Amazon said Wednesday it will be cutting about 18,000 positions. It’s the largest set of layoffs in the Seattle-based company’s history, though only a fraction of its global workforce of 1.5 million.
“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” CEO Andy Jassy said in a note to employees that the company made public. “These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure.”
He said the layoffs will have the most impact on the company’s brick-and-mortar stores, which include Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go, and its PXT organizations, which handle human resources and other functions. .
In November, Jassy told staff that the layoffs were coming because of the economic landscape and the company’s rapid hiring in recent years. Wednesday’s announcement included previous job cuts that had not been numbered. The company had also offered a voluntary buyout and is cutting costs in other areas of its sprawling business.
“As part of our annual planning process for 2023, leaders across the company have been working with their teams and looking at their workforce levels, the investments they need to make in future, and prioritize what matters most to customers and long-term health. of our businesses. This year’s review was more difficult due to the uncertain economy and that we had employed quickly in recent years,” said Jassy in a message to the workers.
“In November, we communicated the tough decision to eliminate a number of positions in our Devices and Books businesses, and also announced a voluntary redundancy offer for some employees in our People, Experience and Technology (PXT) organisation. I also shared that we had not completed our annual planning process and that I expected there would be further reductions in roles in early 2023,” he continued.
“Today, I wanted to share the result of these further reviews, which is the difficult decision to eliminate additional roles. Between the cuts we made in November and what we’re sharing today, we plan to eliminate just over 18,000 roles.”
Amazon intends to notify affected workers by January 18. It is likely that most will be concentrated in the United States, which is its largest market and where most of its workers are based.
Last year, more than 150,000 tech jobs were cut, according to the website layoffs.fyi, which tracks company layoff announcements. When it announced 11,000 layoffs, partly due to a lack of interest in its metaverse plans; Elon Musk cut 7,500 workers from Twitter; social network Snap laid off 20% of its workforce in August; Bicycle maker Peloton announced 4,000 layoffs in October; and Netflix cut 500 employees.
While many technology companies have thrived during the Covid-19 pandemic, the end of the lockdown and the return to normality has hurt business. Strategic mistakes, over-hiring and the economic downturn made matters worse, leading to tens of thousands of layoffs. This is despite the strength of the US labor market, where the unemployment rate is at a near 50-year low. The year 2023 did not start better. Business software maker Salesforce also announced cuts on Wednesday. It said it is laying off about 8,000 employees, or 10% of its workforce.
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