Amazon is reportedly planning to lay off roughly 10,000 employees as soon as this week. According to The New York Times, citing people familiar with the matter, the upcoming layoffs will be the biggest in the company’s history. Amazon fired roughly 1,500 workers in 2001 during the dot-com crash, though the company’s staff (as well as value) increased significantly in the last 20 years. Currently, Amazon employs more than 1.5 million employees globally, which includes hourly staff. Recently, American tech giants like Meta (formerly Facebook) and Twitter also fired thousands of staff due to current macroeconomic issues and falling revenue.
The report points out that Amazon’s layoffs will affect staff in the retail division and human resources. Several employees working on Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa will also lose their jobs, the report adds. A source told the publication that the number of layoffs remains fluid and is likely to roll out team by team rather than all at once as each business finishes plans. If it stays at roughly 10,000, it will represent 3 per cent of Amazon’s corporate employees and 1 per cent of the global workforce.
The news regarding the layoffs isn’t entirely surprising, as the company has been taking strict measures to cut costs. For instance, the company confirmed in a blog post earlier this month that it would freeze hiring on the corporate side to balance “investments with being thoughtful about this economy”. The post by Beth Galetti, Amazon’s senior vice president, notes, “We anticipate keeping this pause in place for the next few months and will continue to monitor what we’re seeing in the economy and the business to adjust as we think makes sense”.
Notably, The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Amazon CEO Andy Jassy is closely monitoring the Alexa department, which has roughly 10,000 workers. The report claimed that the department hasn’t been “profitable” and is operating at losses worth $5 billion a year. The company is reportedly considering not adding new capabilities to the Alexa voice assistant, which is used by customers and Amazon’s human resource department.
Amazon also reportedly planned retrenchment during the critical holiday shopping season — when the company typically has valued stability.
As mentioned, Amazon is not the only company facing heat from global macroeconomic situations. Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, fired over 3,500 employees earlier this month. Meta also laid off roughly 11,000 in November – the biggest layoff in the company’s history.
India Today Tech has reached out to Amazon, and the story will be updated once more details come forward.