Amazon lays off 9,000 staff as cloud spending downturn bites

A second round of layoffs has been announced by Amazon, mostly affecting AWS, Twitch, HR and advertising units

The cuts add to the 18,000 layoffs announced by Amazon in January, with CEO Andy Jassy citing “the uncertain economy” as a main factor, in an internal letter.

According to Jassy, prior scaling of tech hiring efforts to meet growing demand during the pandemic — a move also made by other big tech companies — “made sense given what was happening in our businesses and the economy as a whole”.

The letter continued: “This was a difficult decision, but one that we think is best for the company long term.

“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.”

The corporation currently employs over 1.5 million people globally, but following a downturn in spending on cloud and other areas have been looking to let leaders go to reshape back office operations and cut costs.

Amazon revealed separate plans to close three UK warehouse sites and seven delivery stations, putting a further 1,200 jobs at risk.

Additionally, the establishment of a new Virginia headquarters has been postponed, along with the launch of new Amazon Fresh stores.

Layoffs continuing across big tech

According to layoff tracking website, over 150,000 employees were laid off by tech companies in 2022, with a further 139,000 already being let go in 2023.

This second round of cuts mirrors similar layoffs undertaken at other big tech companies like Google, Meta and Microsoft — pointing to widespread budget uncertainty.

Investors, meanwhile, are known to be calling for shrinking of workforces across Silicon Valley and other major tech hubs, with layoffs being met with rising share prices.

On the flipside, however, it’s reported that Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, and Google’s parent company Alphabet have collectively incurred over $10bn in charges related to mass redundancies and other cost-cutting moves.

Amazon in particular has given out $640m on severance in Q4 of 2022, with abandoned real estate projects costing the company a further $720m.


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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.

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