Amazon is cutting several hundred corporate employees from its Seattle headquarters and global operations, reports The Seattle Times. The cuts are mostly from the consumer retail division and come as rapid growth has reportedly left some of Amazon’s various departments over budget, and some teams overstaffed. Amazon is the second largest US-based corporate employer, and the company has gone on a hiring spree over the past two years. Its Seattle headcount swelled from 5,000 people in 2010 to more than 40,000.
Some employees have been notified that their roles have been made redundant, and the layoffs are expected to be completed over the next few weeks. “As part of our annual planning process, we are making head count adjustments across the company — small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others,” a spokesman told The Seattle Times. Amazon said there would be opportunities for redeployment within the company.
Sources say that the company has problems with overpopulation. Others described workers being in “terrible shape” due to “so much stress on campus” because of the cuts and pressure to filter out weaker performers. Amazon has previously been accused of enforcing intolerable conditions at its warehouses, leading to a strike in Italy during Black Friday.
The job cuts also come from Amazon’s subsidiaries including publishing arm Createspace and footwear seller Zappos. Amazon hired 130,000 people in 2017, excluding acquisitions, according to its latest quarterly earnings report. As of December 2017, it had 566,000 employees, an increase of 66 percent from the previous year.
Amazon is currently scouting a location for its second headquarters, where it plans to add up to 50,000 jobs. In a statement to The Verge, the company said it would try to find new roles for employees whose jobs are being cut. The company has 12,000 open corporate positions.