Amazon graduate hires told they can't start work until next December

'Challenging economic conditions' blamed for delays, but here's $13,000 for your troubles

Amazon is reportedly delaying the start date for an unknown number of college graduate hires, telling them in an email they wouldn't be able to start until well after their planned May 2023 start dates.

Blaming the "macroeconomic environment," Amazon told the hirees they would now start in December of next year. As recompense each was offered a $13,000 (£10,484) one-time payment which would be available regardless of whether they chose to walk away from Amazon's job offer.

One of the affected hires forwarded their email to the Financial Times, which the publication said indicated the sender wasn't the only one affected, and that Amazon was making the changes "as a part of our annual operating planning review."

The individual who reached out to the paper alleges they were set to start work at the Amazon facility where Alexa is developed, making their hire delay unsurprising given the reported $3 billion losses coming out of that division and associated mass layoffs at Amazon that kicked off last month.

When Amazon confirmed cuts, it said the Alexa team would be one of the most heavily hit due to its underperformance.

It's unclear exactly how many people have been affected by Amazon's decision to delay hiring its new round of college graduates, or where in the company they were hired, though Amazon spokesperson Brad Glasser did confirm the delay. 

"In light of the challenging economic conditions, we're delaying the start dates for some of our college hires by up to six months," Glasser said. He added that Amazon "remains committed to university recruiting and our internship program."

Amazon says its new graduate hires typically end up in technical, engineering, research and business areas, with positions available globally. Job postings linked to the Amazon Jobs for Grads page still show start dates of early next year, though not for US grads. 

As of writing, its current list of available positions highlighted for recent college grads only includes one US posting: Internship opportunities for MBA/Masters level students. Jobs available in China and Australia are more numerous, and still include actual full-time positions in a number of divisions. 

Dave Limp, Amazon's SVP of devices and services, said that the company remains committed to the Alexa ecosystem, and downplayed the layoffs that hit his division.

Limp told Bloomberg that cuts were spread evenly among his group, and that he only lost around 2,000 people in the 10k+ cuts. He also claims that Alexa engagement continues to grow, though he did concede that Amazon's devices group isn't profitable.

"The death of any consumer electronics business is when people start putting that device into a drawer. And I can assure you that is not happening with Alexa, Echo or other [technologies] that have Alexa on it," Limp said. ®

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