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Amazon to cut over 18,000 jobs in latest wave of mass tech layoffs

Amazon to cut over 18,000 jobs in latest wave of mass tech layoffs

Amazon is planning to cut over 18,000 jobs in an attempt to reshape its business, while at least two other major tech companies announced job cuts as well because of an “uncertain economy”.

Andy Jassy, who took over as chief executive from founder Jeff Bezos in July 2021, said in a note to employees that the redundancies “will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure”.

It is understood the job losses will include the UK and Europe, but the firm has not given details.

The world's largest retailer, which employs around 1.5 million people globally, warned in November that 10,000 jobs were at risk. It now says it has found more jobs need to be axed due to declining demand and recession fears.

Amazon said roles that will be affected include those across its online and bricks and mortar stores, such as Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods, as well as back-office operations such as its human resources division.

In the UK, Amazon has more than 75,000 employees and has been expanding rapidly.

While several teams at the company would be impacted, Mr Jassy said the majority of job cuts are in Amazon Stores that include roles at Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go, as well as at the tech giant’s PXT organisations that handle its human resources and other functions.

It follows massive layoffs at other Big Tech organisations such as Twitter, Facebook parent company Meta and other Silicon Valley firms.

According to the website, which tracks job cuts in the tech industry, over 150,000 employees were laid off last year.

Entering 2023, Salesforce and Vimeo also announced they were laying off employees.

Salesforce said it will cut about 10 per cent of its workforce – representing about 8,000 jobs – apart from closing some of its offices, while Vimeo said it would reduce staff numbers by 11 per cent.

Staff at Salesforce who are expected to lose their jobs will reportedly receive about five months of pay, health insurance, career resources and other benefits.

“As our revenue accelerated through the pandemic, we hired too many people leading into this economic downturn we’re now facing, and I take responsibility for that,” the founder of the San Francisco-based company Marc Benioff said.

Vimeo’s chief also cited an uncertain economy for the layoffs in her message to employees.

“This was a very hard decision that impacts each of us deeply. It is also the right thing to do to enable Vimeo to be a more focused and successful company, operating with the necessary discipline in an uncertain economic environment,” Anjali Sud, chief of the video hosting platform, said on Wednesday.

Amazon’s job cuts come as its UK workers plan to go on strike for the first time. Members of the GMB union based at a warehouse in Coventry will walk out on 25 January in a dispute over pay after voting in favour of taking industrial action.

Joshua Warner, market analyst at City Index, said: “Amazon's overall workforce has more than doubled since the start of the pandemic as the company aggressively recruited to meet the surge in demand that we saw in 2020. But now, with growth stalling and earnings under pressure, Amazon is having to reverse this and start trimming the fat.”