Citing 'uncertainty,' Amazon cuts another 9K jobs

The latest layoffs follow an announcement at the beginning of the year that the retail giant would eliminate 18,000 positions.
Jassy said this most recent announcement of 9,000 positions cut was delayed due to department leaders continuing their analysis from last fall. / Photo courtesy: Shutterstock

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy on Monday announced the online retailer will cut another 9,000 positions within the next few weeks, according to an email he sent to employees and also made public.

The cuts follow an announcement at the beginning of the year that Amazon would eliminate 18,000 jobs. While the earlier layoffs hit Amazon's physical store divisions hard, the newest round will take place mainly in Amazon Web Services (AWS); People, Experience and Technology (PXT); Advertising; and Twitch, Jassy explained in the blog post.  

“This was a difficult decision, but one that we think is best for the company long term,” Jassy wrote. He added that growth in headcount made sense in the early days of the pandemic, but “given the uncertain economy in which we reside, and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount.” 

The staff cuts appear unexpected and piecemeal because they come just a few months after a larger round of layoffs. But Jassy said this round of layoffs was delayed due to department leaders continuing their analysis from last fall. “(R)ather than rush through these assessments without the appropriate diligence, we chose to share these decisions as we’ve made them, so people had the information as soon as possible,” he said.

Last year, Amazon had originally planned on letting go of 10,000 workers. But the e-tailer nearly doubled that to 18,000 by the start of this year. Those cuts largely came from PXT employees, Amazon Devices, Amazon Books and the closure of Amazon Stores. 

Amazon has struggled to find its footing as consumer behaviors have shifted in the last several years. After steadily opening Amazon Fresh grocery stores throughout the early part of 2022, development in the high-tech grocery chain appears to have stalled in recent months.

Jassy said in a conference call in early February that the company runs 44 Amazon Fresh supermarkets and 30 Amazon Go conveniences stores, but about a month later, the company announced plans to close eight of the Amazon Go locations.  

Amazon said it has not yet determined which specific positions will be cut in this round of layoffs but said it expects those decisions to be made by the end of April. 

“We will, of course, support those we have to let go, and will provide packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits and external job placement support,” Jassy said.



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