Amazon is clarifying its plans for staff reduction.
Amazon is providing further details about impending job cuts which will soon happen at the company.
In November 2022, Amazon publicly announced it has 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 People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) organization. As a result, Amazon said an unspecified number of jobs are being eliminated.
Now, Amazon says it plans to eliminate just over 18,000 roles in 2023, with the majority of eliminations in its Amazon Stores and PXT organizations. In a corporate blog post, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said that the company decided to publicly communicate its intention to reduce headcount before privately notifying all affected individuals because the news was leaked by an internal employee.
Previous media reports had indicated Amazon was preparing to begin eliminating 10,000 corporate and technology roles, starting in November 2022. Those jobs were said to primarily be in the areas of devices, retail, and HR.
Amazon says it is working to support employees who are affected and is providing packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support. The company intends on communicating with impacted employees (or where applicable in Europe, with employee representative bodies) starting on January 18, 2023.
“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” Jassy said in the blog post. “These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure; however, I’m also optimistic that we’ll be inventive, resourceful, and scrappy in this time when we’re not hiring expansively and eliminating some roles.”
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.
Amazon went on a major hiring spree in Sept. 2021, when it was still achieving record-breaking results from increased online shopping by consumers homebound due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The retailer hired more than 450,000 people in the U.S. between the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 and September 2021, becoming the largest job creator in the U.S. in the process.
In 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon says it hired over 400,000 employees in the U.S.—of which, more than 60% were getting paid more than they were at their previous job.
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.