Amazon is ramping up its efforts to trim headcount as the e-tail giant faces a softening consumer marketplace.
In a memo to employees, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said the company intends to eliminate about 9,000 workers in the next few weeks. Affected employees will mostly be in the Amazon Web Services; people, experience and technology (PXT), advertising, and its Twitch streaming platform.
At the beginning of 2023, Amazon said it plans to eliminate just over 18,000 roles in 2023, with the majority of cuts in its Amazon Stores and PXT organizations. This latest round of layoffs is happening in addition to the previously announced staff reductions.
In November 2022, Amazon publicly announced it had decided to “consolidate” some teams and programs in the devices and services organization (responsible for product lines such as Amazon Echo and Kindle devices). The company also announced a voluntary reduction offer for some employees in its PXT organization.
February 2023 saw the Amazon Shopping organization lay off its entire user experience research staff. In the memo. Jassy explained that after hiring more than 450,000 people in the U.S. between the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 and September 2021, the company needs to reassess its staffing levels.
“For several years leading up to this one, most of our businesses added a significant amount of headcount,” Jassy said in the memo. “This made sense given what was happening in our businesses and the economy as a whole. However, given the uncertain economy in which we reside, and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount. The overriding tenet of our annual planning this year was to be leaner while doing so in a way that enables us to still invest robustly in the key long-term customer experiences that we believe can meaningfully improve customers’ lives and Amazon as a whole.”
According to Jassy, final decisions on precisely which roles will be impacted are not yet complete. Once those decisions have been made, with a goal to complete the process by mid-to-late April, Jassy said Amazon will communicate with the impacted employees or employee representative bodies. The retailer will provide packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support.
Amazon takes a corporate hiring break
These job cuts follow a recently announced hiatus in corporate hiring. The company has previously said it still intends to hire a “meaningful number of people” in 2023.
During the second quarter of fiscal 2022, Amazon reduced its headcount by about 100,000 employees, and CEO Andy Jassy said the company would scale back operations with the sales boom it experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic cooling.