Amazon begins downsizing in Alexa unit and cloud gaming division

Andy Jassy, ​​Chief Executive Officer of Amazon.Com Inc., speaks during the GeekWire Summit in Seattle, Washington, U.S. on Tuesday, October 5, 2021.

David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon began laying off employees in its corporate and tech workforces on Tuesday as CEO Andy Jassy ramps up his cost-containment efforts.

According to LinkedIn posts from Amazon employees saying they were affected, the company notified employees in several departments, including Alexa and the Luna Cloud gaming unit, that they were being laid off.

Amazon aims to eliminate about 10,000 jobs, mainly in retail, equipment and human resources, The New York Times reported Monday. The number remains fluid as the cuts are being made by individual teams, according to the Times.

As of Tuesday noon, Amazon had not issued a company-wide announcement about the planned layoffs, sparking frustration among employees, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named for confidentiality reasons.

Amazon officials declined to comment.

In recent weeks, Amazon has also begun laying off some contract employees who have been involved in recruiting positions for its advertising, internal operations, and Fire TV departments, according to people with knowledge of the cuts.

One employee, who asked to remain anonymous, said Amazon informed her earlier this month that she would not be renewing her contract. Last month she was in talks to take up a full-time position in Amazon’s consumer division, but her interview was abruptly canceled due to the ongoing restructuring, she was told.

The Amazon Spheres, part of the Amazon headquarters campus, right, in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Sunday October 24, 2021.

Chona Kasinger | Bloomberg | Getty Images

jasi aggressively cut spending across the company in recent months as it gazes at a slowing economy and slowing retail business growth. The company previously said would pause the setting among its corporate workforce, and it has halted some experimental projects, as well opted for close, delay or cancel new warehouse locations.

Previously, it had managed to avoid mass layoffs by offering employees affected by project completions the opportunity to move to other areas of the company.

The job cuts mark a stark turnaround for Amazon, which less than a year ago couldn’t find enough workers to fill its warehouses in a hot labor market and was still in the midst of a pandemic-induced hiring frenzy. It nearly doubled its workforce from 798,000 employees worldwide to 1.6 million between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021.

Since then, staff growth has slowed as consumers have returned to physical stores and the retail business is not growing as fast as it has in recent years. Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said last month the company sees signs that consumers are feeling the sting of inflation.

“We’re preparing for a potentially slower growth phase,” Olsavsky said when calling reporters after the company’s third-quarter earnings results, which included weaker-than-expected guidance for the current period.

The enterprise plans to bring 150,000 employees for the holiday season, the same number of employees to be added last year.

The job cuts are hitting the tech sector hard after years of unbridled growth. facebook parents Meta last week fire 13% of its employees, while Twitter, Shopify, Foreclosure and Stripe have also announced cuts.

The expected layoffs would mean the biggest cut in the company’s 28-year history. In 2001Amazon cut 1,300 jobs, or 15% of its workforce, after the dot-com bubble burst.

CLOCK: Amazon wants to lay off thousands of employees

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