Amazon is the latest technology company to make deep cuts to its team member base to brace for a potential economic downturn. The e-commerce giant is planning to lay off at least 10,000 employees this week and implement other cost-cutting measures, mainly because the last few quarters haven’t been profitable, according to a report by the New York Times.
Suppose the total number of people layoffs goes beyond 10,000 employees. In that case, it will amount to the biggest layoff in Amazon’s history, where they will be laying off about 1 percent of its global workforce.
The job cuts will target the devices group, including the one responsible for the Alexa voice assistant and the retail division and human resources, NYT reported citing anonymous sources. Reports suggest that Amazon has asked several engineers to relocate to other teams or verticals and find a place for themselves.
The report comes just weeks after the e-commerce giant warned of a slowdown in growth for the busy holiday season, a period when it used to generate the highest sales. Amazon said this was because consumers and businesses have less money to spend due to rising prices.
The world’s largest online retailer has spent much of this year adjusting to a sharp slowdown in e-commerce growth as shoppers resumed pre-pandemic habits. Amazon delayed warehouse openings and froze hiring in the retail group.
Amazon Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy has vowed to streamline operations amid slowing sales growth and economic uncertainty.
The Alexa division has long been vulnerable to downsizing because the group’s voice-activated devices have yet to become must-have gadgets and often wind up in consumers’ closets.
After experiencing its “most profitable era on record” during the COVID-19 pandemic years, which saw exponential growth in online consumer spending, “Amazon’s growth slowed to the lowest rate in two decades, as the bullwhip of the pandemic snapped,” the NYT report said.
Amazon joins Twitter and Meta to cut jobs. Twitter laid off about 50 percent of its employees and another 4000-5000 contracted content moderators. Meta, too, laid off 11,000 employees.