Jeff Bezos said he had received "a series of disgusting but not surprising" responses after publicly supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
Amazon.com's chief executive officer posted a screenshot on Instagram on Sunday of a profane, racist email he received from someone threatening to stop shopping at the retailer because Bezos supports Black Lives Matter.
"This kind of hatred shouldn't be allowed to hide in the shadows," wrote the richest person in the world. "It is important to make it visible. This is just one example of the problem. And Dave, you are the kind of customer that I like to lose."
Bezos joins other technical executives who respond in response to the problems of racism and police brutality uncovered by the murder of George Floyd. Reddit Inc. co-founder Alexis Ohanian resigned from the board of directors and asked to be replaced by a black candidate. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft Corp., has used his Twitter feed in the past few days to highlight statements from the software company's black employees.
Social media CEOs have now criticized how they deal with controversial posts on their platforms. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter Inc., took the unusual step of reporting violations of a tweet from President Donald Trump that the company glorified violence, which angered Trump supporters. In contrast, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook Inc., has left Trump free to shock many of his own employees.
Bezos released an email exchange with another customer on Instagram in Friday defending the decision to place a Black Lives Matter banner on Amazon.com for a $ 10 million donation to a group of Promote organizations for racist and social justice.
The recipients of these gifts, which included Black Lives Matter, the Brennan Center for Justice, and NAACP, were selected by the leadership of Amazon and the company's Black Employees Network, Amazon said. A blog post announcing donations has appeared on bulletin boards in some Amazon stores, employees say.
Much of Amazon's racial diversity is at the forefront in the warehouse and other logistics depots, with software developers and product managers in the company's office buildings. Among workers who were classified as workers or helpers in detailed workforce data that Amazon last published for 2016, 58% of workers identified as a different race than whites. That percentage dropped to 42% when you look at all of the other workers, a group consisting mainly of professionals and managers.
Amazon and other technology companies have been criticized for years for lack of race and gender diversity in leadership positions. Amazon has resisted efforts by external shareholder groups to set goals for greater inclusion. The company said 26.5% of its U.S. workforce was identified as black or African-American at the end of 2019, a figure that drops to 8.3% in terms of management alone.
Bezos, a newcomer to social media and a relatively rare user compared to technology managers, has more than 2 million followers on Instagram.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)