Amazon cuts hundreds of jobs from its Seattle HQ due to ‘overstaffing’

Photo by S3studio/Getty Images

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.

Comments

Not surprising. "Hundreds" of jobs don’t sound like more than annual trimming at someone of Amazon’s scale. Intel (not that they’re doing as well as Amazon) will close down and spin up entire offices.

Even if this is 900 jobs (as high as you could describe as hundreds), its only about 2% of the Seattle Offices.

And, considering the hundreds of open positions at Amazon currently, a good many of those made redundant will probably be absorbed elsewhere in the company.

Possible, but I feel like if they were doing a lot of internal hires, we wouldn’t be hearing about it in this same way.

By "overpopulation" they actually mean getting rid people like that guy on your dev team that doesn’t do anything but still causes more bugs than he solves.

We all have one or two of those on the team. Or that other guy that got "promoted" to a position because he was messi g up too much doing and no one can figure out what he does or who he reports to (like Bighead on SV.)

Seinfeld did it first

Lots of companies are trimming the fat right now. There’s a lot of dead weight at companies that are just sucking profit away and contributing very little. It’s good for a company to do this and then immediately hire the same positions back with better people.

"It’s good for a company to do this and then immediately hire the same positions back with better cheaper people."

There, i fixed it for ya.

They are better. Better for the bottom line!

In terms of how hard you have to work, how big of a difference is there between Amazon and the other big tech companies?

How "hard" in terms of hours worked, it’s generally higher.

Who’s the largest U.S. employer then, just curious?

Technically, I believe it is the government (armed forces, post office, etc, all combined).
Then Walmart, then Kroger

I think the government employs the most and Walmart employs the second most amount of people. Something like 1% of the entire U.S. workforce works for Walmart.

Is there any irony in the fact that at the same time Amazon is searching for a location to open a second corporate headquarters location where they will hire up to 50,000 people?

https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/18/16905140/amazon-hq2-finalists-announced-20-cities

There’s an internal restructuring going on at Amazon, 100s of people were not fired but rather forced to leave and find jobs within high growth areas ie; alexa, aws.

Why on earth does this article claim Amazon had 5000 Seattle employees two years ago?

I think someone misread the Seattle Times. The paper claimed they had 5000 in 2010, so eight years of growth to reach their current number.

Amazon didn’t officially report headcount until 2015, when they had 24,000 employees across the state of Washington.
https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/techflash/2015/07/exclusive-amazon-reveals-washington-state.html

Bezos is having a tough time making ends meet. Besides, he is not happy unless everyone is stressed the core. You know, like his warehouse workers.

View All Comments
Back to top ↑