According to LinkedIn posts from Amazon employees who said they were impacted, the company notified workers in several divisions, including Alexa and the Luna cloud gaming unit, that they were being laid off.
Amazon plans to cut 10,000 jobs, mostly in retail, devices, and human resources. According to the Times, the number is still fluid because the cuts are being implemented by individual teams.
According to a person familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified due to confidentiality, Amazon had not sent out any companywide communication about the planned layoffs by midday Tuesday, causing employee frustration.
Firing the hiring Folks
Amazon has also begun laying off some contracted employees who worked in recruiting roles for its advertising, internal operations, and Fire TV divisions in recent weeks.
One employee, who requested anonymity, said Amazon informed her earlier this month that her contract would not be renewed. She was in talks to take a full-time position in Amazon’s consumer division last month, but her interview was abruptly cancelled due to ongoing restructuring, she was told.
The Bold new move
Jassy has aggressively cut expenses across the company in recent months as it faces a weakening economy and slowing retail growth. Previously, the company stated that it would halt corporate hiring, and it has halted some experimental projects, as well as decided to close, delay, or cancel new warehouse locations.
Until now, it had avoided mass layoffs by allowing employees affected by project closures to transfer to other divisions within the company.
The layoffs are a sharp departure for Amazon, which only a year ago couldn’t find enough workers to keep its warehouses staffed in a tight labour market and was still on a pandemic-fueled hiring spree. It nearly doubled its global workforce from 798,000 to 1.6 million between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021.
Since then, as consumers have returned to physical stores, it has shifted to slow headcount growth, and its retail business is no longer growing at the same rate it has in recent years. Last month, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky stated that the company is seeing signs that consumers are feeling the effects of inflation.
“We’re preparing for what could be a slower growth period,” Olsavsky said on a conference call with reporters after the company’s third-quarter earnings results, which included weaker-than-expected guidance for the current period.
The company still intends to hire 150,000 people for the holiday shopping season, the same number it promised last year.
After years of unbridled growth, the tech sector is feeling the brunt of job losses. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, laid off 13% of its employees last week, and Twitter, Shopify, Salesforce, and Stripe have also announced layoffs.
The anticipated layoffs would be the largest in the company’s 28-year history. After the dot-com bubble burst in 2001, Amazon cut 1,300 jobs, or 15% of its workforce.