURVEY, NEARLY HALF WHO WERE CONSIDERING LEAVING CITED LOW BASE PAY AS THEIR REASON, ACCORDING TO BUSINESS INSIDER.

STOCK OPTIONS WERE ALSO LOSING LUSTER AFTER AMAZON’S GROWTH SLOWED, BUT LAST WEEK AMAZON NOTCHED THE LARGEST EVER ONE DAY GAIN IN MARKET VALUE FOR A U-S COMPANY – 191 BILLION – AN EMPHATIC RESPONSE TO ITS EARNINGS REPORT.

THE COMPANY WILL HAVE SOME HELP PAYING FOR THOSE HIGHER SALARIES WHEN AMAZON PRIME BECOMES 20 DOLLARS MORE EXPENSIVE IN MARCH FOR ITS ROUGHLY 150 MILLION EXISTING MEMBERS.

AND IF YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED, WE TOOK JUST BUSINESS ON THE ROAD TO SEATTLE THIS WEEK. I’M SIMONE DEL ROSARIO AND IT’S STILL JUST BUSINESS.

Amazon is more than doubling its max base pay to try to hold onto white-collar workers after a record number of top talent left the company last year. The new corporate base salary cap is $350,000, a huge leap from the previous max of $160,000.

The previous base pay was not as competitive among other Big Tech firms. The latest salary leap puts Amazon more in line with the competition, including neighboring Microsoft.

In an internal memo first obtained by Geekwire, Amazon cited the competitive labor market as a reason for the hike.

“Weighing the economics of our business and the need to remain competitive for attracting and retaining top talent, we decided to make meaningfully bigger increases to our compensation levels than we do in a typical year,” the memo read.

Of course, base salary is just part of a tech worker’s compensation. Amazon has heavily relied on stock options and cash bonuses to lure employees in the past, but workers were starting to sour on those incentives. In a 2021 survey, nearly half of employees who were considering leaving cited low base pay as their reason, according to Business Insider.

Stock options were also losing luster after Amazon’s growth slowed, but last week Amazon notched the largest ever one-day gain in market value for a U.S. company–an emphatic response to its earnings report to the tune of $191 billion.

The company will have some help paying for those higher salaries when Amazon Prime becomes $20 more expensive in March for its roughly 150 million existing members.

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