Amazon isn't done cutting jobs, announces biggest layoff in its history

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(Image credit: Amazon)

What you need to know

  • Amazon announced that it is cutting more than 18,000 roles at the company.
  • The massive layoffs are an extension to its earlier announcement to remove various positions.
  • The majority of the affected employees are in the company's Amazon Stores and People, Experience, and Technology organizations.

Massive layoffs at big tech companies, including Amazon, are showing no signs of grinding to a halt amid the uncertain global economic situation. Amazon is removing more than 18,000 roles across various teams, and it's way more than what was initially expected.

An executive from the online retail giant confirmed in November that Amazon was going to reduce its headcount, with as many as 10,000 employees presumably losing their jobs. During the same month, Amazon's Devices & Services unit also let go of some employees. Today's announcement from no less than CEO Andy Jassy comes as a surprise for many, at least in terms of the actual number of jobs being eliminated.

Jassy told employees in a memo (opens in new tab) this morning that the latest cutbacks will significantly hit Amazon's People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) and Amazon Stores organizations. This comes on top of previous layoffs in its Devices and Books divisions.

For some employees, this move may not come as a total shock. When the company announced the reduction of its Devices and Books and PXT units in November, Jassy shared that he "expected there would be more role reductions in early 2023."

However, it turns out that Amazon initially planned to withhold this announcement from affected employees until January 18. But because an unnamed employee leaked this information to the press, picked up by The Wall Street Journal, the company felt compelled to make it public sooner than intended.

Impacted employees will receive a "separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support." However, it's unclear what kind of severance packages will be doled out to them.

In addition to these changes, an old face may return to lead the company. Michael Batnick, a managing partner at Ritholtz Wealth Management, predicts that Jeff Bezos will make a comeback to lead Amazon (via MarketWatch (opens in new tab)). However, with the layoffs being the largest in Amazon's history, as reported by the Austin Business Journal (opens in new tab), Bezos may face tougher times upon his possible return.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.