Amazon Plans to Lay Off Another 9,000 Employees
Amazon plans to lay off 9,000 corporate and tech workers by the end of April, adding to the 18,000 roles it already cut late last year and this January, Andy Jassy, the company’s chief executive, said in a note to employees on Monday.
The new layoffs, which amount to roughly 3 percent of its corporate work force, will target workers in some of Amazon’s most profitable divisions, which had previously been spared, including Amazon’s cloud computing business and its advertising operations. Those two segments of the business are much higher-margin operations than Amazon’s core retail business, according to financial analysts and filings.
Mr. Jassy wrote that the company’s leaders wrapped up their annual planning session last week, where they focused on streamlining costs and head count.
“The overriding tenet of our annual planning this year was to be leaner while doing so in a way that enables us to still invest robustly in the key long-term customer experiences that we believe can meaningfully improve customers’ lives and Amazon as a whole, he wrote.
For more than a year, Mr. Jassi has been pursuing cost cuts at Amazon. The company rapidly added employees during the pandemic and prioritized some projects that lacked obvious ways to become profitable. He has pulled back on expansion of the company’s warehouse operations, and paused work on the largest phase of the company’s planned second headquarters near Washington, DC
The company froze hiring last fall and by November had plans to lay off about 10,000 employees, a target that expanded to 18,000 in early January.
Amazon employed about 1.54 million employees at the end of last year, down 4 percent from a year earlier. But most of those employees are hourly workers who power its warehouse operations.
The tech industry is undergoing its largest contraction since the dot-com bust of the early 2000s. Nearly every major tech company has laid off workers. Last week Meta, the parent company of Facebook, announced plans to lay off about 10,000 employees, or roughly 13 percent of its work force, part of what its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, called a “year of efficiency.” It had already laid off 11,000 workers late last year.
At Amazon, last year the initial layoffs affected employees working on the Alexa voice assistant and devices, then they spread to other divisions, including teams working on plans for automated stores, drones and the company’s broader consumer retail business. Human resources employees — recruiters in particular — were impacted as well.
In the latest quarter, which ended in December, Amazon reported almost no profit, driven in part by unexpected weaknesses in its cloud computing business.
The new cuts will also hit Twitch, the livestreaming site that Amazon bought in 2014, and human resource groups, Mr. Jassy’s note said.
Amazon’s share price was down more than 2 percent in midday trading on Monday.
Mr. Jassy said management had not yet determined the workers who would be laid off, but it expected to do so by mid to late April. He said the company could still pursue some “limited hiring” in strategic areas.