The Amazon Critic Who Saw Its Power From the Inside: Tim Bray was a celebrated engineer at Amazon. Now, he is its highest-profile defector

Bray walked away from $1 million because he couldn’t stand Amazon’s labor and business practices anymore. Now he’s an outspoken advocate for breaking the company up.

Karen Weise writing at The New York Times:

SEATTLE — Tim Bray, an internet pioneer and a former vice president at Amazon, sent shock waves through the tech giant in early May when he resigned for what he called “a vein of toxicity” running through its culture.

Within a few hours, his blog post about the resignation drew hundreds of thousands of views, and his inbox filled up with requests from journalists, recruiters and techies. Soon, lawmakers on Capitol Hill cited the post. It all made Mr. Bray, 65, Amazon’s highest-profile defector.

But there was more he wanted to say.

In the weeks since, he has aimed his brain power not at fixing a coding problem but at framing a broader critique of the company. In talks and blog posts that have drawn attention inside the company, he has called for unionization and antitrust regulation. Amid “the beating of the antitrust drums,” Mr. Bray wrote in one post, he would like to see Amazon separate its retail business from its lucrative cloud computing unit.

“And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone,” he said.

Mitch Wagner @MitchWagner