Facebook's billionaire co-founder says companies like Amazon are 'destroying the lives of their employees'

It comes after the retail giant was criticised for the alleged treatment of staff

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The Independent Online

The co-founder of Facebook has spoken out against "the culture of intensity in the tech industry" in the wake of news that companies like Amazon place extreme levels of pressure on its employees.

Dustin Moskovitz is the billionaire co-founder of Facebook and though he identifies as workaholic himself, he says he observes the current culture of intensity with 'deep sadness'.

"The research is clear: beyond ~40-50 hours per week, the marginal returns from additional work decrease rapidly and quickly become negative," Moskovitz said in a post on Medium. "These companies are both destroying the personal lives of their employees and getting nothing in return."

He goes on to encourage people to "break the cycle" of firms burning their employees out with "unsustainable expectations".

His post comes after The New York Times published an in-depth look at Amazon, interviewing more than 100 employees, the majority of which were conducted anonymously. The report, which is over 5,000 words long, has gone viral and seen the online retailer - now the largest internet-based retailer in the US - come under fire for the way it allegedly treats its employees.

“Nearly everyone I worked with, I saw cry at their desks,” said one former executive. Another ex-employee claimed she worked such long hours that her fiancé habitually drove to the Amazon campus and called her from the car park until she came home with him.

The paper found staff who claimed they were fired for leaving work on time to take care of their children, and one was allegedly given a poor performance review after returning to work from thyroid cancer.

Moskovitz is a key figure in Silicon Valley and had a reputation for working difficult hours in the early days of Facebook with co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

But despite his success, he says he has many regrets, including his choice to forego sleep, exercise and healthy eating to focus on work.

"I would have been more effective: a better leader, and a more focused employee," he says, adding that he had several panic attacks and back problems which he believed were caused by his work/life balance.

"My intellectual conclusion is that these companies are both destroying the personal lives of their employees and getting nothing in return,” he says.