Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos addressed his employees in an open letter posted on the company’s website, thanking them for their work during a global health crisis.
In the letter, he acknowledged the vital role the retailer is playing in people’s lives as the world reckons with the spread of the coronavirus. As such, the company is adjusting its logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering household staples, sanitizers, baby formula, medical supplies and other essentials.
The company is undergoing a mass hiring spree and raising wages for hourly employees.
“Much of the essential work we do cannot be done from home,” he wrote. “We’ve implemented a series of preventative health measures for employees and contractors at our sites around the world — everything from increasing the frequency and intensity of cleaning to adjusting our practices in fulfillment centers to ensure the recommended social distancing guidelines. We are meeting every day, working to identify additional ways to improve on these measures.”
Bezos also noted that it’s placed orders for millions of face masks for its on-site employees and contractors, but they remain in short supply and are currently being directed by governments to hospitals and clinics. The company has had several employees test positive for COVID-19.
“It’s easy to understand why the incredible medical providers serving our communities need to be first in line. When our turn for masks comes, our first priority will be getting them in the hands of our employees and partners working to get essential products to people.”
“My own time and thinking is now wholly focused on COVID-19 and on how Amazon can best play its role,” he added. “I want you to know Amazon will continue to do its part, and we won’t stop looking for new opportunities to help.”
Read the full letter.