Amazon is set to lay off an additional 9,000 employees, following the largest round of firings in the company's history. The cuts were announced by CEO Andy Jassy.
The announcement of the additional layoffs has sent shockwaves through the tech industry.
The layoffs will hit jobs across units that include its profitable cloud-computing and advertising businesses, a sign that the company’s cost-cutting is extending into all aspects of its operations as technology giants continue to slash spending.
According to Andy, the company's decision to streamline its costs and headcount comes in response to the uncertain economic landscape. He defended the company's previous decision to hire a significant number of employees in recent years, citing the need to address changes in Amazon's business at the time.
The company previously said it was slashing 18,000 positions.
In recent news, Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc. announced its second wave of mass layoffs, stating that roughly 10,000 jobs would be cut over the coming months.
During the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, Amazon heavily invested in expanding its headcount, hiring approximately 800,000 employees, mainly at its warehouses, between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021. However, as consumer demand shifted back to brick-and-mortar stores, the company faced declining demand and subsequently made cuts in unprofitable areas of the business while also freezing hiring.
According to reports, Jassy has stated that the reason the announcement for the 9,000 additional job cuts was delayed was because some teams had not yet completed assessments to determine which positions needed to be eliminated. He also mentioned that these cuts would be finalised by mid- to late April.
At the end of December, Amazon had a global workforce of about 1.5 million employees, with approximately 350,000 of those being corporate workers prior to the recent layoffs.
According to Layoffs.fyi, a website that tracks job cuts in the tech industry, the number of workers laid off at tech companies has reached around 300,000 since 2022.
During this challenging period, Amazon has faced its own difficulties, having recently completed the layoffs of 18,000 corporate employees, which accounted for approximately 5% of its total workforce. The cuts primarily targeted its devices business, as well as its recruiting and retail operations.
In addition to the 9,000 layoffs announced, Amazon's stock-heavy compensation plans are reportedly not being adjusted, potentially leading to a reduction in pay for many employees this year. This, coupled with the recent announcement of a return-to-office plan starting next month, has raised concerns about increased voluntary turnover.
AWS posted $22.8 billion in operating income last year. The rest of the company combined had an operating loss of $10.6 billion.