Amazon circulated a statement internally that addressed the company decision to eliminate 9,000 more positions in the next few weeks on top of 18,000 layoffs previously announced.
In the statement, CEO Andy Jassy noted:
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.
Amazon didn’t include the latest lay-offs in the January job announcement because not all of the internal teams doing workforce evaluations were finished with their analyses in the late fall. As such, Amazon determined that, rather than rush through its assessments without the appropriate diligence, it would share decisions as it made them so people had the information as soon as possible. Once it makes those specific job decisions, and Amazon indicated that its goal is to have its evaluations complete by mid to late April, the company will communicate with the impacted employees or employee representative bodies.
In concluding the statement, Jassy said:
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.