Tim Bray, VP and Distinguished Engineer at Amazon Web Services, has resigned after the company, which he calls “chickensh*t,” fired its whistleblowers who outed their failed coronavirus response.
Bray announced that May 1 was his last day with the company after five years in a scathing blog post. He says that he “quit in dismay at Amazon firing whistleblowers who were making noise about warehouse employees frightened of COVID-19.” In his letter he names the victims as Courtney Bowden, Gerald Bryson, Maren Costa, Emily Cunningham, Bashir Mohammed, and Chris Smalls.
Bray says, “Firing whistleblowers isn’t just a side-effect of macroeconomic forces, nor is it intrinsic to the function of free markets. It’s evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture. I choose neither to serve nor drink that poison.” He explains, “VPs shouldn’t go publicly rogue, so I escalated through the proper channels and by the book. Remaining an Amazon VP would have meant, in effect, signing off on the actions I despised. So I resigned.”