Amazon plans to lay off about 10,000 people over the next few days, according to a report by the New York Times on Monday citing people with knowledge of the matter. The move, if confirmed, will come in the wake of mass trimming of the workforce by Twitter and Facebook parent Meta.
The layoff will affect representing roughly three per cent of the e-commerce giant’s corporate employees and less than one per cent of its global workforce of more than 1.5 million composed primarily of hourly workers.
“The cuts will focus on Amazon’s devices organisation, including the voice-assistant Alexa, as well as at its retail division and in human resources,” according to the report, which also said the total number of layoffs remains fluid.
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As of December 31 last year, Amazon had about 1,608,000 full-time and part-time employees.
The report also comes on the day its founder Jeff Bezos told CNN he plans to give away the majority of his USD 124 billion net worth to charity within his lifetime.
Trouble had been brewing in Amazon according to the NYT report as the tech giant reduced its headcount by almost 80,000 people between April and September, primarily shrinking its hourly staff through high attrition.
According to the report, Amazon froze hiring in several smaller teams in September. In October, it stopped filling more than 10,000 open roles in its core retail business. Two weeks ago, it froze corporate hiring across the company, including its cloud computing division, for the next few months. That news came so suddenly that recruiters did not receive talking points for job candidates until almost a week later.
The move which comes ahead of Christmas when the giant has valued stability shows how quickly the souring global economy has put pressure on it to trim businesses that have been overstaffed or underdelivering for years.
After registering its “most profitable era on record” during the COVID-19 pandemic years, Amazon witnessed lowest growth rate in two decades.
Amazon joins a bandwagon of US companies making deep cuts to its employee base to brace for a potential economic downturn.
Last week, Facebook-parent Meta Platforms said it would cut more than 11,000 jobs, or 13% of its workforce, to rein in costs.
Twitter’s new owner billionaire Elon Musk reduced the social media’s workforce by half.
(With inputs from Reuters, PTI)
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