Amazon’s ongoing layoffs will affect around 18,000 workers, according to a memo from CEO Andy Jassy, which says that the “majority” of the roles being eliminated will be in Amazon Stores and People, Experience, and Technology organizations.
That’s significantly more than previously rumored — in November, The New York Times reported that the company was aiming to cut its workforce by around 10,000. In September 2022, the company said it had around 1.5 million employees in total.
Amazon will have laid off 18,000 people between the November cuts and the ones announced today
The news of the expanded layoffs was originally reported by The Wall Street Journal, which said that they would affect “over 17,000 workers.” Jassy’s email notes that the company will “typically wait to communicate about these outcomes until we can speak with the people who are directly impacted,” but that it was sharing the news because “one of our teammates leaked this information externally.” He also says that impacted workers would’ve started finding out on January 18th.
Over the past few months, Amazon admitted it was consolidating “some teams and programs” in its hardware and services division, as SVP Dave Limp put it in a November email. However, the company had never officially confirmed the original number. CEO Andy Jassy did tell workers that there would be “more role reductions as leaders continue to make adjustments” in 2023, but until now, the company’s been very vague about how many positions are being affected.
In October, Amazon announced that it had returned to double-digit sales growth, thanks to its “biggest Prime Day event ever” in July. It also promised investors that it was making “steady progress” toward cutting costs. On January 3rd, it reported to the SEC that it took out an $8 billion loan to be used for “general corporate purposes.” An unnamed spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company has been using “different financing options to support capital expenditures, debt repayments, acquisitions and working capital needs” as it navigates an “uncertain macroeconomic environment.”
The company says it’s “working to support those who are affected and are providing packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support.”
This makes Amazon’s reduction one of the largest from a tech giant yet. In the past few months, Meta announced that it was laying off around 11,000 employees, while companies like Intel have announced that they’re planning to make significant cuts throughout the year. Earlier on Wednesday, Salesforce said it would be cutting about 10 percent of its workforce, which translates to about 8,000 employees, while Vimeo said it would be laying off 11 percent of staff.
Update January 4th, 8:25PM ET: Updated with Andy Jassy’s statement confirming the number of employees being laid off and info about what teams are impacted.