‘Amazon advised to prioritise what matters most’ – 18 000 workers to be fired



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

The message was shared by company CEO Andy Jassy. He said that leaders within the company were advised from November last year to prioritise what matters most to customers and the long-term health of the businesses.

Jassy said that it was later in that month that they communicated the decision to let go of a number of staff across their devices and books businesses, as well as announced the voluntary reduction offer for some employees in the people, experience and technology organisation.

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“I expected there would be more 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 just over 18 000 roles.

“Several teams are impacted, however, the majority of role eliminations are in our Amazon Stores and PXT organisations.”

News of retrenchments leaked

The information of the retrenchments was apparently leaked before the CEO could communicate it with staff, forcing him to make a statement.

“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. We intend on communicating with impacted employees… starting on 18 January,” he said.

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Tough decision in a tough economy

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

He also promised that they would be working to support those who are affected and are providing packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support.

“[We are] deeply aware that these role eliminations are difficult for people, and we don’t take these decisions lightly or underestimate how much they might affect the lives of those who are impacted,” he concluded.

*Compiled by Devina Haripersad


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