Amazon to Axe Another 9,000 Jobs, Citing ‘Uncertain Economy’

Bill Pan
By Bill Pan
March 20, 2023Business News
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Amazon to Axe Another 9,000 Jobs, Citing ‘Uncertain Economy’
The Amazon logo at the distribution center in Moenchengladbach, western Germany, on Dec. 17, 2019. (Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images)

Amazon on March 20 announced yet another round of layoffs, saying that it’s letting go of 9,000 employees or roughly 3 percent of its corporate workforce.

In a blog post published on March 20, CEO Andy Jassy said the cuts will primarily affect those in Amazon’s cloud web services, the Twitch gaming division, advertising, and the PXT Solutions unit.

“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,” Jassy said.

The change comes just about two months after the online retail giant unveiled the plan to eliminate 18,000 roles, the majority of which would come from the PXT and Amazon Stores divisions. That round of job cuts itself was the extension of last November’s headcount reduction effort expected to affect about 10,000 workers in Amazon’s divisions of devices, retail, and human resources.

The reason that the March 20 decision wasn’t announced earlier, according to Jassy, was that some teams hadn’t finished analyzing which positions should be on the chopping block.

“Some may ask why we didn’t announce these role reductions with the ones we announced a couple months ago,” Jassy wrote. “The short answer is that not all of the teams were done with their analyses in the late fall; and rather 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.”

Amazon saw an enormous boom in the early years of the COVID-19 pandemic, as widespread lockdown measures pushed customers away from in-store shopping and drove businesses and government agencies to move operations online with cloud-based communication and data storage services. That in turn prompted the Seattle tech giant to grow its headcount by hundreds of thousands of employees across its corporate and tech departments.

The aggressive hiring spree came to an end in late 2022, when Amazon found itself having to curb expenses to mitigate slowing sales.

“We’re facing an unusual macroeconomic environment, and want to balance our hiring and investments with being thoughtful about this economy,” Beth Galetti, senior vice president of Amazon’s PTX unit, said last November.

According to the company’s fourth-quarter report, online store revenue dropped 2 percent, to $64.5 billion from $66 billion, in the same period in 2021. For the full year, Amazon’s core e-commerce business saw a net loss of $2.7 billion, compared to a profit of $33.4 billion the previous year.

Overall, Amazon’s 2022 revenue was $514 billion, a 9 percent increase compared to 2021. For 2023, the company will be shifting its priorities toward its physical stores, data centers, and streaming platform Prime Video.

Facebook and Instagram owner Meta, along with Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Lyft, and Salesforce, have all announced major layoffs in recent months. Many of the companies, in their public statements, cited reasons such as overhiring during COVID, rising inflation, fears of a looming recession, higher interest rates, and energy price hikes.

From The Epoch Times

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