Amazon begins cutting jobs, with layoffs for the Alexa unit and its cloud gaming division

Andy Jassy, ​​CEO of Amazon.Com Inc. , during the GeekWire Summit in Seattle, Washington, United States, on Tuesday, October 5, 2021.

David Ryder | bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon On Tuesday, layoffs began in companies and the tech workforce as CEO Andy Jassy stepped up his efforts to rein in costs.

The company has notified workers in several departments, including Alexa and its cloud gaming unit Luna, that they will be let go, according to LinkedIn posts from Amazon employees who said they were affected.

Amazon aims to cut about 10,000 jobs, mostly in retail, hardware and human resources, The New York Times reported Monday. The number remains variable because the cuts are being carried out by individual teams, according to The Times.

By midday Tuesday, Amazon had not sent any company-wide communication about the planned layoffs, sparking frustration among employees, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named due to confidentiality.

Amazon representatives declined to comment.

In recent weeks, Amazon also began laying off some contract employees who worked in hiring roles for its advertising, internal operations and Fire TV divisions, according to people familiar with the cuts.

One employee, who asked not to be identified, said Amazon told her earlier this month that she would not be renewing her contract. Last month, she was in talks to pursue a full-time role in Amazon’s consumer division, but her interview was abruptly canceled due to an ongoing restructuring, she was told.

Amazon Districts, part of the Amazon Headquarters campus, right, in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, United States, on Sunday, October 24, 2021.

Chuna Kassinger | bloomberg | Getty Images

Jassy has been cutting costs dramatically across the company in recent months as it stares down a weak economy and slowing growth in its retail business. Earlier, the company said it would pause hiring among the company’s workforce, halt some pilot projects, and chose to close, delay or cancel new warehouse locations.

So far, I’ve been able to avoid mass layoffs by giving employees affected by project closures the opportunity to move to other departments within the company.

The job cuts are a stark reversal for Amazon, which less than a year ago could not find enough workers to keep its warehouses running in a hot job market and was still in the midst of a pandemic-fueled hiring spree. It nearly doubled its workforce between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021 from 798,000 employees globally to 1.6 million.

Since then, it has moved to slow headcount growth as consumers have returned to physical stores, and its retail business is no longer growing as quickly as it has in recent years. Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said last month that the company is seeing signs of consumers feeling the twinges of inflation.

“We’re preparing for what could be a period of slower growth,” Olsavsky said on a call with reporters following the company’s third-quarter earnings results, which included weaker-than-expected guidance for the current period.

The company still plans to bring in 150,000 employees for the holiday shopping period, the same number it said it would add last year.

Job cuts are hitting the tech sector hard after years of runaway growth. Facebook parent meta Last week it laid off 13% of its staff, while Twitter, ShopifyAnd the sales force Stripe also announced cuts.

The expected layoffs would mark the largest cut in the company’s 28-year history. In 2001, Amazon cut 1,300 jobs, or 15% of its workforce, after the Internet bubble burst.

Watch: Amazon is preparing to lay off thousands of workers

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