Hired Gun: Jay Carney Defends Amazon From New York Times Story

Carney Getty
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President Obama’s former White House press secretary Jay Carney is flexing his crisis management messaging skills in response to a New York Times story that was critical of his new employer’s business practices.

Carney defended Amazon during an appearance on CBS “This Morning” admitting that the company “wasn’t perfect” but is “striving to improve every day.”

He was critical of the Times for suggesting that Amazon was running a “cruel, Darwinian, Dickensian” company, arguing that a company like that couldn’t survive in the modern economy.

“Amazon wouldn’t be the success it is today if it were the company The New York Times wrote about,” Carney said pointing out that “people could walk away any time they want.”

He argued that even though Amazon was a 20-year-old tech company, it still had the “feel of a start up” and provided thousands of jobs to fuel the economy.

When asked about specific criticisms from employees in the company that were cited in the story, Carney pointed out that many of the stories were “anonymous anecdotes.”

He specifically disagreed with the article’s tone for suggesting that it had a high turnover rate, when he argued it’s turnover rate is similar to about 80 percent of American companies.

“What is different is that 150,000 of the people who work at Amazon out of the 183,000 are in jobs that didn’t exist five years ago,” he said. “My job didn’t exist six months ago until I joined.”

Carney was hired in February as the senior vice president for global corporate affairs for Amazon after leaving the Obama administration in June 2014.