10 Things in Tech: Attrition at Amazon

10 Things in Tech: Attrition at Amazon
Amazon's retail chief Jeff Wilke reveals Prime Air's new drone model at the 2019 Re:Mars robotic conferenceJORDAN STEAD/ Amazon

Happy Friday, readers. Employees are fleeing from Amazon's Prime Air drone division, and in case you've ever wished you had a tiny house to put in the backyard of your regular-sized house, we've got just the startup for you.


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1. At Amazon's drone delivery division, attrition soars. Leaked documents obtained by Insider show Amazon's ambitious Prime Air drone division had a 30% turnover rate in 2021, and that its drone-testing team is losing more than 70% of employees.


  • This turnover rate is significantly higher than the previous year's 20% and more than four times higher than Amazon's annual 6% target for what it calls "unregretted attrition."
  • The unusually high turnover comes at a time of flux and internal turmoil: employees have left amid cultural clashes between new hires and longtime staff, high costs, and delays from testing accidents, among other things.
  • According to the documents, the soaring rates of attrition have led to delays in meeting project goals within the division.

Here's what else we found in the leaked documents.

In other news:

10 Things in Tech: Attrition at Amazon
Elon Musk.REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

2. Elon Musk will likely appoint himself as Twitter's CEO. A report from CNBC said the temporary arrangement would last "a few months" after his takeover of the company. As per The New York Times, Musk has also been busy courting potential investors by saying he can double or triple their money.

3. Demand for Slack admin and developer skills is expected to skyrocket. Salesforce is kicking off a major push to get pros certified on Slack, as part of an effort to get its vast network of partners and customers trained on the platform. We outlined how to skill up and land a Slack job that could pay up to $185,000 a year.


4. Tech companies have donated millions to political committees that oppose abortion. An analysis found Amazon alone has donated $974,718 to anti-abortion organizations, despite its announcement it would cover up to $4,000 per year in travel costs for staff seeking medical treatments — including elective abortion. Here's everything else the analysis found.

5. A crypto billionaire's exclusive conference in the Bahamas lured people like Bill Clinton and Tom Brady. Hosted by 30-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried, the conference cost upwards of $3,000, and brought together thousands of attendees — including two Insider reporters, who went to give you an inside look at the exclusive event.

6. Shareholders are coming for Activision Blizzard. In a new lawsuit, New York-based pension funds are alleging CEO Bobby Kotick and his board rushed through its $69 billion merger with Microsoft to avoid liability for workplace scandals. Get the rundown on the lawsuit.

7. Buzzy fintech Revolut has ruled out going public in 2022. As the global IPO market slows, the SoftBank-backed fintech has decided to focus on increasing revenue rather than risk the same fate as stock-trading app Robinhood. What we know so far.

8. Tech companies want to go passwordless. Apple, Microsoft, and Google announced yesterday that they're committed to working on passwordless sign-in processes across all the platforms they control. The Verge explains what that means.


Odds and ends:

10 Things in Tech: Attrition at Amazon

9. A startup is building solar-powered tiny homes that can fit in your backyard. The prefab tiny homes, which people are adding to their yards to use as rental units, offices, gyms, and more, can also supply excess energy to the main home. Take a closer look at the units.

10. Ford took a swipe at space-obsessed billionaires in a new ad. Focusing on the space race between figures like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, the spot jabs at billionaires who "fly away on their own personal space ships when things get hard." You can watch the full commercial here.

The latest people moves in tech:


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Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.