In a memo to employees posted yesterday, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said that layoffs that started this week, and that could number as many as 10,000, are going to continue into the new year.
Here's what Jassy wrote:
(Note: The "Beth" that he refers to is Beth Galetti, Amazon's SVP, People eXperience and Technology.)
"Two weeks ago, Beth shared that S-team and I decided to pause new incremental hires in our corporate workforce. Today, I want to share some information about role eliminations.
"We are in the middle of our annual operating planning review where we look at each of our businesses and make decisions about what we believe we should change. Leaders across the company are working with their teams and looking at their workforce levels, investments they want to make in the future, and prioritizing what matters most to customers and the long-term health of our businesses. This year’s review is more difficult due to the fact that the economy remains in a challenging spot and we’ve hired rapidly the last several years.
"Yesterday, we communicated the difficult decision to eliminate a number of positions across our Devices and Books businesses, and also announced a voluntary reduction offer for some employees in our People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) organization. Our annual planning process extends into the new year, which means there will be more role reductions as leaders continue to make adjustments. Those decisions will be shared with impacted employees and organizations early in 2023. We haven’t concluded yet exactly how many other roles will be impacted (we know that there will be reductions in our Stores and PXT organizations), but each leader will communicate to their respective teams when we have the details nailed down. And, as has been the case this week, we will prioritize communicating directly with impacted employees before making broad public or internal announcements.
"I’ve been in this role now for about a year and a half, and without a doubt, this is the most difficult decision we’ve made during that time (and, we’ve had to make some very tough calls over the past couple of years, particularly during the heart of the pandemic). It’s not lost on me or any of the leaders who make these decisions that these aren’t just roles we’re eliminating, but rather, people with emotions, ambitions, and responsibilities whose lives will be impacted. We are working to support those who are affected and trying to help them find new roles on teams that have a need; and in cases where that’s not possible, we are offering packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support.
"Amazon has weathered uncertainty and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so. We have big opportunities ahead, both in our more established businesses like Stores, Advertising, and AWS, but also in our newer initiatives that we’ve been working on for a number of years and have conviction in pursuing (e.g. Prime Video, Alexa, Kuiper, Zoox, and Healthcare). The key will be to do what Amazon does best – obsess over customers and invent relentlessly on their behalf – and if we do that, we should all be very optimistic about Amazon’s future. I know I am.
"I want to thank each of you for your continuing contributions during this challenging time and as we gear up to deliver for customers during the busy shopping season.
- KC's View:
However this shakes out at Amazon, the company seems to be proceeding through a difficult time in a way that is measured, calculated and deliberate, with an eye on right-sizing the company for the future. Which seems completely the opposite of the nonsense going on at Twitter, where the fellow in charge seems to be all IQ and absolutely no EQ, throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
And again, I remind you: Amazon has some 1.5 million employees globally, and Amazon increased its total labor headcount by five percent over the past year. A 10,000-person layoff is considerable - and especially painful to those who are being cut - but it would be a mistake to think this is eviscerating Amazon's workforce.