US e-commerce giant Amazon just announced a further 9,000 layoffs, after an initial round of job cuts in January that saw 18,000 workers let go.
The latest round of layoffs was confirmed by Amazon CEO Andy Jassy on Monday (March 20) in a letter sent to staff.
Jassy told staff that the tech giant intends “to eliminate about 9,000 more positions in the next few weeks”.
These roles will be the company’s (Amazon Web Services) AWS, Amazon’s People Experience and Technology Solutions (PXT), Advertising, and at live stream platform Twitch.
Jassy said that “this was a difficult decision, but one that we think is best for the company long term.”
The news of layoffs at Twitch comes just a few days after Emmett Shear, the long-time CEO and co-founder of the Amazon-owned live-stream platform announced his resignation from the company (on March 16). Twitch was acquired by Amazon for $970 million in 2014.
The news also arrives just a week after another tech giant, Facebook parent Meta, announced that an additional 10,000 workers are to be laid off at its company.
Meta’s own announcement marked its second round of layoffs in four months, after cutting around 13% of its global workforce in November.
The previous reduction in staff totaled 11,000 layoffs, which means that across the two rounds of layoffs, Meta is letting some 22,000 employees go.
Amazon’s latest announcement brings its own layoff tally to 27,000 roles across the company.
“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.”
Andy Jassy, Amazon
Writing to employees on Monday, Jassy said that “for several years leading up to this one, most of our businesses added a significant amount of headcount”, which he added “made sense given what was happening in our businesses and the economy as a whole”.
He continued: “However, 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.”
In the wider tech and adjacent music industry, US satellite radio service SiriusXM announced earlier this month that it was reducing its headcount by 475 roles, or 8% of its total workforce.
In January, SoundHound, a speech and music recognition company, laid off nearly half of its staff earlier this month, less than a year after the company went public on the NASDAQ.
Also in January, music streaming giant Spotify revealed that would be reducing its own global workforce by 6%.
In August 2022, music streaming platform and Spotify rival SoundCloud started the process of reducing its own global workforce by approximately 20%
Also in August, US-based collection society BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc) was reported to be laying off “just under 10%” of its total workforce.
In addition to Meta, a number of silicon valley giants have also reduced their workforces in recent months.
In January, Alphabet, parent company to Google was revealed to be cutting 12,000 roles (around 6% of its workforce).
The week prior to that also saw Microsoft announce 10,000 job cuts.
According to tracking site Layoffs.fyi, 503 tech firms have implemented layoffs so far this year, with a total of 139,165 tech workers losing their jobs.
You can read Andy Jassy’s letter in full below:
As we’ve just concluded the second phase of our operating plan (“OP2”) this past week, I’m writing to share that we intend to eliminate about 9,000 more positions in the next few weeks—mostly in AWS, PXT, Advertising, and Twitch. This was a difficult decision, but one that we think is best for the company long term.
Let me share some additional context.
As part of our annual planning process, leaders across the company work with their teams to decide what investments they want to make for the future, prioritizing what matters most to customers and the long-term health of our businesses. For several years leading up to this one, most of our businesses added a significant amount of headcount. This made sense given what was happening in our businesses and the economy as a whole. However, 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. The overriding tenet of our annual planning this year was to be leaner while doing so in a way that enables us to still invest robustly in the key long-term customer experiences that we believe can meaningfully improve customers’ lives and Amazon as a whole.
As our internal businesses evaluated what customers most care about, they made re-prioritization decisions that sometimes led to role reductions, sometimes led to moving people from one initiative to another, and sometimes led to new openings where we don’t have the right skills match from our existing team members. This initially led us to eliminate 18,000 positions (which we shared in January); and, as we completed the second phase of our planning this month, it led us to these additional 9,000 role reductions (though you will see limited hiring in some of our businesses in strategic areas where we’ve prioritized allocating more resources).
Some may ask why we didn’t announce these role reductions with the ones we announced a couple months ago. The short answer is that not all of the teams were done with their analyses in the late fall; and 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 same is true for this note as the impacted teams are not yet finished making final decisions on precisely which roles will be impacted. Once those decisions have been made (our goal is to have this complete by mid to late April), we will communicate with the impacted employees (or where applicable in Europe, with employee representative bodies). We will, of course, support those we have to let go, and will provide packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support.
If I go back to our tenet — being leaner while doing so in a way that enables us to still invest robustly in the key long-term customer experiences that we believe can meaningfully improve customers’ lives and Amazon as a whole—I believe the result of this year’s planning cycle is a plan that accomplishes this objective. I remain very optimistic about the future and the myriad of opportunities we have, both in our largest businesses, Stores and AWS, and our newer customer experiences and businesses in which we’re investing.
To those ultimately impacted by these reductions, I want to thank you for the work you have done on behalf of customers and the company. It’s never easy to say goodbye to our teammates, and you will be missed. To those who will continue with us, I look forward to partnering with you as we make life easier for customers every day and relentlessly inventing to do so.
AndyMusic Business Worldwide