The layoffs will occur across “several teams” but the majority of job cuts are in the Amazon Stores group and its People, Experience and Technology (PXT) organization, Jassy said in the memo, which the company posted on its blog site.
“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” Jassy wrote. “These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure; however, I’m also optimistic that we’ll be inventive, resourceful, and scrappy in this time when we’re not hiring expansively and eliminating some roles.”
The roughly 18,000 job cuts, which includes layoffs Amazon made last fall, represent about 1.2% of the 1.544 million full- and part-time workers the company reported as of Sept. 30, 2022.
In November, Jassy announced that Amazon was cutting jobs across its Devices and Books businesses, and also said the company was making voluntary buyout offers for some employees in the PXT group. He also told employees that there would be “more role reductions” going into 2023 “as leaders continue to make adjustments.” At the time, the New York Times reported that Amazon was cutting about 10,000 jobs.
Speaking in late November at the Times’ DealBook conference, Jassy said the cuts were necessary because the economy was “more uncertain” than Amazon execs previously expected: “We just felt like we needed to streamline our costs,” he said.
Jassy’s memo to Amazon employees Wednesday about the job cuts came after the Wall Street Journal reported earlier in the day that the company planned to pink-slip “more than 17,000” employees. In an apparent reference to the Journal report, Jassy wrote, “We typically wait to communicate about these outcomes until we can speak with the people who are directly impacted. However, because one of our teammates leaked this information externally, we decided it was better to share this news earlier so you can hear the details directly from me.”
Amazon plans to communicate with employees who will be affected by the latest round of layoffs starting on Jan. 18, according to Jassy.
Jassy, who joined Amazon in 1997, was formerly CEO of the tech company’s fast-growing AWS cloud services division. Jassy took over the CEO job, succeeding founder Jeff Bezos, in July 2021.