Amazon is hiring for its downtown SLO office

Amazon, the global online retailing giant based in Seattle, Wash., is growing its workforce in San Luis Obispo County.

For the past nine years, Amazon-SLO, previously known as Zero Mass Engineering, has hired software developers to work at offices on Pacific Street in downtown San Luis Obispo. Employees, many of them Cal Poly computer science graduates, as well as interns, develop software for a variety of Amazon platforms, including Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace and Prime, said Brittany Turner, a spokeswoman for Amazon.

Amazon continues to focus on the independent publishing business, "changing the way books are distributed and connecting with readers," Turner said. The San Luis Obispo Amazon location, one of 133 worldwide, is helping to support not only the self-publishing of books but also films and music, she noted.

"The office is really important to the team," said Turner. "We have a big engineering pool of talent."

While Turner said she did not know specifics about the long-term plan for the San Luis Obispo site, she said that it continues to "grow at a steady pace." There are 80 software developers in San Luis Obispo, and Amazon is in hiring mode.

The site leader for the office is Rob Ricci, a Cal Poly graduate with a dual major in computer science and business administration.

"People can check out the Amazon Careers website for current positions at," Turner said.

Amazon arrived in San Luis Obispo in 2005 after acquiring CustomFlix, an on-demand DVD service, founded in 2002 by Cal Poly grads. That same year, Amazon also acquired a company called Surge Print, an on-demand company for books. Four years later, the two companies combined into one Amazon subsidiary, CreateSpace, which offers tools to self-publish books, DVDs, CDs and video downloads.

A Fortune 500 company, Amazon was founded by Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, who launched the online store in July 1995. The company is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol AMZN.