Amazon CEO Andy Jassy published a memo on the company’s blog about layoffs that will affect 18,000 jobs, many of which are concentrated in the firm’s corporate ranks. Layoffs seem to be fairly common right now as the economic situation continues to deteriorate.
This year’s review has been more difficult given the uncertain economy and that we’ve hired rapidly over the last several years. 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) organization. I also shared that we weren’t done with our annual planning process and that I expected there would be more role reductions in early 2023
Today, I wanted to share the outcome of these further reviews, which is the difficult decision to eliminate additional roles. 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 organizations..-AboutAmazon
The layoffs were already known. Jassy even made a reference to the previous announcement in his memo. We noted in November the Seattle-based company was planning to cut 10,000 corporate jobs. However, the figure Jassy provided is 8,000 more than expected.
These job cuts at Amazon represent about 6% of the company’s 300,000-person corporate workforce. The overall workforce peaked in March 2022 at around 1.6 million workers, according to a report by ZeroHedge.
Amazon’s headcount reduction is a signal that consumers have cut back on discretionary spending to weather the more than 19 months of negative real wage growth, plunging personal savings, and maxed-out credit cards with some of the highest interest rates ever. Add in the inflation, and tough choices are being made.
Amazon is not the only company that has been laying off employees and announcing publically that it is doing so.
Salesforce told employees early Wednesday that 10% of its workforce would be cut. And like Salesforce and many tech companies that have been hemorrhaging workers due to overhiring as the economy downshifts, Jassy appears to note the same in his reasoning for the mass firing:
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