Amazon on Wednesday confirmed it started laying off employees, days after several news outlets reported the retail giant would cut as many as 10,000 employees in the near future.
Dave Limp, Amazon’s senior vice president of devices and services, told employees that some roles and teams won’t be needed. Some employees were told Tuesday that Amazon will work to find them new jobs within the firm, but others will be laid off, he said.
“After a deep set of reviews, we recently decided to consolidate some teams and programs. One of the consequences of these decisions is that some roles will no longer be required,” Limp said in a publicly shared memo. “It pains me to have to deliver this news as we know we will lose talented Amazonians from the Devices & Services org as a result. I am incredibly proud of the team we have built and to see even one valued team member leave is never an outcome any of us want.”
A spokesperson for the company, Kelly Nantel, told news outlets that jobs would be shed and cited the “current macroeconomic environment” as the reason why.
“Some teams are making adjustments, which in some cases means certain roles are no longer necessary,” Nantel said. “We don’t take these decisions lightly, and we are working to support any employees who may be affected.”
Limp and Nantel did not specify how many jobs would be cut. Earlier this week, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources within the company, had reported that as many as 10,000 layoffs would be carried out.
Amazon employed over 1.6 million full- and part-time employees in 2021, with about 600,000 working at the headquarters in 2020, according to Statista.
The Seattle-based firm “notified impacted employees yesterday, and will continue to work closely with each individual to provide support, including assisting in finding new roles,” Limp said. “In cases where employees cannot find a new role within the company, we will support the transition with a package that includes a separation payment, transitional benefits, and external job placement support.”
Over the past several years, tech companies like Amazon have significantly ramped up hiring as the COVID-19 pandemic shifted consumers’ habits away from brick-and-mortar stores to online retail. However, as U.S. economic conditions deteriorate amid high inflation, layoffs appear inevitable.
Facebook parent company Meta recently announced 11,000 job cuts, representing the largest in the firm’s history. And after Elon Musk purchased Twitter late last month, the company also announced widespread job cuts, although it’s not clear if it’s related to the wider macroeconomic situation; Musk has publicly stated that the social media company was hemorrhaging cash every day.
Amid the layoffs, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos warned that Americans should avoid making large purchases ahead of the holiday season due to high inflation and concerns about a looming recession.
“What I can tell you is the economy does not look great right now,” Bezos told CNN on Monday. “Things are slowing down. You’re seeing layoffs in many, many sectors of the economy. People are slowing down.”
Bezos added that “if we’re not in a recession right now, we’re likely to be in one very soon.”
“So my advice to people, whether they’re small business owners or, you know—is take some risk off the table. If you were going to make a purchase, maybe slow down that purchase a little bit. Keep some dry powder on hand,” he said.
From The Epoch Times