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Amazon to Layoff 18,000 Employees, Largest Cut in Company History: 'We'll Be Inventive, Resourceful, and Scrappy'

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy penned a memo to employees after the news leaked of the impending cuts at the company.


As layoffs continue across the tech sector, it seems no company is set to be spared amid the possibility of an impending recession.

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Such is the case with Amazon, which announced this week that the company will be laying off roughly 18,000 employees globally — the highest amount in company history.

"Leaders across the company have been working with their teams and looking at their workforce levels, investments they want to make in the future, and prioritizing what matters most to customers and the long-term health of our businesses," said Amazon CEO Andy Jassy in a company memo. "This year's review has been more difficult given the uncertain economy and that we've hired rapidly over the last several years."

The layoffs will affect multiple teams, but the Amazon Stores and People Experience and Technology Solutions (PXT Solutions) teams will be affected the most.

Jassy said that the company will be giving dismissed employees separation packages that include severance, transitional benefits with health insurance, and help with finding future employment.

He also acknowledged that news of the layoffs had been leaked to the public, which was why he chose to share the news this week instead of when layoffs are set to happen on January 18.

"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 news is not quite so surprising, as Jassy announced last November that layoffs would continue into "early 2023," though he did not specify the magnitude of the impending cuts.

"Companies that last a long time go through different phases," Jassy said. "They're not in heavy people expansion mode every year."

Amazon is coming off a rough Q3 2022, with operating income plummeting by $2.5 billion compared to $4.9 billion at the same time last year, and net income dropping by $2.9 billion in comparison to $3.2 billion during Q3 2021.

The company is expected to report its Q4 2022 earnings on February 3.

Amazon was down just over 49% year over year as of Thursday morning.

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