Amazon plans to cut more than 18,000 jobs as cuts escalate

Amazon.com is laying off more than 18,000 employees — a significantly larger number than previously planned — in the latest sign a tech slump is deepening.

Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy announced the move in a memo to employees on Wednesday, saying it followed the company’s annual planning process. The cuts, which began last year, were expected to affect around 10,000 people. The cuts are focused on the company’s corporate ranks, primarily Amazon’s retail division and human resources functions such as recruiting.

“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” he said. “These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure.”

More than 18,000 Amazon employees, far more than planned, will lose their jobs.

More than 18,000 Amazon employees, far more than planned, will lose their jobs.Credit:AP

Although the prospect of layoffs has hung over Amazon for months — the company has acknowledged it hired too many workers during the pandemic — the rising total suggests the company’s prospects have clouded over. It joins other tech giants in making big cuts.

Also on Wednesday, enterprise software company Salesforce announced plans to cut about 10 percent of its workforce and reduce its real estate holdings. The company said it also hired too many employees during the pandemic-related boom and braced itself for more cautious customer spending.

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The tech industry is shedding jobs at a pace that’s approaching the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In November, the most recent month for which data is available, the sector announced 52,771 cuts, for a total of 80,978 for the year, according to consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas. This was the highest monthly total for the industry since the company began storing data in 2000.

Amazon investors have reacted positively to recent efforts to tighten its belts, betting that it could boost the e-commerce company’s profits. Shares were up nearly 2 percent in late trading after that The Wall Street Journal first reported on the plan.

Cutting 18,000 workers would be the biggest cut yet for a tech company during the current slowdown, but Amazon also has a far larger workforce than its Silicon Valley peers. It had more than 1.5 million workers at the end of September, meaning the latest cuts would affect about 1 percent of the workforce.

https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/amazon-to-slash-more-than-18-000-jobs-in-escalation-of-cuts-20230105-p5cal2.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_business Amazon plans to cut more than 18,000 jobs as cuts escalate

Brian Lowry

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