Amazon CEO Andy Jassy wrote in a memo shared with employees and published on the company’s website that layoffs will continue through early 2023, indicating the souring macroeconomic backdrop has put the company in a “challenging spot” after years of “rapid hiring.”
“Our annual planning process extends into the new year, which means there will be more role reductions as leaders continue to make adjustments. Those decisions will be shared with impacted employees and organizations early in 2023,” Jassy wrote in the memo.
He continued: “Amazon has weathered uncertainty and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so.”
Earlier this week, NYTimes published a report that America’s second-largest employer [Amazon] is preparing to cut 10,000 jobs in its retail division and human resources segments.
Jassy didn’t say how many employees will get fired early next year but did point out there will be “reductions in our Stores and [People, Experience, and Technology] organizations.”
“We haven’t concluded yet exactly how many other roles will be impacted (we know that there will be reductions in our Stores and PXT organizations), but each leader will communicate to their respective teams when we have the details nailed down.”
Amazon’s announcement comes after a massive surge in tech layoffs this month (conveniently after the midterm elections). Notice momentum in layoffs is rapidly accelerating.
We should also note the story count for articles across the internet about job cuts, firings, and layoffs has just spiked to the highest levels since 2014/15. This may indicate trouble ahead for the economy and a possible peak in treasury yields.
Here’s Jassy’s memo to staff and the public about layoffs continuing through early next year:
Two weeks ago, Beth shared that S-team and I decided to pause new incremental hires in our corporate workforce. Today, I want to share some information about role eliminations. We are in the middle of our annual operating planning review where we look at each of our businesses and make decisions about what we believe we should change. Leaders across the company are working with their teams and looking at their workforce levels, investments they want to make in the future, and prioritizing what matters most to customers and the long-term health of our businesses. This year’s review is more difficult due to the fact that the economy remains in a challenging spot and we’ve hired rapidly the last several years.
Yesterday, we communicated the difficult decision to eliminate a number of positions across our Devices and Books businesses, and also announced a voluntary reduction offer for some employees in our People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) organization. Our annual planning process extends into the new year, which means there will be more role reductions as leaders continue to make adjustments. Those decisions will be shared with impacted employees and organizations early in 2023. We haven’t concluded yet exactly how many other roles will be impacted (we know that there will be reductions in our Stores and PXT organizations), but each leader will communicate to their respective teams when we have the details nailed down. And, as has been the case this week, we will prioritize communicating directly with impacted employees before making broad public or internal announcements.
I’ve been in this role now for about a year and a half, and without a doubt, this is the most difficult decision we’ve made during that time (and, we’ve had to make some very tough calls over the past couple of years, particularly during the heart of the pandemic). It’s not lost on me or any of the leaders who make these decisions that these aren’t just roles we’re eliminating, but rather, people with emotions, ambitions, and responsibilities whose lives will be impacted. We are working to support those who are affected and trying to help them find new roles on teams that have a need; and in cases where that’s not possible, we are offering packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support.
Amazon has weathered uncertainty and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so. We have big opportunities ahead, both in our more established businesses like Stores, Advertising, and AWS, but also in our newer initiatives that we’ve been working on for a number of years and have conviction in pursuing (e.g. Prime Video, Alexa, Kuiper, Zoox, and Healthcare). The key will be to do what Amazon does best – obsess over customers and invent relentlessly on their behalf – and if we do that, we should all be very optimistic about Amazon’s future. I know I am.
I want to thank each of you for your continuing contributions during this challenging time and as we gear up to deliver for customers during the busy shopping season.
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