Incorporated as “Cadabra” in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, the company went online the following year as amazon.com. It started as an online bookstore but soon diversified into DVDs, CDs, MP3 downloads, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewellery. Apart from online retailing, Amazon also produces consumer electronics, notably the Amazon Kindle e-book reader and the Kindle Fire tablet computer, and provides cloud computing services.
Online giant Amazon has few women in senior executive positions
Amazon may share its name with fearsome female warriors, but the online retail giant has just 18 women among its 120 most senior managers, and none of them report directly to the boss.
Amazon's founder, chief executive and chairman Jeff Bezos, runs the company through a select all-male group of 12, known internally as the S-Team (senior team), who have a direct line to him. And the S-Team seem reluctant to employ women, according to an internal directory.
Including those who report directly to the S-Team, there are 132 staff in the top two tiers at Amazon. But 13 of these are secretaries, all of whom are women. Of the 119 senior managers, just 18 are female, according to information compiled by an Amazon employee in Europe.
"At Amazon there is a strong feeling that there is a glass ceiling for women who want to progress above senior manager or director level," said the source, an Amazon Europe employee.
"These statistics show that despite surviving as a company by constantly adapting and innovating, Amazon fails to address its burgeoning issue of workplace inequality. Of Jeff Bezos' 12 direct reports, none are female.
"Amazon has a problem with women, and it needs to change."
The most senior woman in Amazon is Shelley Reynolds, who acts as controller and principal accounting officer, and is named as a member of the 10-strong team of company officers in the annual report.
But the internal directory lists her as reporting directly to the chief financial officer, Tom Szkutak, not to Bezos.
The information on Amazon's top team comes from Phone Tool, a directory with a page for each member of staff, giving their name, job title and direct reports. Amazon declined to comment.