Amazon is eliminating hundreds of jobs in order to shift its resources to businesses that are fast growing. The number of layoffs will be in the “low hundreds” as the company shifts allocation of its resource to businesses it says are growing.
The first report of this appeared in the Seattle Times that said the company was cutting job while managing out others due to consolidating retail operations.
One person who is familiar with this situation says the job cuts are focused on the Seattle headquarters of Amazon and only some workers will be affected globally. The latest layoffs will take place in its consumer retail business that includes Amazon books, toys, and grocery units, to create room for help in business that are expanding such as digital entertainment, AWS, and Alexa.
Through a prepared statement in the company’s most recent earnings report, CEO and founder Jeff Bezos said Amazon would be doubling down on Alexa after projections were easily surpassed.
While the e-commerce giant has thousands of employees, the new layoffs are in big contrast to the company’s quick expansion the last few years. In 2017 alone, Amazon created more than 130,000 jobs globally, which did not included close to 90,000 it added after acquiring Whole Foods. It has close to 4,000 corporate jobs open in Seattle and another 12,000 worldwide.
A spokesperson for Amazon said that as part of the company’s planning process it does each year, it is making adjustments to head count throughout the company, with small reductions in a few places and aggressive hiring in several others. For the employees affected, the company works trying to find new roles in areas where hiring is taking place.
These layoffs arrive following a rumored freeze on hiring put into place in late 2017. A report surfaced in December that Amazon sharply cut down hiring, a first sign of its rapid expansion beginning to slow. Amazon also has its smallest amount of open positions between August and December of 2017, making that period the slowest hiring period of four months for Amazon.
Changes to Amazon’s plan for hiring come at a time when the online behemoth is seeking a location for headquarters number two. The company received 238 bids from 54 regions of North America for the new second headquarters. It has narrowed that down to only 20 locations. Amazon has said the city that wins will receive over $5 billion in investments and 50,000 job openings.