Amazon is preparing for the largest swath of layoffs in the company’s history, cutting some 10,000 positions in retail, tech and corporate posts as soon as this week, The New York Times reported Monday, citing people with knowledge of the situation.
One of the hardest-hit segments will be Amazon’s devices arm, including products featuring the Alexa voice assistant, but the physical retail division could also see cuts, The Times reported.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a WGB request to comment on the newspaper’s report.
If the 10,000 figure is correct, that would represent about 3% of Amazon’s corporate employees and less than 1% of its global workforce.
Last month, it was reported that Amazon was pausing all corporate hiring in its retail division, which includes both physical and online retail shops.
In an email response to WGB at the time, Seattle-based Amazon did not go so far as to confirm the hiring freeze but said the company “continues to have a significant number of open roles available across the company.”
“We have many different businesses at various stages of evolution, and we expect to keep adjusting our hiring strategies in each of these businesses at various junctures,” Amazon Spokesman Brad Glasser said.
At the time, Amazon had 10,000 jobs open in its retail division, The Times reported.
Amazon had also previously said it intends to hire 150,000 full-time, seasonal and part-time workers for the holiday season.
Amazon, which also owns Whole Foods, has opened 44 Amazon Fresh locations in California, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Washington, Virginia and Washington, D.C., since debuting the high-tech grocery concept a couple of years ago.
“We're very optimistic about the holiday,” Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call late last month, according to a transcript from financial services site Sentieo. “But we're realistic that there's various factors weighing on people's wallets, and we're not quite sure how strong holiday spending will be versus last year. And we're ready for a variety of outcomes.”