Amazon is planning to lay off thousands of employees and implement cost-cutting measures as the last few quarters haven’t been profitable, according to reports. The company could fire as many as 10,000 employees starting as soon as this week, reports New York Times.
If the total number of layoffs stays around 10,000, it would be the biggest layoff in the history of Amazon. It would represent less than 1 per cent of the workforce of a company that employs over 1.6 million globally.
The job cuts will target the devices group, including the one responsible for the Alexa voice assistant, along with the retail division and human resources, NYT reported citing anonymous sources.
Amazon, after a months-long review, has cautioned employees in some unprofitable units to look for other opportunities within the company, the Wall Street Journal reported.
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 is the latest technology company to make deep cuts to its employee base to brace for a potential economic downturn.
Last week, Twitter cut roughly 50% of its workforce following its sale to Elon Musk. Facebook’s parent company Meta also fired 11,000 employees.
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