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Amazon lays off workers from Prime Video, MGM Studios, Twitch

Amazon is laying off hundreds of employees.

Amazon is cutting jobs related to its streaming and theatrical film efforts.

In an email to Chain Store Age, Amazon provided a memo that Mike Hopkins, senior VP of Prime Video and Amazon MGM Studios, sent to employees in those divisions earlier today explaining the company’s decision to reduce headcount. 

“We’ve taken significant steps towards our long-term vision of making Prime Video the first-choice entertainment destination for customers worldwide, and...through our acquisition of MGM, we’ve increased our investments in theatrical films and driven growth in MGM+ and our licensing and third-party production businesses,” Hopkins said in the memo.

However, Hopkins went on to say that Amazon is prioritizing its investments to ensure long-term success and as a result, has identified opportunities to reduce or discontinue investments in certain areas.

“As a result of these decisions, we will be eliminating several hundred roles across the Prime Video and Amazon MGM Studios organization,” Hopkins said in the memo.

Amazon will begin reaching out to employees who will be laid off on Wednesday, Jan. 10, and will send out notifications shortly. The company expects all notifications in the Americas to be completed the morning of Jan. 10 Pacific time, and intends to complete notifications in most other regions by the end of this week. 

Amazon will follow local processes regarding layoffs, which may include time for consultation with employee representative bodies. The company says this could possibly result in longer timelines to communicate layoff plans in some countries.

The e-tailer is providing impacted employees packages that include a separation payment, transitional benefits as applicable by country, and external job placement support.

 “This is a difficult decision to make and one that my leadership team and I do not take lightly,” Hopkins said in the memo. “It is hard to say goodbye to talented Amazonians who’ve made meaningful contributions on behalf of our customers, team and business. Thank you for your dedication and work.”

In addition, in a posting on the official blog of its Twitch gaming streaming service, Amazon announced it is laying off “just over 500 people” across Twitch. In the blog post, Amazon said that it paid streamers more than $1 billion during 2023 and that the organization is currently staffed for where the company hopes it will be in three years, rather than where it is now.

Twitch employees will receive emails regarding their severance packages and next steps today.

Amazon ramps up layoffs

Amazon has been intensifying efforts to trim headcount as the e-tail giant faces a softening consumer marketplace. This includes November 2023 reductions in its Alexa workforce, as well as an April 2023 decision to eliminate positions in its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing unit in the U.S., Canada and Costa Rica. 

And in a March 2023 memo to employees, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said the company intends to eliminate about 9,000 workers. 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.

At the beginning of 2023, Amazon said it planned to eliminate just over 18,000 roles in 2023, with the majority of cuts in its Amazon Stores and PXT organizations. 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. Other areas of its business where Amazon has reduced headcount include the Whole Foods Market specialty grocery chain.

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