Amazon Is Laying Off Hundreds Of Employees As It Shifts Focus To Alexa, AWS


Amazon is reducing the number of its employees, a move described by the company as "part of our annual planning process." Hundreds will be out of job soon.

The layoffs came following the spurt of hiring freezes seen in the past few months. Amazon said some of the affected employees, mostly holding corporate roles on the e-commerce firm's consumer retail operations, have been informed of the decision. The entire process is expected to be completed in the few weeks ahead.

"We are making head count adjustments across the company — small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others," the company said in a statement furnished to The Seattle Times.

It is understood Amazon is finding ways to relocate separated personnel, all from the Seattle headquarters of the company, where there will be job openings from within.

"For affected employees, we work to find roles in the areas where we are hiring," the online retailer assured.

In the same report, it was estimated that Amazon has so far cut back around 500 corporate employees from around the United States in the past two years. At the same time, the company remains on hiring mode and has over 12,500 job openings as of writing. In Seattle alone, Amazon has 4,000 job listings.

Amazon maintains a global workforce of 566,000 among the largest in the world and is positioned to recruit tens of thousands more as the company looks to further expand.

Growth Focus

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has indicated that his company is shifting its focus on areas perceived with extensive growth potentials. As layoffs will be implemented on the consumer retail divisions of the firm, there will be active recruitments that will see the number of employees swelling in other sectors of the operation.

Amazon's digital entertainment and web services (AWS) businesses have been experiencing significant advancements that the company intends to realign resources on these operations. Bezos has singled out Alexa as a growth focus for the company, saying he will double down on the digital assistant following its recent performance that exceeded expectations.

Spending Cuts And Consolidation

The latest round of layoffs is not unusual for a company like Amazon. While hundreds will be affected by the move, thousands more will benefit, as the company said its plan to build a second headquarters will push through. When the HQ is built, the host U.S. city will see investment inflow of no less than $5 billion, with possible job creations that could reach more than 50,000.

It appears Amazon is consolidating operation while managing its incredible growth phase, which, as the company sees fit, must be accompanied by spending cuts. In fact, the firm cited overstaffing and overbudget operations as chief reasons for the ongoing job cutbacks.

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