“Amazon advises prioritizing what matters most”

Amazon plans to eliminate around 18,000 roles, the company confirmed in a memo sent to staff yesterday, January 5, 2022.

The message was shared by the company’s CEO, Andy Jassy. He said that since November last year, the company’s leaders have been advised to prioritize what matters most to customers and the long-term health of the companies.

Jassy said it was later that month that they announced the decision to let go of a number of staff from their device and book businesses, as well as announcing the voluntary redundancy offer for some employees in the organization of people, experience and technology.

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“I expected there would be further role reductions in early 2023,” he said.

“Between the reductions we made in November and the ones we’re sharing today, we plan to eliminate a little more than 18,000 functions.

“Multiple teams are affected, however, the majority of role eliminations are within our Amazon Store and PXT organizations.”

News of cutbacks leaked out

The cutbacks information was apparently leaked before the CEO could communicate it to staff, forcing him to issue a statement.

“Normally we wait to communicate about these results until we can talk to the people who are directly affected. However, since one of our colleagues leaked this information to the outside, we decided it was best to share this news sooner because you can hear the details directly from me. We intend to communicate with affected employees … beginning on January 18,” he said.

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Tough decision in a tough economy

Jassy cited the strained economy as one of the reasons for the cutbacks. He said the elimination of the 18,000 roles was necessary to see how the brand weathered these uncertain times and help the company pursue its long-term opportunities with stronger cost structures.

He also promised that they would work to support those affected and that they are offering packages that include severance pay, transitional health insurance benefits and support for external employment.

“[We are] Deeply aware that these role eliminations are difficult for people, and we do not take these decisions lightly or underestimate the extent to which they can affect the lives of those affected,” he concluded.

* Compiled by Devina Haripersad

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