Amazon is laying off some device employees: read the memo

David Limp, senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon.com Inc., presents the Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker during an unveiling event at the company’s Spheres headquarters on Thursday, September 20, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.

Andrew Burton | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon lays off some employees at its equipment and services unit, hardware boss Dave Limp wrote in a note workers on Wednesday.

The e-tailer is consolidating some teams and programs into its equipment and services unit after “an extensive series of reviews” of the business, Limp wrote. Amazon started notifying affected employees yesterday, he added.

“One of the consequences of these decisions is that some roles are no longer needed,” Limp said. “It pains me to deliver this news as we know we will lose talented Amazonians from the Devices & Services organization as a result.”

The job cuts are part of broader layoffs hitting Amazon as it faces the deteriorating economic outlook. Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel told CNBC in a statement that multiple teams are making adjustments, meaning “certain roles are no longer necessary.”

“We do not take these decisions lightly and are working to support all employees who may be affected,” Nantel said.

The New York Times reported on Monday that Amazon intends to cut up to 10,000 jobs across the company, with the appliance, retail and human resources departments being the main victims of the layoffs. The expected layoffs would represent the largest job cuts in its 28-year history.

The number of layoffs remains fluid because decisions are made from company to company, according to a person familiar with the matter. While the cuts could total 10,000 people, there is no specific target for the overall job cuts, the person said.

CNBC had previously reported The company began notifying employees of their layoffs on Tuesday. Members of Amazon’s Luna Cloud Gaming and Alexa teams were among those laid off. The company has also laid off contract workers in recruiting.

The job cuts mark a sharp turn for Amazon, which less than a year ago couldn’t find enough workers to fill its warehouses and embarked on a pandemic-related hiring spree. It nearly doubled its workforce from 798,000 employees worldwide to 1.6 million between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021.

Here’s Limp’s full memo:

People,

At our last town hall in July, I spoke a little about the state of our economy. As you know, we continue to face an unusual and uncertain macroeconomic environment. With that in mind, we’ve been working over the past few months to further prioritize what matters most to our customers and the company. After a thorough series of reviews, we recently decided to consolidate some teams and programs. One of the consequences of these decisions is that some roles are no longer needed. It pains me to deliver this news as we know that as a result we will lose talented Amazonians from the Devices & Services organization. I’m incredibly proud of the team we’ve built and seeing even one valued team member leave is never an outcome none of us would wish for.

We notified affected staff yesterday and will continue to work closely with each individual to provide support, including assistance in finding new roles. In cases where employees are unable to find a new role within the company, we support the transition with a package that includes severance pay, transition payments and external job placement support. We know that people across the organization may be affected differently by this news, and we will go forward with compassion for all team members.

While I know this news is hard to digest, I want to emphasize that device and service organization remains an important area of ‚Äč‚Äčinvestment for Amazon and we will continue to invent on behalf of our customers. Having experienced times like this in the past, I know that during tough economic times, customers are more likely to gravitate toward the companies and products they believe provide the best customer experience and help them the most. Historically, Amazon has done a very good job at this.

Thank you for the support and empathy I know our team will show towards one another during this time. Please don’t hesitate to ping me or your manager if you have any questions.

Dave-

This story evolves. Please check back for updates.

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