Just days after entering into a credit agreement worth $8 billion, Amazon is the latest company to announce major layoffs affecting thousands of workers.
In a statement on the Amazon website, CEO Andy Jassy explained that a teammate had leaked information regarding the cutbacks, forcing a decision to announce publicly that a total of 18,000 jobs would be axed, without first “speak[ing] with the people who are directly impacted”, leading to further speculation about uncertainty within the company.
Including the elimination of a number of positions in its Devices and Books division in November 2021, and the voluntary reduction offer for People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) workers, a further large-scale layoff will see the company’s total headcount reduce by 18,000 in recent months.
18,000 Amazon jobs axed
Jassy warned that PXT and Amazon Store workers are likely to be most affected, however the company has refrained from making any formal decisions until January 18 2023, when it will communicate with the relevant staff and European employee representative bodies.
In an effort to soften the blow, Amazon has committed to offering separating payments, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support.
Jassy claims that “Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and [it] will continue to do so.” He hopes that this drastic move will help the company to continue “finding a way to do more for customers at a lower cost” so that savings can be passed on to customers.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the total number of workers represents approximately 1.5% of the company’s 1.5 million employees; a company that recruited hard after experiencing huge success during a boom in e-commerce following the coronavirus pandemic.
Following an economic downturn that saw its market cap reduce from a 2021 high of $1.88 trillion to a present-day value of $875 billion, it joins companies like Salesforce and Microsoft in major cutbacks.