By Matt Day | Bloomberg
Amazon.com Inc. plans to cut about 10,000 jobs, the largest-ever job cuts at the e-commerce giant, as it braces for slower growth and a potential recession.
The layoffs, which could start as early as this week, will likely affect Amazon’s devices group, which is responsible for the Echo smart speakers and the Alexa digital assistant, as well as Amazon’s retail divisions and human resources, according to people familiar with the matter.
Teams are making decisions about where to reduce headcount as part of the company’s annual planning process, said the people, who asked not to be identified to discuss a confidential matter.
Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy has promised to streamline operations amid slowing revenue growth and economic uncertainty. Last month, the Seattle-based company forecast the holiday sales period would be the slowest on its history, spooking Wall Street and sending shares higher.
Some longtime Amazon employees, who also spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an internal matter, said the cost cuts over the past few months have been the most severe they have ever experienced.
Shares lost about 1.4% in New York. The New York Times had previously reported on the planned layoffs.
The world’s largest online retailer has spent much of this year adjusting to a sharp slowdown in e-commerce growth as shoppers resumed their pre-pandemic habits. Amazon delayed opening warehouses and froze hiring in its retail group before extending the freeze to the company’s business groups. In recent weeks, Jassy has increased his focus on finding cuts in experimental and unprofitable businesses. The company shut down teams working on a telehealth service, a delivery robot, and a video calling device for children, among other things.
Amazon employed 1.54 million people at the end of September, the vast majority of whom are hourly workers who pack and ship items in warehouses or work at Whole Foods Market and other retail outlets. Amazon’s workforce is concentrated at its Seattle headquarters, a growing campus in the Washington area, as well as the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Austin, Texas and Boston.
Amazon’s Devices and Services group, which makes its consumer electronics and Alexa, is particularly vulnerable to downsizing after years of frantic expansion. The group’s voice-activated devices have sold well, but have not evolved into a must-have shopping portal like its inventors envisioned. Smart speakers often end up in consumers’ closets.
Amazon laid off thousands to survive the dot-com bust in the early 2000s. Since then, the company has occasionally gone through periods of largely self-imposed austerity to combat corporate bloat, sometimes halting hiring of large teams for months.
https://www.ocregister.com/2022/11/14/amazon-plans-largest-ever-layoffs-targeting-devices-retail-hr/ Amazon plans to cut 10,000 jobs in largest-ever layoff, targeting devices, retail, human resources – Orange County Register