Amazon More Than Doubles Corporate Employees' Base Salary Cap to $350K

Amazon, citing a competitive labor market, has raised its cap on corporate employees' base salary to $350,000, a figure that more than doubles the previous cap of $160,000.

The increases reported Monday cover corporate and technology workers, and there have been no announced increases to the pay of warehouse workers and delivery drivers, who earn an average of about $18 per hour, The New York Times reported. The move aligns Amazon's pay figures more closely to those of other tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, according GeekWire, which first reported the announcement.

Insider reported last month that there was growing conflict within the company over what employees thought was below-average pay compared to the other tech giants. At least 50 people at the level of vice president left the company over the course of 2021, and an internal Amazon survey from last summer showed about half of the employees who said they were considering leaving Amazon would classify low pay as a main reason, which was an increase from about one-third giving that same response in the previous three years.

"This past year has seen a particularly competitive labor market and in doing a thorough analysis of various options, 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 company said in the Monday announcement, according to GeekWire.

The previous cap was paired with stock compensation, which vested over the course of several years at the company. It is unknown if the higher cash salary cap will affect the other portions of that compensation package, according to the Times.

In the internal announcement, Amazon said it's "increasing overall compensation ranges for most jobs globally, and the increases are much more considerable than we've done in the past," GeekWire reported.

"As compensation is unique for each employee (considering their performance, job family, and market conditions), these updates to the base pay cap and the total compensation ranges will affect every employee differently," Amazon said in the announcement, GeekWire added.

The change is another example of Amazon shifting away from its longstanding hiring policy of preferring "missionaries over mercenaries," Insider reported, referring to the policy to hire those who are passionate about the company and are less financially focused.

The changes also come during the company's first review cycle since Andy Jassy became CEO last year when Jeff Bezos left the company, the Times added.

Updated 2/7/2022 at 7:16 p.m.: This story was updated with additional context and related background information.

Amazon Corporate Employees Base Salary
Amazon has doubled the base salary cap for corporate and tech employees to $350,000, it was reported Monday. Above, a close-up of the company's logo on the facade of its regional headquarters in the Silicon Valley town of Sunnyvale, California, is pictured on October 28, 2018. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images