Amazon begins layoffs of up to 10,000 jobs, blames “uncertain” economy

Enlarge / An Amazon Echo Dot 4th generation smart speaker.

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Amazon has begun a round of layoffs that could reportedly cut about 10,000 jobs. Layoffs began yesterday in the Amazon hardware division that makes products including Echo, Alexa, Fire and Kindle devices.

“We notified affected employees yesterday and will continue to work closely with each individual to provide support, including help finding new roles,” Amazon Senior VP of Devices & Services Dave Limp wrote to his department staff today. in a memo posted publicly by Amazon. Limp wrote that Amazon “continues[s] to cope with an unusual and uncertain macroeconomic environment… After thorough assessments, we recently decided to consolidate some teams and programs.”

“It pains me to break this news as we know we will lose talented Amazonians from the Devices & Services organization… While I know this news is hard to digest, I want to emphasize that the Devices & Services organization remains an important investment area for Amazon,” the memo said.

Layoffs will also reportedly affect Amazon’s retail division and human resources department.

“[G]Given the current macroeconomic environment (as well as several years of rapid hiring), some teams are making adjustments, which in some cases means certain features are no longer needed,” Amazon said in a statement to Ars. An Amazon spokesperson further said that the roles involved are in “corporate and tech, and roles within our operations network are not included.”

Cutbacks could affect 3% of the company’s workforce

Amazon has not specified how many employees will be laid off and the final number may not yet be determined. The Wall Street Journal wrote that “Amazon could cut about 10,000 jobs, including in its retail, appliance and human resources departments, said a person familiar with the matter, who also noted that the final number could change. that level would affect about 3 percent of the company’s workforce and appears to have no impact on the hundreds of thousands of warehouse workers.”

The WSJ report said some of the first layoffs hit workers in Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming service, Alexa marketing, Alexa AI and Alexa Privacy, and its consumer product development division Lab126. The Lab126 division designs and develops Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Echo and other products, Amazon said.

Amazon says it has 1.54 million employees worldwide, including full-time and part-time workers, but excluding contractors and “contingent workers.”

Amazon isn’t the only tech giant to cut thousands of jobs. Meta last week announced layoffs of 11,000 employees, about 13 percent of the workforce of the company formerly known as Facebook. At Twitter, Elon Musk fired half of Twitter employees shortly after taking over the company.

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