Annual bonuses and stocks at Amazon

Microsoft soapy
Aug 22, 2018 24 Comments

How do annual bonuses/stocks work at Amazon? For instance, at Microsoft we get annual rewards (bonus + stock based on performance). Bonus is paid out right away. Stock vests every quarter following the grant date. Both have a range with a max grant amount based on the level we are in.

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TOP 24 Comments
  • Google Franklin 3
    What....a shitty company.
    Aug 22, 2018 0
  • Facebook public
    If you are getting either it means the stock is crashing. You are penalized for good performance.
    Aug 22, 2018 4
    • Amazon / Eng Hsjdjsjw
      That's true. Amazon is gracious enough to give more money or stocks in case one's 'total comp' or the person's target pay isn't met.
      This will only happen if the stock crashed.
      This doesn't hold any value as most folks are at Amazon only because their stocks are worth much more than the target comp, which normally doesn't change by much and is below market standards.
      That and the back loaded vesting keeps folks around, a nice trick.
      Aug 22, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng kwq7812
      Will they really, though? Who currently here has actually been through a stock price decline long and significant enough to last through Amazon's typically long refresh cycles (annual review grants are given out two years in advance) and can confirm this?

      They don't actually tell you your target (or aren't supposed to), and the cynical side of me suspects this is because they don't actually want to be held to it if the stock does tank.
      Aug 22, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Hsjdjsjw
      Absolutely agree with you. I don't like how that's used to the company's advantage as an excuse to not give bonuses and annual bumps.
      Aug 22, 2018
    • Facebook public
      I would guess they would not. Jeff would say this is your company and when we struggle we all struggle yadda yadda.
      Aug 23, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng kwq7812
    It’s actually fairly simple: you have a secret (as in you’re not told what it actually is) “target” compensation value. If your estimated compensation for the upcoming year is below this number (which is derived from base salary + number of vesting RSUs * trailing 30 day share price average), you will get additional shares to “make up” the difference. The target is adjusted with respect to your performance for the prior year, but any adjustment beyond the market rate standard is temporary (i.e. it will be re-evaluated every year, so a single top tier rating doesn’t get you a sustained boost to your target).

    If you’re above the target for any reason (including share price appreciation), you get nothing. Doesn’t matter how you performed; the target was adjusted to account for that already. Pretty much everybody beyond entry-level (and not getting bad ratings/heading towards a PIP) will get refreshers that start to kick in past their fifth year because Amazon has a (fairly low) base salary cap, so it’s nearly impossible to hit your target without at least some RSUs.

    Promotions will move your target into the bottom of the next band. Since the stock has been “doing so well” lately, guess what this means? Yup: same conditions apply as above.
    Aug 22, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng Pooty111
    Don’t listen to LEs. I have got refreshers every year.
    Aug 22, 2018 7
    • Amazon / Eng Hsjdjsjw
      That's nice. How much do you get roughly every year?

      I'm assuming base bumps are minimal?
      Aug 22, 2018
    • Amazon tBnv11
      Lol at 230k with 6 yoe. I'm getting out asap. Can hit close to 300k with other better companies.
      Aug 22, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Hsjdjsjw
      Yeah, what I wanted to know from Pooty111 is what's the steady stream of increase they're giving him or her.
      Maybe the TC mentioned doesn't include the latest stock price?
      If it does, that would explain the grant every year. For someone who's always rated high, that's pretty shitty of Amazon. My TC at 3.5 YOE is 245k, Amazon Seattle.
      Aug 23, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Pooty
      My TC so far:

      Base / TC on PCS

      100 / 120k
      101 / 124k
      118 / 155k —promo
      124 / 185k
      138 / 230k —TT Rating

      Yes, I’m aware I could earn more money by jumping ship. I have my reasons for staying here.
      Aug 23, 2018
    • Amazon tBnv11
      Seems like your "refreshers" was to just prevent you from being out of the band. When people talk about refreshers at other companies, it's to gauge what the increase will be, not to prevent your TC from being below average.
      Aug 23, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng Hsjdjsjw
    Amazon doesn't do annual bonuses. Stock refreshers are extremely rare as they say its compensated with stock's price growth. Base increments are also not guaranteed, but most get less than 1% generally.
    You only get a pay bump and stocks if you're promoted.

    You'll essentially see more money only if you're promoted or if you're close to finishing all your stock vests.
    Aug 22, 2018 4
    • Amazon / Eng obWd68
      What do they do when you're close to finishing your stock vests?
      Aug 22, 2018
    • Apple / Eng JobsHand
      Jesus Amazon sucks!
      Aug 22, 2018
    • Microsoft <3☕
      Why the hell do people harp about amzn so much then?!
      Aug 22, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Hsjdjsjw
      I'm not quite sure but I've heard they start giving some stocks in year 3 and 4. I hope an old timer can comment.

      This is generally not comparable to what you'd already get as Amazon has a back loaded vesting. It's very common to see folks leave after their last vest at the end of the fourth year.

      Folks love AMZN as a stock. Based on my experience and what I keep hearing, it's not a great engineering shop.
      Aug 22, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng 6’ !Indian
    And don’t assume your promotion will get you a nice raise. Mine was pitiful.
    Aug 22, 2018 3
    • Microsoft soapy
      OP
      What was it if you don’t mind sharing? At msft it’s typically 5% capped regardless of level/performance
      Aug 22, 2018
    • Microsoft <3☕
      Not really. I got 10% last year.
      Aug 22, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng 6’ !Indian
      10 % after promo, but no stocks.
      Aug 22, 2018