Amazon is laying off approximately 18,000 workers. This is the single highest number of job cuts at a technology firm since the industry began aggressively downsizing last year.
The layoff decisions, which Amazon will announce on January 18, will primarily affect the company’s e-commerce and human resources departments, according to Chief Executive Andy Jassy.
The layoffs will primarily affect the corporate workforce, rather than hourly warehouse workers. Amazon was rumored to be planning to lay off around 10,000 employees in November, but Jassy believes the number of jobs to be shed by the company will be higher, “just over 18,000.”
The layoffs are concentrated in the company’s corporate ranks, accounting for roughly 5% of that segment of its workforce and 1.2% of its total workforce of 1.5 million as of September. Amazon must still file certain legal notices regarding mass layoffs, and it intends to pay severance.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy wrote in a blog post that the staff cuts were precipitated by the uncertain economy and the company’s rapid hiring over the last several years. According to Jassy, the company’s leadership was “deeply aware that these role eliminations are difficult for people, and we don’t take these decisions lightly.”
The sources for this piece include an article in WallStreetJournal.