NEW YORK, March 20 (AP) — Amazon plans to cut 9,000 more jobs in the coming weeks, Chief Executive Andy Jassy said in a memo to employees on Monday.
The layoffs would be the second largest in the company’s history, having said it would cut 18,000 jobs in January.
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However, the company has doubled its workforce during the pandemic amid a hiring surge across nearly the entire tech industry.
In the memo, Jassy said the second phase of the company’s annual planning process — identifying which areas of the business to cut — was completed this month and resulted in additional layoffs. Amazon will still be hiring in some strategic areas, he said.
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“Some may ask why we didn’t announce these layoffs in the midst of the layoffs we announced a few months ago. The short answer is that not all of the teams had completed their analysis in late autumn; In the rush to complete these assessments due to the circumstances, we chose to share these decisions we made so that people have the information as quickly as possible,” Jassy said.
This time, the layoffs will hit the company’s profitable areas, including its cloud-computing unit AWS and its nascent advertising business. Amazon-owned gaming platform Twitch will also cut staff, as will Amazon’s PXT organization, which handles human resources and other functions.
The previous layoffs also affected the company’s stores division, PXT, which includes its e-commerce business as well as the company’s brick-and-mortar stores, such as Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go, and other units, such as the one that runs the virtual assistant Alexa.
Amazon has also been cutting spending in other areas. Earlier this month, the company said it was suspending construction on its northern Virginia headquarters building, though the first phase of the project will open in June with 8,000 employees.
Like other tech companies including Facebook parent Meta and Google parent Alphabet, Amazon has ramped up hiring during the pandemic to meet the needs of stuck-at-home Americans who are increasingly buying online stuff to protect yourself from viruses. Its workforce — which includes warehouse workers and corporate roles — has doubled in about two years to more than 1.6 million people.
But demand has slowed as the worst of the pandemic eased — and the company last year began pausing or canceling its warehouse expansion plans to ensure it didn’t bleed unnecessary funds.
It is also starting to make other adjustments in some areas as fears of a potential recession begin to mount. In the past few months, it has shuttered a subsidiary that sold fabrics for nearly 30 years and shuttered its hybrid virtual home care service, Amazon Care, among other cost-cutting moves. (Associated Press)
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