Trade-r secrets | Amazon manager hired Trader Joe's worker and "yelled" at them to reveal company intel

Amazon manager hired Trader Joe's worker and

An Amazon manager allegedly recruited and repeatedly hounded a former Trader Joe’s employee for information including data on the store’s top products.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the Amazon manager even resorted to yelling at the worker.

The employee, a former senior manager from Trader Joe’s snack foods division, was recruited by Amazon but was only told she would be working on Wickedly Prime – a part of Amazon’s entry into the food and beverage market – after she had joined the e-commerce giant.

The Journal reports Amazon wished to replicate the top 200 items sold at Trader Joe’s in its Wickedly Prime Offering, but with an absence of publicly available data, one manager resorted to drastic tactics.

The manager allegedly pestered the employee for six months, asking for data and intelligence on the top 200 products, including emails and documents she had kept from her employment at Trader Joe’s.

After months of pressure, the employee reportedly shared emails and documents but refused to share data on the margins for each of the products.

The manager allegedly responded to the refusal by yelling “You have to give us the data!” a witness to the event told the Journal.

The manager and other employees on the team reportedly proceeded to distribute the data it had gathered. However, per the report, another Amazon employee reported that the team was using the data from Trader Joe’s to Amazon’s legal department, after which the employees who accessed and used the data were fired.

"We do not condone the misuse of proprietary confidential information, and thoroughly investigate any reports of employees doing so and take action, which may include termination," an Amazon spokesperson has said in a statement to Business Insider.

Although this case was apparently manager-led, the fact documents and emails were retained by the Trader Joe's employee are are symptomatic of a wider issue with employee data exfiltration.

In fact, the number of data breaches has steadily been growing over the past twenty years, with cases spiking from 1,802 in 2022 to an all-time high of 3,205 in 2023.

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