Amazon will lay off thousands of corporate employees beginning this week, but it’s unclear if Amazon Music properties will be affected.
Amazon plans to lay off around 10,000 employees in corporate and technology roles beginning this week — the most significant amount from the company to date at about 3% of the corporate staff. The number of affected employees may vary as businesses within Amazon review their priorities, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.
The reduction is thus far attributed to “the uncertain macroeconomic environment faced by Amazon and other companies.” The online retailer intends to eliminate jobs in its devices organization (which makes voice-controlled Alexa-enabled devices and home security cameras) and its human resources and retail divisions. The company’s timeframe for informing staff is yet unclear.
Amazon’s shares have lost more than 40% of their value this year, and the company’s devices unit has posted an annual operating loss of more than $5 billion. The company has debated whether to focus on new capabilities for its Alexa voice assistant when many customers use the functionality only for specific tasks.
Company-wide, the planned job cuts amount to less than 1% of Amazon’s total workforce (including warehouse and transportation positions.) The company predicts slow sales growth for the typically lucrative holiday season following high inflation and energy costs. Amazon has also said it would freeze incremental corporate hiring for several months.
News of Amazon’s planned layoffs follows a wave of similar reductions across the technology sector. Among the companies wary of recession after years of rapid hiring is Facebook parent Meta, which has cut more than 11,000 jobs — 13% of its total workforce. Like many technology companies, Meta expanded rapidly during the pandemic. The company added more than 27,000 employees combined in the last two years, with an additional 15,000 in the first three quarters of 2022.