How 2018 Raise at Amazon for SDEs look like?

Amazon neonap
Apr 13, 2018 26 Comments

I am seeing negative raise on targeted compensation for 2018 and 2019 both. Does everyone seeing similar pattern ??

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TOP 26 Comments
  • Amazon RBMY63
    They issue sufficient stock for you to make your comp target that you’ve been soaring above. If the stock grows more than 15% per year you still make more than target.

    Jenny starts at Amazon in 2015. She, like many others, was down-leveled, but given an offer that was still attractive at the top of that levels band. She has a base salary of $131,000 and a total comp target of $165,000. Her first two years she has a cash bonus of $30,750 first year, and $22,800 second year bonus with $3250 and $11,200 in stock vesting on her first two anniversaries. Her third year she has $34,000 in stock vest to meet her TCT, then a slight uptick due to growth in her fourth year to $39,000.

    Her stock was issued when the price was about $300/share. She was issued 240 shares to meet this compensation goal. So then what actually happened?
    Year one: $131,000 base, $30,750 cash bonus, $6840 in stock (12 shares at $570),
    Total: $168,590. A little over target, but not outrageous. Comp planning season happens and she gets a 3% base bump, but definitely no new stock since she still has her initial grant.

    Year 2: $135,000 base, $22,800 cash bonus, $28,656 in stock (36 shares at $796
    Total: $186,456
    Hm. Certainly more than $165k. But we all win when the stock goes up, right? Another good but not stellar review gets a 2% base bump, and it’s time to calculate stock for 2019. New target is $172k. New base is $138,000, so $34k in stock is needed. The stock planning price for 2019 is $1052 (this isn’t real, trying to get close). 33 shares are granted to hit her target. 16 will vest in May, 17 in November of 2019. This is way less than the 84 vesting in the years before. Hm.

    Year 3: $138,000 base, no more cash bonus, $96,894 in stock (42 shares at $1002, 42 shares at $1305)
    Total: $234,894
    Oh. That’s interesting. That’s 42% higher than the target we set originally, and even though we’ve adjusted it slightly upward that is still soaring above the target. Year 3 PCS gives 0 raise on base, and now new stock needs to be granted for 2020. 2019 is already looking over target, so no need to increase there. Her target is now $175k. Base of $138k, so $37k in stock is needed. The stock planning price for 2020 is $1725. 22 shares are granted with 11 vesting in both May and Nov 2020.

    Jenny looks at her PCS confused. 22 shares and no base raise? My comp this year was $235k. 2018 is 138+84*1305=~$247k. The document doesn’t show the 15% per year expected increase, just current planning price, so 2019 shows 138+(33*1305)=$181k. 2020 shows 138+(22*1305)=$167k.

    What in the actual fuck. Jenny’s manager said she’s doing a good job. Now she’s going to take a 65k pay cut after this year? Then another $14k the year after. Why fucking bother? Let’s say she actually got promoted and the target for new promos at the next level is $185k so she gets 2 shares granted for 2019 and 6 shares granted for 2020 and a pittance of a bump to base? This is stupid. Now her projected pay cut is a few thousand dollars less, but still over $50k.

    This is the experience that most Amazonians hired in the last few years have been living the last few weeks. They are making outrageous money for their level because of stock prices, and they will make less outrageous money next year and the year after unless the stock spikes further.

    This is Amazon’s comp philosophy. Jenny is interviewing next week because she feels like with three years at Amazon and an SDE II promo she will be able to make closer to the $240k she’s used to. Maybe she’ll wait until July to actually leave so she can get the $60-70k from that vest. Will she get that offer? T4 at Google is about there and similar band. Good luck, Jenny.
    Apr 13, 2018 14
    • Amazon kudobear
      Wow, I am late to the party, I am in the exact same spot as you described and I am preparing for interview outside now. The comp Target model imo make good work feel unrewarding, people with worse performance but better timing when joining is making 50% more than I do.

      I am pretty sure I am overpaid at my level at Amazon but I am also fairly confident I am underpaid across the industry. I really hope Amazon in the future can change their comp philosophy a bit
      Feb 23
    • Amazon hasfir
      This is my experience as well. I’m 3.5 years in and waiting for next stock vest to start looking. And I got promoted to L7 6 months ago but it doesn’t matter.
      Feb 23
    • Amazon / Other zomatodrvr
      This was my experience too. I am Jenny. And I quit with industry matching my best tc of past 3.5 years at amazon as assured comp for next four years.
      Feb 23
    • Microsoft
      qGFA13

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Microsoft
      qGFA13more
      @hasfir - even after your promotion you make less?
      Mar 26
    • Microsoft
      qGFA13

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Microsoft
      qGFA13more
      Zomato- where did you go to?
      Mar 26
  • Facebook Lleoiww
    Wtffff does this even mean.. you don’t win if your company wins???
    Apr 13, 2018 5
    • Amazon / Eng ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
      We do. We have been winning by making way more than projected.
      Apr 13, 2018
    • Facebook Lleoiww
      So then why do they negative raise to curb your income
      Apr 13, 2018
    • Amazon Didurud3
      Amazon wins by exploiting employees, nothing new
      Apr 13, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng
      sarcasticg

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Sabre Corporation
      sarcasticgmore
      You are letting someone exploit you. You are to be blamed
      Apr 13, 2018
    • Amazon gxddbov
      It's not a negative raise, it's Amazon not giving you more money just because the stock went up. They told you what they were going to pay you, and it's not lower than that. They just accidentally paid you way too much in previous years because the stock increased more than expected.
      Apr 14, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng 🆒🆕🐂💩.
    OP, what do you mean by negative raise? Amazon doesn’t let your TC (target comp) go down. If stock prices go up, you get less stocks compared to previous years, to maintain the same TC. That is just common sense
    Apr 13, 2018 0
  • Amazon RBMY63
    Everyone that’s over total comp target are seeing decline in the future. If you’ve been over total comp target for a few years the decline starts sooner.
    Apr 13, 2018 0
  • Facebook Call(me);
    Negative raise? What does that mean?
    Apr 13, 2018 1
    • Amazon NBMT41
      base doesn't decrease but less projected rsu grants... it's as odd as it sounds
      Apr 13, 2018
  • Amazon neonap
    OP
    I agree with 15% YoY growth theory and I am not talking about # of stocks here.

    I am saying this because even after adding 15% on current considered stock value on 2019 stocks value, it is still less than 2018 compensation.

    2019 compensation = current base (2 - 5% hike) + 2019 stocks*(current considered stock value + 15% growth)
    Apr 13, 2018 0

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