Amazon Laying Off Hundreds of Workers in Rare Cutback

UPDATE: Amazon Confirms Layoffs

In an emailed statement to FN today, Amazon confirmed that it is engaged in job cuts in the “low hundreds.”

What We Reported Earlier

In a rare move for the hugely successful e-giant: Amazon is reportedly cutting several hundreds of jobs at its corporate headquarters in Seattle and elsewhere.

Citing a person familiar with the matter, The Seattle Times said the layoffs are underway and will affect employees both at Amazon’s main offices and other global operations. Another two people familiar with the circumstances added that the downsizing, whose exact number is yet to be detailed, is centered on the company’s consumer retail division to make way for its more profitable businesses, including Alexa, Amazon Web Services and digital entertainment.

“As part of our annual planning process, we are making head count adjustments across the company — small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others,” a spokesperson said in a statement to the Times. “For affected employees, we work to find roles in the areas where we are hiring.” (This has since been confirmed in a separate statement to FN.)

As the second-largest employer in the country, Amazon employed over 560,000 workers globally by the end of 2017. The e-tailer also created about 130,000 jobs last year — not including its Whole Foods acquisition.

A source for the newspaper said that the layoffs are expected to be completed in the next few weeks. Widespread layoffs are rare at Amazon, which is in the process of choosing a city for its second headquarters. The company is also reportedly mulling the launch of a package delivery service.

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