- Amazon held its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said his leadership team has done a "remarkable" job during COVID-19 and that he's "proud" of their work.
- His comments were in response to a question about Amazon's COVID-19 safety measures, which came under fire in recent months over its loose policies.
- Some shareholders still managed to criticize Amazon's coronavirus-related moves during the meeting, including the firings of activist employees.
- Maren Costa, a former Amazon employee who was fired in April after criticizing the company's climate policy, said during the meeting that there's a culture of "toxicity" at Amazon.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
2020欧洲杯小组赛Despite the public criticism and employee protests over Amazon's COVID-19 response, CEO Jeff Bezos says his leadership team has done a "remarkable" job during the pandemic.
Bezos expressed his full support during Amazon's annual shareholder meeting held on Wednesday when he was asked about his thoughts on how the company addressed the coronavirus-related health and safety concerns. Amazon has come under the fire in recent months for its loose safety measures and harsh treatment of warehouse workers that led to a series of employee walkouts and lawmaker inquiries.
"I think they've done a remarkable job in different situations," Bezos said. "I'm proud of what we've done."
Bezos said he's been working closely with his senior executive team over the past couple months, and has been taking weekly phone calls with the board to deal with these issues, adding that there's "nothing more important" than the safety of employees. He also went through a list of changes Amazon has made in its warehouses to address safety issues during COVID-19, including regular temperature checks of its workers and distribution of face masks and gloves.
When asked about the firings of several employees2020欧洲杯小组赛 who spoke out about Amazon's working conditions, Bezos said they were unrelated incidents. Amazon has previously said the firings were due to a safety policy violation, not employee activism, although lawmakers have demanded more answers over the nature of the firings.
The annual meeting on Wednesday went through 12 different shareholder proposals to be voted on, including requests for reports on the company's gender pay gap and promotion data. The majority of shareholders voted against all 12 proposals, as was recommended by the board.
2020欧洲杯小组赛Still, the meeting turned testy as some shareholders brought up the company's safety issue and response to COVID-19.
Maren Costa, a former Amazon employee who was fired in April after criticizing its climate policy, said a "vein of toxicity" runs through the company. She said that toxic culture is "embedded" in Amazon's operations, citing the leaked email that showed a plan to smear one of the fired employees, Chris Smalls, and the recent resignation of VP and renowned software developer Tim Bray over those issues.
Costa, who was speaking on behalf of shareholders requesting a report about Amazon warehouse's environmental impact, also said the company's lax climate control measures disproportionately affect "black and brown communities."
2020欧洲杯小组赛"I and eight others were recently fired, and VP Tim Bray resigned, citing a vein of toxicity that runs through the Company," Costa said. "This toxicity showed up in senior leadership meetings, with racist comments, and a plan to smear Chris Smalls."
2020欧洲杯小组赛Brandon Rees, who spoke on behalf of the AFL-CIO, demanded Amazon hire an independent chairman to replace Bezos, who serves in that role as well as his CEO position. He said some of the criticism Amazon is facing during COVID-19, like its decision to stop disclosing the number of infected employees, is partly because no one is holding Bezos accountable.
"The business challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic require these full and undivided attention of Amazon CEO without the distraction of serving as board chair," Rees said.
2020欧洲杯小组赛At the end of the meeting, Bezos reassured shareholders that Amazon would continue to work to keep its core values embedded in its culture, such as its focus on serving the customers and hiring inventive people. He said that culture will help Amazon improve the lives of the customers and employees, as well as the general communities it operates in.
"I would just say, in closing, that you can count on us," Bezos said. "I promise you we will never stop doing those things."