Amazon to Lay Off More Than 18,000 Employees, CEO Says
Amazon plans to cut more than 18,000 jobs as part of a workforce reduction it revealed in November, the internet retailer said Wednesday.
The layoffs will affect several divisions, but the majority are in the company’s human resources and retail operations. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in a blog post Wednesday that affected employees will be notified by Jan. 18.
“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” Jassy wrote in the post.
In November, when Jassy announced the company had begun workforce reductions, Amazon didn’t reveal how many jobs would be cut, but the general consensus was about 10,000 positions would be eliminated. Jassy also said at the time that cuts would continue into 2023.
Amazon was already the Goliath of US e-commerce before the pandemic. With the boom in online shopping, fueled first by lockdowns and then by stimulus cash, the company’s profits shot up for more than a year. It went on a hiring spree, doubling its ranks from just under 800,000 employees at the end of 2019 to more than 1.6 million by the end of 2021.
Then in the middle of 2022, Amazon’s growth stalled out, and it posted its first loss in seven years at the beginning of 2022.
Jassy said in November that the process of reducing the workforce was complicated by the “challenging spot” the economy is in, along with the fact that Amazon rapidly hired employees in recent years. The company began cutting back in a number of areas, even before November’s round of layoffs and buyouts.
In the past few months, Jassy halted testing on Amazon Scout, the company’s robotic home-delivery initiative. He’s also shuttered the Amazon Care telehealth and nursing service, as well as Fabric.com, a longtime online fabric retailer. Amazon imposed a hiring freeze for small teams in September, followed by a corporate-wide freeze earlier this month.
The layoffs at Amazon reflect the turbulence facing the tech industry. Twitter, Microsoft, Meta and Google also have let go thousands of workers in recent months.
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