Amazon confirms laying off over 18,000 staff

NEW YORK, 6 Jan 2023:

Amazon.com, Inc will have eliminated more than 18,000 positions by the end of January, president and CEO Andy Jassy said less than two months after telling the company’s 1.5 million employees that around 10,000 jobs would be cut.

“In November, we communicated the hard decision to eliminate a number of positions across our Devices and Books businesses, and also announced a voluntary reduction offer for some employees in our People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) organisation,” he said in an internal memo.

The Seattle-based ecommerce titan doubled headcount from 800,000 to 1.6 million between the start of the Covid19 pandemic and the end of last year amid an unprecedented surge in online shopping.

But the subsequent sharp drop in the rate of growth left Amazon overextended.

“Between the reductions we made in November and the ones we’re sharing today, we plan to eliminate just over 18,000 roles. Several teams are impacted; however, the majority of role eliminations are in our Amazon Stores and PXT organisations,” Jassy said.

“We don’t take these decisions lightly or underestimate how much they might affect the lives of those who are impacted,” the CEO said, pledging that the laid-off employees will receive severance, transitional health insurance and assistance in finding new jobs.

Amazon plans to begin informing the affected individuals on Jan 18, Jassy said.

“We typically wait to communicate about these outcomes until we can speak with the people who are directly impacted. However, because one of our teammates leaked this information externally, we decided it was better to share this news earlier so you can hear the details directly from me.”

Software company Salesforce said this week that it will reduce the number of staff by 10%.

In early November, Meta – the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger – announced plans to lay off 11,000 workers, or 13% of its workforce.

And Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest individual, has eliminated nearly half of Twitter’s workforce – around 3,700 jobs – since taking control of the platform.

– EFE