Amazon will be carrying out the biggest layoffs in 2022. This includes Alexa employees. The company is likely to start giving pink slips 10,000 workers starting in a week. The layoffs is the biggest ever by the ecommerce giant according to news reports.
The company laid off around 1,500 workers in 2001 amid the dot-com meltdown.
Currently, Amazon employs more than 1.5 million people worldwide, including hourly workers. Due to recent socioeconomic problems and declining profitability, American tech titans like Meta (previously Facebook) and Twitter have also let off hundreds of employees.
The planned layoffs will be the largest in business history, according to The New York Times, citing people with knowledge of the situation.
The report notes that employees in the retail segment and human resources will be impacted by Amazon’s layoffs. The article also states that several people who work on Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa may lose their employment.
Amazon to begin the biggest layoff exercise in 2022
According to a source who spoke to the publication, once each company completes its planning, the number of layoffs will likely be announced team by team rather than all at once. If it remains at around 10,000, it will account for 3% of Amazon’s corporate staff and 1% of the entire workforce.
Given the company’s tight cost-cutting initiatives, the announcement of the layoffs isn’t altogether unexpected. To balance “investments with being cautious about current economy,” the corporation, for instance, indicated in a blog post earlier this month that it would stop recruiting on the corporate side.
“We anticipate keeping this hold in place for the next few months and will continue to evaluate what we’re seeing in the economy and the company to modify as we think makes sense,” writes Beth Galetti, senior vice president at Amazon, in the statement.
Notably, the nearly 10,000-person Alexa department is under the strict supervision of Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, according to a Wall Street Journal report from last week. According to the study, the department has not been “profitable.”
Amazon also reportedly planned retrenchment during the critical holiday shopping season — when the company typically has valued stability.
As mentioned, Amazon is not the only company facing heat from global macroeconomic situations. Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, fired over 3,500 employees earlier this month. Meta also laid off roughly 11,000 in November – the biggest layoff in the company’s history.
The report follows headcount reductions at other tech firms. Meta announced last week that it’s laying off more than 13% of its staff, or more than 11,000 employees, and Twitter laid off approximately half its workforce in the days following Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of the company.
Amazon reported poor third-quarter earnings in October this year
Amazon reported 798,000 employees at the end of 2019 but had 1.6 million full- and part-time employees as of Dec. 31, 2021, a 102% increase. The New York Times said the total number of layoffs “remains fluid” and could change.
Amazon reported disappointing third-quarter earnings in October that spooked investors and caused shares to sink more than 13%. It marked the first time Amazon’s market cap fell below $1 trillion since April 2020, and the report was the second time this year that Amazon’s results have been enough to spark a double-digit percentage sell-off. The sell-off continued for days after the report and erased almost all of the stock’s pandemic surge.