Winter has arrived at Amazon.
The company began laying off employees across multiple divisions of its corporate and tech business on Tuesday, less than two days after a New York Times report said the company was eyeing company-wide layoffs potentially impacting 10,000 employees. Workers involved in Amazon’s Alexa smart home speaker and Luna cloud gaming units are reportedly amongst those already packing their bags.
Amazon Senior Vice President of Devices and Services Dave Limp acknowledged the restructuring in an email to staff and a blog post. In it, Limp attributed the layoffs to an “unusual and uncertain macroeconomic environment.”
“After a deep set of reviews, we recently decided to consolidate some teams and programs,” Limp wrote. “One of the consequences of these decisions is that some roles will no longer be required.”
Limp said the company will work with impacted individuals to help them find new roles in the company. In cases where that doesn’t pan out, Amazon will provide severance and external job placement support. Despite the cuts, Limp said Amazon will still continue supporting its Devices & Services organization, which means Alexa and Luna aren’t going anywhere. For now, at least.
Though Amazon wouldn’t comment on the exact number of workers it expects to layoff, spokesperson Kelly Nantel hinted the impacts would extend beyond the company’s Devices and Services segments.
“As part of our annual operating planning review process, we always look at each of our businesses and what we believe we should change,” Nantel said in an email to Gizmodo. “As we’ve gone through this, given the current macro-economic environment (as well as several years of rapid hiring), some teams are making adjustments, which in some cases means certain roles are no longer necessary. We don’t take these decisions lightly, and we are working to support any employees who may be affected.”
The first round of layoffs comes a little over a month after Amazon announced a corporate hiring freeze. The e-commerce giant, which underwent a record hiring spree in 2020 has, like many others in the industry, struggled to cope with a late pandemic economic slowdown. Rising inflation and wavering e-commerce sales have driven an axe through the company’s bottom line. In just one year since June 2021, Amazon saw its stock valuation plummet by more than $1 trillion. No other company in history has seen their valuation dip by so much in so little time.