Amazon VP resigns after accusing company of 'firing whistleblowers'

Tim Bray said he could no longer be an Amazon VP

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A vice president at Amazon Web Services said Monday he resigned after five years on the job, accusing Amazon of "firing whistleblowers" concerned about worker safety amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tim Bray said his last day at Amazon was Friday and that he raised concerns "through the proper channels and by the book" about Amazon's termination of Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, who are members of the activist group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice. Bray lives and works in Canada.

"That done, remaining an Amazon VP would have meant, in effect, signing off on actions I despised," Bray wrote in a blog post. "So I resigned."

Amazon declined to comment to FOX Business.

Bray, whose LinkedIn says his title is Senior Principal Engineer, VP/Distinguished Engineer, said his resignation was motivated by the firing of employees including Chris Smalls, an Amazon warehouse worker. An Amazon spokesperson previously told FOX Business that Smalls was terminated for repeatedly "violating social distancing guidelines and putting the safety of others at risk."

Smalls protests at Amazon's Staten Island distribution facility on March 30, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

"Amazon's messaging has been urgent that they are prioritizing this issue and putting massive efforts into warehouse safety. I actually believe this: I have heard detailed descriptions from people I trust of the intense work and huge investments. Good for them; and let's grant that you don't turn a supertanker on a dime," Bray wrote.


"But I believe the worker testimony too. And at the end of the day, the big problem isn't the specifics of Covid-19 response. It's that Amazon treats the humans in the warehouses as fungible units of pick-and-pack potential," he continued.

Bray estimated that quitting would cost him more than $1 million pre-tax. He said he was one of several thousand Amazon employees who signed Amazon Employees for Climate Justice's letter calling on CEO Jeff Bezos to drastically cut Amazon's impact on the climate.