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Amazon reportedly axes employees in cloud division, human resources

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Amazon layoffs include employees in its AWS cloud business.

Continuing layoffs at Amazon have reportedly hit its most profitable business area, as well as its human resources operation.

According to Bloomberg, Amazon has begun eliminating positions in its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing unit in the U.S., Canada and Costa Rica. AWS is typically Amazon’s top profit driver, but has seen its growth moderate as companies seek to reduce spending in the current economic climate. Amazon is set to release its first quarter financial results after Wall Street closes on Thursday, April 27.

In a memo cited by Bloomberg, Amazon Web Services CEO Adam Selipsky said the company needs to adjust headcount after rapidly adding employees during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many businesses sent employees home to work remotely via Internet connections.

“Given this rapid growth, as well as the overall business and macroeconomic climate, it is critical that we focus on identifying and putting our resources behind our top priorities—those things that matter most to customers and that will move the needle for our business,” Selipsky said in the memo. “In many cases this means team members are shifting the projects, initiatives or teams on which they work; however, in other cases it has resulted in these role eliminations.”

Amazon also reportedly enacted job cuts in its human resources department, which it calls the People Experience and Technology team. The company has not commented publicly on any of these reported layoffs. Read more here.

Amazon ramps up layoffs

Amazon has been intensifying efforts to trim headcount as the e-tail giant faces a softening consumer marketplace. 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.

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. Other areas of its business where Amazon has reduced headcount include the Whole Foods Market specialty grocery chain.

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