Compensation

Amazon TC structure overly complex?

Guidewire Califrag
Mar 11

They have a really great sounding role on paper but the $ don’t add up.

Any chance they’ll come back with higher numbers? I didn’t even interview. The compensation discussion made me bail.

Can someone explain to me how the weird TC works? Why are they giving a bonus on the first couple years to make up for RSUs. Seems overly complicated.

Recruiter said the COL is 40% lower than in the Bay Area and that the tc should appeal to me. I’m not buying it. Maybe if I had kids or wanted to buy a home.

401k contributions would take a larger percentage out of my take home pay. They cray cray 😜

Basically they are offering 20% lower tc and the base is like 25% lower. It’s a wash at best.

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  • Intel thefocal
    Why don’t you tell us the package and we will tell if they’ll go higher
    Mar 1111
    • Guidewire Califrag
      OP
      I submitted my resume with no referral and was contacted within 90 minutes to schedule an hour interview. They asked for my comp requirements. I gave them my current tc in the Bay Area. Figured lack of state income tax plus lower COL would be enough of a bump. Recruiter arranged a call “to explain how total compensation works” at amazon before proceeding with scheduling the interview. Told her tc is too low.
      Mar 11
    • Uber moober
      Everything is negotiable if you are worth it. Should have done the interview and then decide
      Mar 11
    • Guidewire Califrag
      OP
      I told her I’d think about it. The role reads like my list of favorite things to do at work.
      Mar 11
    • Microsoft 🍟+🍿-🥡=?
      Agree with Uber. Do the interview. If you nail it you can negotiate up. They are just anchoring the comp now.
      Mar 11
    • Uber moober
      Hey I'm moober. I only work at Uber. For now.
      Mar 11
    • Microsoft 🍟+🍿-🥡=?
      Uber...moober...are you sure you're not a goober? 🤣 (sorry, couldn't resist)
      Mar 11
    • Uber moober
      I am a goober. #sorryNotSorry. :)
      Mar 11
    • Amazon / ProductGr8ful
      I’m surprised a recruiter quoted prior to interview...they don’t know where you will level. They aren’t supposed to do that.
      Mar 12
    • Amazon / ProductGr8ful
      It’s worth an interview. We have deep pockets. We seldom lose candidates on comp...unless it’s a leveling issue.
      Mar 12
    • Guidewire Califrag
      OP
      Okay I’ll do the interview
      Mar 12
  • Google topCon
    Op, your post structure is overly useless - without numbers.
    Mar 112
    • Guidewire Califrag
      OP
      Someone could easily answer the question about using bonuses to “make up” for lower tc in first couple years.
      Mar 11
    • Google topCon
      Amazon has TC targets for role and level. They use cash to make up for back loaded vesting schedule. For example 300k is the target.

