David Limp, senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon.com Inc., presents the Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker at an unveiling event at the company’s Spheres headquarters in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Thursday, September 20, 2018.
André Burton | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Amazon lays off some employees in its appliance and services unit, hardware chief Dave Limp wrote in a memo to employees on Wednesday.
The e-retailer is consolidating some teams and programs in its appliance and services unit after “an extensive series of reviews” of the company, Limp wrote. Amazon started notifying affected employees yesterday, he added.
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“One of the consequences of these decisions is that some features are no longer needed,” said Limp. “It pains me to break this news as we know we will lose talented Amazonians from the Devices & Services organization.”
The job cuts are part of wider layoffs hitting Amazon as it faces a deteriorating economic outlook. Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told CNBC in a statement that several teams are making adjustments, meaning “certain roles are no longer needed.”
“We do not take these decisions lightly and we are working to support all employees who may be affected,” Nantel said.
The New York Times reported Monday that Amazon plans to cut up to 10,000 jobs across the company, with the appliance, retail and human resources departments particularly affected as a result of the layoffs. The projected layoffs would be the largest workforce reduction in its 28-year history.
The number of layoffs continues to fluctuate as decisions are made on a company-by-company basis, said a person familiar with the matter. While the cuts could total 10,000 people, there is no specific target for total job losses, the person said.
CNBC previously reported that the company began notifying employees on Tuesday that they were being laid off. Members of Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming and Alexa teams were among those laid off. The company also laid off hired workers in the recruitment process.
The job cuts are a sharp turnaround for Amazon, which was unable to find enough workers to staff its warehouses less than a year ago and was recruited by a pandemic. It has nearly doubled its workforce from 798,000 employees worldwide to 1.6 million between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021.
Here’s Limp’s full memo:
At our last town hall in July, I talked a bit about the state of our economy. As you know, we continue to face an unusual and uncertain macroeconomic environment. In light of this, we’ve been working over the past few months to further prioritize what matters most to our customers and the business. After a thorough series of reviews, we recently decided to consolidate some teams and programs. One of the consequences of these decisions is that some roles are no longer needed. It pains me to break this news as we know we will lose talented Amazonians from the Devices & Services organization as a result. I am incredibly proud of the team we have built and to see one valued team member leave is never an outcome any of us want.
We notified affected employees yesterday and will continue to work closely with each individual to provide support, including by helping them find new roles. In cases where employees cannot find a new position within the company, we support the transition with a package that includes severance pay, transition payments and external employment placement. We know that people across the organization may be affected differently by this news and we will lead with compassion for all team members.
While I know this news is hard to digest, I want to emphasize that the Devices & Services organization remains an important investment area for Amazon, and we will continue to invent on behalf of our customers. I’ve been through times like this in the past and I know that when there’s a tough economy, customers tend to gravitate towards the companies and products that they believe have the best customer experience and care for them the best. Historically, Amazon has done a really good job of this.
Thank you for the support and empathy that I know our team will show each other during this time. Don’t hesitate to ping me or your manager if you have any questions.
This story is evolving. Check back later for updates.