Amazon (AMZN) is preparing to lay off roughly 10,000 employees as soon as this week, The New York Times reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
The layoffs come as the tech industry continues to struggle amid a slowing economy, rising interest rates, and stubborn inflation. Facebook parent Meta and Twitter also laid off thousands of employees this month.
The layoffs will impact Amazon’s Alexa business, as well as the company’s retail and human resources divisions, according to The Times. Amazon’s Alexa group, which produces its Echo hardware and associated software, loses up to $5 billion a year, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing internal documents the paper reviewed.
The 10,000 jobs make up some 1% of Amazon’s 1.5 million global workforce. The Times reports that the final number of planned layoffs could change between now and when they’re announced. Amazon announced a hiring freeze on Nov. 3.
Amazon has been struggling in recent quarters, as sales in the company’s retail division slowed compared to its performance during the peak of the pandemic. The company poured huge sums into building out its fulfillment network including hiring thousands of employees and building out warehouses.
The e-commerce giant has been looking to scale back its warehouse network and lease out spaces inside the facilities. The firm has also closed other services including Amazon Care, its primary health care service.
Amazon reported lackluster earnings in October, missing analysts’ revenue expectations and issuing lower fourth quarter guidance than analysts predicted. Shares of Amazon are down 40% year-to-date.
Amazon joins a growing number of tech companies that have either laid off employees or instituted hiring freezes. Social media giant Meta laid off 11,000 workers just last week amid a decline in ad sales, while Twitter cut 3,700 jobs following the takeover of billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Snap laid off some 20% of its workforce, while Lyft dropped 683 employees.
Amazon’s Alexa division is designed to get customers to sign up for the company’s Prime services. Devices include Amazon’s Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, and myriad home automation products that interact with the voice assistant.
The company has been pouring cash into the initiative for years, developing a slew of new gadgets including Alexa compatible security cameras to smart glasses that allow you to access Alexa, make calls, and listen to music.
But e-commerce sales are slumping as consumers return to physical stores or cut back on spending, forcing Amazon to retool its business and improve its profitability.
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