Amazon's aggressive poaching tactics in Israel have the country's start-up community riled up, causing some companies to explore abandoning Amazon's cloud service in retaliation.
Shai Wininger, the co-founder of Lemonade, an insurance start-up that's raised $180 million, took his frustration to social media, writing multiple posts on LinkedIn and Facebook about Amazon's poaching activity.
"Just learned that Amazon is actively targeting and trying to poach Lemonade Inc. employees," Wininger wrote on LinkedIn. "I wonder if that's their idea of supporting the start-up ecosystem. Reconsidering Amazon AWS."
Wininger later followed up, saying Amazon's poaching of employees from customers, like Lemonade, is a "breach of confidence." He also added the "obscene amount of money" being offered to steal his employees could end up damaging the entire Israeli start-up market.
In a separate Facebook post, Wininger wrote, "Game on! Werner Vogels FYI," tagging Vogels, Amazon's chief technology officer.
Wininger's complaint is the latest evidence of the growing tension between Amazon and emerging tech companies. Last year, Amazon irked some start-ups after releasing a product that looked and worked almost the same as a device made by Nucleus, one of its Alexa Fund portfolio companies. It could also cripple Amazon's effort to expand its presence in Israel, a start-up powerhouse with some of the world's best technical talent.
As Wininger's posts gained traction, Vogels eventually left a comment underneath it, indicating he doesn't support Amazon's poaching from its customers.
"Let me dive into this," Vogels wrote in the comments section of the Facebook post. "It may be a sourcing agency vs Amazon proper. I find that sourcing from our customers would be extremely counter-effective."