Newsman: The tech giant Amazon is laying off 18,000 employees. This is the single largest number of jobs cut at a technology company since the industry began aggressively downsizing last year, Amazon said Wednesday
Amazon says it plans to lay off more than 18,000 employees as the global economic outlook continues to worsen.
Several teams will be affected, including the human resources department and Amazon Stores, according to a memo from CEO Andy Jassy shared with employees.
“Companies that last a long time go through different phases. They’re not in heavy people expansion mode every year,” he said.
Jassy, in his memo, said Amazon’s executives recently met to determine how to slim down the company and prioritize “what matters most to customers and the long-term health of our businesses.”
“This year’s review has been more difficult given the uncertain economy and that we’ve hired rapidly over the last several years,” he added.
The company will start informing affected staff from January 18, he said..
Amazon and other tech firms significantly ramped up hiring over the past couple of years as the pandemic shifted consumers’ habits toward e-commerce.
The layoffs will help Amazon pursue long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure, Jassy said. But he called the cuts a “difficult decision,” noting he is “deeply aware that these role eliminations are difficult for people, and we don’t take these decisions lightly or underestimate how much they might affect the lives of those who are impacted.”
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In October, Amazon disappointed Wall Street with a holiday season forecast that woefully missed analysts’ expectations. The company’s stock fell about 50% last year.
In a blog post, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy wrote that the staff reductions were set off by the uncertain economy and the company’s rapid hiring over the last several years.
The cuts will primarily hit the company’s corporate workforce and will not affect hourly warehouse workers.
The layoffs at Amazon were first reported on Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal.
CEO Jassy, in his blog post, acknowledged that while the company’s hiring went too far, the company intends to help cushion the blow for laid off workers.
“We are working to support those who are affected and are providing packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support,” Jassy said.