Amazon announced to its employees yesterday that 18,000 jobs would be cut due to uncertain economic conditions. Most of the jobs being eliminated will affect corporate workers, according to a memo that was released by CEO Andy Jassy to employees stating, “Today, I wanted to share the outcome of these further reviews, which is the difficult decision to eliminate additional roles. Between the reductions we made in November and the ones we’re sharing today, we plan to eliminate just over 18,000 roles. Several teams are impacted; however, the majority of role eliminations are in our Amazon Stores and PXT organizations.”
While some 10,000 of the layoffs were expected after having been announced in November, Jassy’s memo adds an additional 8,000 cuts. The memo places the blame for the layoffs squarely on the slowing economy and the mistake that many tech companies have made over the past decade of overhiring.
“This year’s review has been more difficult given the uncertain economy and that we’ve hired rapidly over the past several years,” the memo explains. Jassy added, “These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure; however, I’m also optimistic that we’ll be inventive, resourceful, and scrappy in this time when we’re not hiring expansively and eliminating some roles. Companies that last a long time go through different phases.” In total, Amazon’s 18,000 layoffs account for roughly 6 percent of the company’s 300,000-employee corporate ranks.
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The layoffs at Amazon are just one more casualty in a rash of terminations in the tech industry. On Wednesday, Salesforce told employees that it would be reducing its workforce by 10 percent. Facebook eliminated 12,000 underperforming workers in November when Meta did not perform as well as expected. And who could forget Elon Musk’s epic takeover of Twitter and mass job cuts of 3,700 positions? It’s been a rough few months for the tech industry, and with the economy continuing its downward spiral, there appears to be no end in sight.