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Jeff Bezos Addresses Mounting Employee Contention at His Newspaper: 'We Do Need to Change as a Business' Employee morale at The Washington Post has reportedly plummeted.

By Emily Rella Edited by Melissa Malamut

Key Takeaways

  • Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post in September 2013.
  • Citing interviews with dozens of current staffers, CNN reports that morale inside the Post's newsroom has plummeted due to recent stories questioning past business practices by publisher Will Lewis and incoming editor Robert Winnett.
  • Bezos addressed staff in an internal memo.

Jeff Bezos has spoken out amid brewing conflict about leadership changes at The Washington Post, which he owns.

In an internal memo sent to employees viewed by CNN, Bezos addressed rising employee tension over recent reports (including one from the paper itself) that questioned the ethics of the publication's new publisher Will Lewis, and incoming editor Robert Winnett, by promising that the ethical integrity of the paper will remain intact.

Related: Washington Post Executive Editor Sally Buzbee Exits Company in 'Abrupt Shakeup at the Top'

"The world is evolving rapidly and we do need to change as a business. With your support, we'll do that and lead this great institution into the future," Bezos said. "But, as the newsroom leaders who've been shaping and guiding our coverage, you also know our standards at The Post have always been very high. That can't change — and it won't."

Lewis was announced as CEO of the Post in November 2023 and officially stepped into the position in January 2024, replacing Fred Ryan.

In June, executive editor and journalism veteran Sally Buzbee announced her sudden departure in an "abrupt shakeup" of leadership at the company.

However, this past weekend, the New York Times published a bombshell report that dug up Lewis' past as a journalist in London that involved using stolen phone records for a story.

Then, a second story (by The Washington Post itself) also over the weekend alleged that Lewis' friend and incoming Post editor Winnett had ties to a "thief" who specialized in stealing private material.

Related: Jeff Bezos Denies Reports He Wants to Sell Washington Post

According to CNN citing interviews with dozens of current staffers, morale inside the Post's newsroom has plummeted in recent weeks under Lewis, with many growing concerned about how the publication will run in the future.

"You have my full commitment on maintaining the quality, ethics, and standards we all believe in," Bezos memo said.

At the time of Buzbee's exit, Lewis announced that the Post would be changing its organizational structure by adding a third newsroom focused on service and social media journalism. It will exist separately from the publication's core news coverage.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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