Amazon lays off another 9,000, because why not?
Add another zero or so and soon we're talking real numbers
Amazon kicked off this week by cutting another 9,000 jobs, bringing its total layoffs to some 27,000 since late last year.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy shared news of the upcoming layoffs in a letter to employees Monday, adding that most of the cuts would be in Amazon's AWS, advertising, Twitch, and "People Experience Team," also known as human resources.
The internet super-biz right now employs about 1.5 million people, so another 9,000 gone is less than one percent shaved off. For context, the corporation recorded a $2.7 billion net loss in 2022, down from a $33.4 billion profit the year before, on sales of $514 billion, up nine percent.
"For several years leading up to this one, most of our businesses added a significant amount of headcount … given the uncertain economy in which we reside, and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount," Jassy said, echoing calls for efficiency heard at other tech giants.
This latest round of cuts adds to layoffs at Amazon that started in November. Rumors began swirling that some 10,000 Amazonians were on the chopping block and by January the count had increased to 18,000, mostly in Amazon's stores, HR, and technology divisions.
- We blew too much money hiring like crazy so we gave you the boot – Amazon
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As we noted then, and as Jassy hinted above, Amazon's headcount ballooned during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Seattle shop's headcount reportedly around 1.6 million employees at the end of 2021. Two years prior, Amazon employed less than half that number, with 798,000 employees in the fourth quarter of 2019.
While Amazon may be cutting more in quantity, as a percentage of its total workforce 27,000 people is decidedly less than the share Meta has ditched, or plans to ditch. The Facebook parent has slashed around a quarter of its workforce, including the latest round of 10,000 jobs, so far, and has closed another 5,000 open roles to keep headcount inflation down. With its latest round of cuts, Meta will have laid off five thousand fewer people than the sprawling Amazon.
Meta, like Amazon, has blamed pandemic overhiring for its need to gut various departments and jettison less profitable projects - with the cuts even reaching Mark Zuckerberg's pet metaverse project that he has stubbornly defended despite billions in losses.
Are we done here?
As to why this new round of layoffs wasn't included in Amazon's previous cuts, Jassy said that's simply because not all teams were done with their internal analyses.
"Rather than rush through these assessments without the appropriate diligence, we chose to share these decisions as we've made them so people had the information as soon as possible," the Amazon CEO said.
Jassy said that those affected by this round of cuts will be notified in mid to late April; so a month of terror for most Amazonian workers. As to whether or not this'll be the last wave of layoffs at Amazon, that wasn't said, but we only need look to Jassy's own words: Layoff decisions are made when teams are done with their assessments, and not everyone is done.
Jassy noted in his letter to employees that not all teams have finished deciding who, in particular, to fire. While the CEO noted in this instance that pertains to the groups identified in today's letter, it in no way rules out that Amazon is done.
After all, 27,000 is a drop in the fiscal responsibility bucket when you employ more than a million people. ®