Amazon begins mass layoffs of the company’s workforce

Amazon begins mass layoffs of the company's workforce

An Amazon Prime truck drives in Pacifica, Calif., on December 15, 2020. Amazon has begun mass layoffs within its corporate ranks, becoming the latest tech company to cut jobs. workforce amid growing concern about the broader economic environment. Credit: AP Photo / Jeff Chiu, Profile

Amazon has begun mass layoffs across its corporate ranks, becoming the latest tech company to cut its workforce amid growing concerns about the broader economic environment.

On Tuesday, the company notified regional governments in California that it would be laying off about 260 workers at various facilities that employ data scientists, software engineers, and other workers. company. Those job cuts will go into effect January 17.

Amazon would not specify how many more layoffs could occur outside of those confirmed through the California Worker Retraining and Adjustment Notification Act, also known as WARN, which requires companies must give 60 days notice if they have 75 or more full-time or part-time workers. Amazon employs more than 1.5 million workers globally, mainly including hourly workers.

The online retail giant, like other tech and social media giants, has made significant profits during the COVID-19 pandemic, as stay-at-home shoppers buy a variety of items online. than. However, revenue growth has slowed as the worst of the pandemic eases and consumers become less dependent on e-commerce.

The Seattle-based company has reported two consecutive losses this year, mainly due to a write-down in its stock investment in electric vehicle startup Rivian Automotive. The company was profitable again in time third quarterBut investors were bleak on weaker-than-expected sales and lackluster forecasts for the current quarter, which is generally good for retailers given the year-end shopping season.

In an effort to cut costs, Amazon has cut several of its projects — including its subsidiary, Amazon Care, and the cool-sized home delivery robot Scout. It is also shrinking its physical footprint by delaying—or canceling—plans to occupy several new warehouses across the country. And Amazon’s CFO, Brian Olsavsky, said the company is preparing for a period of slower growth and will be careful about hiring in the near future.

Mass layoffs are rare at Amazon, but the company had several job cuts in 2018 and 2001 during the dot-com crash. On the warehouse side, the e-commerce giant often cuts its workforce through attrition.

Faced with high costs, the company announced earlier this month that it will Hiring pause of the company’s workforce, adding to the freeze it had put in place weeks earlier for its retail division. But layoffs are not far off. Employees who work in various units, including voice assistant Alexa and cloud gaming platform Amazon Luna, said they were laid off on Tuesday, according to LinkedIn posts. Some of them are based in Seattle, where the company is headquartered.

“As part of our annual performance plan review process, we always look at each of our businesses and what we believe we should change,” Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said. said in a statement. “As we go through this, given the current macroeconomic environment (as well as rapid hiring over several years), several teams are making adjustments, which in some cases means certain roles are no longer needed.”

In a statement posted on the company’s website, Dave Limp, senior vice president of devices and services, said Amazon is consolidating several teams and programs. He said those laid off in the process were notified on Tuesday and the company would work with them to “provide support,” including assistance in finding new roles. If an employee can’t find a new role within the company, Limp said Amazon will provide severance pay, outside job placement assistance and what he calls transitional benefits.

The retail giant follows other tech giants who have cut jobs over the past few weeks. Among them, Facebook’s parent company Meta said last week that it will lay off 11,000 people, about 13% of its workforce. And Elon Musk, the new CEO of Twitter, reduce the company’s workforce in this fortnight.

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