Digitizing Technology Digital life: Massive layoffs begin at Amazon

The affected parts are Alexa, equipment, AWS ... while Amazon is said to still be recruiting workers at the warehouse for the year-end shopping occasion.

According to the Washington Post , after decades of near-constant expansion, the world's largest e-commerce company began laying off employees from the afternoon of November 15. The expected number is 10,000 people, accounting for about 3% of the company's main workforce.

The cuts mainly affect sectors such as human resources, retail and equipment. Over the past few hours, several Amazon employees have posted on LinkedIn and the anonymous application Blind, saying they have received their termination and are looking for new jobs. Among these is Shitao Chen, who claims to be a software engineer with three years of experience in Alexa AI. Another engineer said he's on the Amazon Luna cloud gaming service team and that "a lot of good people" in his department are also looking for work.

An insider source said Amazon has not made any general announcements across the company. Instead, according to Business Insider , those affected are required to attend a "mandatory" meeting with colleagues, leadership and human resources. They were told they had 60 days to find new jobs within the company. If the rotation is unsuccessful, they will receive a severance package, the amount of which is unspecified.

Amazon office in New York. Photo: Washington Post

This is expected to be the largest cut in the history of the e-commerce giant, marking a major turning point for the company known for its aggressive hiring over the past decade. However, Amazon is expected to continue to find more seasonal employees for the warehouses, supporting the busy shopping season at the end of the year.

Over the past few weeks, a series of technology companies have announced plans to lay off or freeze hiring, while startups have also found it harder to raise capital. Meta cut 11,000 jobs, or 13% of its workforce, last week. Ride-hailing service Lyft also laid off 13% of its employees. Stripe and Zillow announced staffing adjustments from October. Twitter cut its staff in half as soon as the Elon Musk era began.

Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, told the Washington Post that the layoffs signal a recession in the tech sector. Amazon has seen tremendous growth during the Covid-19 period as people stay at home and shop online more. In May, it admitted to expanding staff too quickly at its warehouses, but now demand has dwindled.

Inflation and tight consumer spending led Amazon to issue a less-than-positive forecast for the year-end - usually the busiest period of the year - sending its stock plunging last month, though still has a market capitalization of trillions of dollars.

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