Amazon Layoffs to Impact 18,000 Employees, CEO Says

Amazon is set to lay off more than 18,000 workers, CEO Andy Jassy said in a note to employees Wednesday.

The majority of the cuts will impact staffers in the Amazon Stores and People Experience and Technology divisions, the latter of which includes teams involved in Human Resources. Impacted employees will be contacted beginning Jan. 18, though the company had already begun laying off staff in November across its devices and books businesses, which include products like Alexa, Fire TV and Kindle.

The 18,000 figure — which represents roughly 1.2 percent of Amazon’s 1.5 million global workforce, as of last September — is larger than the latest reported layoff figures at the e-commerce giant; in November, timed to the earlier round of cuts, the company was expected to cut around 10,000 roles.

“This year’s review has been more difficult given the uncertain economy and that we’ve hired rapidly over the last several years,” Jassy said in his note, which was shared publicly Wednesday evening after the Wall Street Journal first reported the updated figures. “Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so. These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure; however, I’m also optimistic that we’ll be inventive, resourceful, and scrappy in this time when we’re not hiring expansively and eliminating some roles.”

Amazon most recently reported an earnings miss for the third quarter, with net income falling from $3.1 billion to $2.9 billion year over year. The company has continued its big spending in entertainment with deals for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football, which is commanding a $1 billion yearly spend for the streaming rights, and the $465 million price tag for the first season of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Last year, Amazon also closed its costly $8.5 billion acquisition of the MGM studio.

But the tech and e-commerce behemoth is not alone in facing the negative impacts of an ongoing downturn. In November, Meta said it would lay off 11,000 staffers, or roughly 13 percent of its workforce. Earlier Wednesday, Vimeo and Salesforce announced layoffs ranging in the 10 to 11 percent range, respectively.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

Marc Schneider