Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services.
Amazon said Wednesday it would cut over 18,000 jobs, a larger number than the e-retailer originally announced last year.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported on the cuts, which Amazon said predated its planned announcement.
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“We typically wait to communicate these findings until we can speak to the people who are directly impacted,” CEO Andy Jassy wrote in a memo to employees that the company posted on its blog. “However, since one of our teammates shared this information externally, we decided it was better to share this news sooner so you can hear the details directly from me.”
Tech companies are picking up where they left off last year in 2023, preparing for a prolonged economic downturn. Foreclosure said on Wednesday it would reduce headcount by 10%, affecting over 7,000 employees. Both Amazon and Salesforce admitted they hired too quickly during the pandemic.
Amazon specifically acknowledged that it had been too quick to hire workers in warehouses as consumers switched to ordering online. At the end of the third quarter, the company employed 1.54 million people.
In November, Jassy said Amazon would be shedding roles, including in its physical stores and in its gadgets and books departments. CNBC reported at the time that Amazon wanted to lay off around 10,000 of its employees. Now the number is higher.
“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past and we will continue to do so,” Jassy wrote. “These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure; However, I’m also optimistic that unless we hire on a large scale and eliminate some positions, we will be inventive, imaginative and piecemeal during this time.”
Amazon plans to notify employees who will lose their jobs starting in January. 18, Jassy wrote, noting that most of the cuts will be made in the stores and the People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) groups.
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