Same-Day Delivery on Pink Slips: Amazon to Lay Off 18,000+ Employees
E-commerce giant Amazon has revealed that it will be laying off more than 18,000 employees in the coming months, the largest headcount reduction at a tech firm in the past year. The layoffs will impact about five percent of the company’s corporate workforce.
The Wall Street Journal reports that in a recent announcement, Amazon stated that it will lay off more than 18,000 employees in the coming weeks, representing the highest number of layoffs at a major technology company in the past year. The layoffs will primarily affect the company’s corporate ranks, impacting about five percent of that workforce and 1.2 percent of Amazon’s overall workforce of 1.5 million as of September. The cuts will be concentrated in the company’s devices business, recruiting, and retail operations.
In a blog post addressing the layoffs, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said, “Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so.” He added that most of the cuts will be in the retail and recruiting areas of the company.
Many tech companies have had to make job cuts as the economy has soured, with Amazon’s layoffs of over 18,000 employees representing the largest number of people laid off by a tech company in recent months, according to Layoffs.fyi, a website that tracks such events as they surface in media reports and company releases. Other companies that have announced layoffs include Facebook, which is cutting more than 11,000 workers or 13 percent of its staff, and Lyft, HP, and Salesforce.
Amazon enjoyed massive growth during the coronavirus pandemic, with customers flocking to online shopping and pushing the company’s various businesses, including e-commerce, groceries, and cloud computing, forward by years. Amazon doubled its logistics network and added hundreds of thousands of employees in order to keep up with demand.
However, as demand began to wane and customers started to return to in-store shopping, Amazon initiated a cost-cutting review to pare back on unprofitable units. This included targeted cuts in the spring and summer, such as shutting physical stores and business units like Amazon Care, as well as a company-wide hiring freeze.
The news of the layoffs sent Amazon’s stock down 1.1 percent in Thursday morning trading to $84.19, with the stock down 49 percent over the past 12 months. Despite the current economic uncertainty, Amazon’s CEO remains confident in the company’s ability to weather the storm, stating in his blog post, “We will continue to invest in the things that drive long-term growth.”