      Year 1: 160 base + 5% RSUs + cash bonus
      Year 2: 160 + 15% + cash
      Year 3: 160 + 40%
      Year 4: 160 + 40%
      Mar 11
  • Amazon jsneidnid
    “Recruiter said the COL is 40% lower than in the Bay Area and that the tc should appeal to me”
    Mar 110
  • Amazon gyqhjb
    The comp structure makes total sense. Your first year TC is salary + bonus + 5% of overall RSUs. Second year is the same but 15% of RSUs. Third and fourth year you get 20% of RSUs every 6 months. For future grants you can expect to receive the whole amount vesting every 6 months over two years. Focus on your first your amount - that is roughly what Amazon wants to pay you. Given the stock markets history, a lot of folks made way more in year 3 and 4 due to the run up in price. Expect it to revert back to what you made in year 1 (plus a modest bump each year). Why does Amazon do it this way? I think because it attempts to focus you on ownership and the long term (why the stock is back loaded). The first two year bonus is to help bridge cash flow gaps
    Mar 114
    • Guidewire Califrag
      OP
      Thank you so much. If I can’t understand the comp structure then maybe I’m not smart enough to work there lol.
      Mar 11
    • Amazon gyqhjb
      You’re smart enough. It wasn’t apparent to me either when I first got an offer but over the years I’ve understood it. Other FANGs can be as complex (I.e. Google used to have a 1 yr cliff for your first stock vesting so without a major bonus you would see a major cash flow dip year 1...they got rid of the cliff but then took away first year grants of new RSUs...unless you joined before a certain date. Netflix has all cash or stock or an optional split. Facebook is similar to google but without the first year wait for new RSUs. Each company is different and complex in their own way around comp.)
      Mar 11
    • Amazon gyqhjb
      One other thing - Amazon’s RSU calculation of what they want you to make includes 15% yearly growth in the stock price. So when you look at your stock in year 2, 3, 4 - add 15% per year since time of grant. This 15% per year growth has been consistently met/overshot except for this last year. Soon people will see what happens if the stock growth is flat (more RSUs to cover is what I expect)
      Mar 11
    • Guidewire Califrag
      OP
      Thank you!
      Mar 11
  • Amazon pakora
    What level and how much were you offered?
    Mar 114
    • Guidewire Califrag
      OP
      It’s hard to share bc my role is too niche. Always hard to get salary data around my roles.
      Mar 11
    • Amazon pakora
      We all have that niche role misconception. We are all easily replaceable. If you decide to pass on this, someone else with the same niche role mentality will take the opportunity and run with it. Just $0.02.
      Mar 11
    • Guidewire Califrag
      OP
      It’s not niche as in high paying. It’s niche as in wouldn’t be anonymous.
      Mar 11
    • Guidewire Califrag
      OP
      Passing on a role that pays substantially less 🤷‍♀️
      Mar 11
  • Microsoft
    wyba qnbab

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Google, Amazon
    wyba qnbabmore
    You still didn’t answer google’s question. Without giving actual numbers, extremely hard to say
    Mar 112
    • Guidewire Califrag
      OP
      That’s not true. Asked about the weird monthly bonuses they give in the first two years.
      Mar 11
    • Microsoft
      wyba qnbab

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Google, Amazon
      wyba qnbabmore
      Can you answer a straight question, what’s the offer details Amazon has given you?
      Mar 11
  • Amazon jsneidnid
    “Basically they are offering 20% lower tc and the base is like 25% lower. It’s a wash at best.”

    Yup!! And considering the hours you will spend at Amazon, it is a pay cut in terms of how much you get paid per hour. This is the most likely case.
    Mar 110
  • Facebook 7558427985
    Never negotiate salary before they accept you. You have leverage after acceptabnce because acceptabnce rares are low. You have none before offer.
    Mar 114
    • Guidewire Califrag
      OP
      Fair point, but they asked for my comp requirements before getting started and I gave them.
      Mar 11
    • Guidewire Califrag
      OP
      Maybe the recruiter should know better than to kill the deal before setting up the first interview
      Mar 11
    • Facebook 7558427985
      Agree. recruiter made a big deal of TC. They probably wanted to lowball you hard even before you start interviewing 😂
      Mar 11
    • Guidewire Califrag
      OP
      😆
      Mar 11
  • Microsoft
    wyba qnbab

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Google, Amazon
    wyba qnbabmore
    How much did they offer?
    Mar 110
  • Amazon / ProductGr8ful
    It’s all about stock. If the TC they’re offering in year 1 is less, then keep negotiating.
    Mar 123
    • Amazon / ProductGr8ful
      It’s easier to get movement (and probably more lucrative) to negotiate on stock and bonus than on salary especially given our current stock price dip.
      Mar 12
    • Amazon / ProductGr8ful
      You want low stock price when joining, during review cycles, and before a promo.
      Mar 12
    • Microsoft
      wyba qnbab

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Google, Amazon
      wyba qnbabmore
      True, what did you negotiate?
      Mar 12

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