Amazon may not be done widening the scope of its layoffs. Amazon chief Andy Jassy has sent a memo to staff indicating the company will cut another 9,000 jobs in the “next few weeks.” The reductions will primarily affect Twitch, advertising and cloud computing divisions like Amazon Web Services, according to the message. The CEO also warns that the final cuts aren’t likely to be finalized until mid-to-late April, and that Amazon won’t inform affected workers until that point.
Jassy says the expanded layoffs follow a “second phase” of operational planning focused on trimming costs. Some teams weren’t ready for the initial round of layoff announcements in November, and the company wanted to announce decisions early to provide information “as soon as possible,” Jassy adds. The online retailer is promising severance pay, transitional health insurance coverage and help finding jobs elsewhere.
Amazon confirmed the memo’s existence to Engadget following a leak by CNBC. As before, Jassy attributes the cutbacks to an “uncertain economy” and lingering doubts about near-future performance. The firm wants to be “more streamlined” while still having the resources to invest in better experiences, the executive claims.
The company said it would lay off 10,000 employees last fall, but adjusted that to 18,000 in January. At the time, most of the cuts focused on retail and recruiting. Last year, Amazon shuttered some of its physical stores and wound down some business units. While the brand benefited from the shift to online shopping at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it faced turbulence as people returned to pre-pandemic habits.
Amazon isn’t the only big tech company announcing layoffs this year, or even the only one planning deeper cuts. Meta said this month it would let go of another 10,000 workers after slashing 11,000 positions in the fall. However, Amazon is now cutting more aggressively than many others. It’s also notable that Twitch is part of the layoffs. The livestreaming service thrived during the early pandemic, but Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet estimate that viewership has been on a steady decline since spring 2021. Simply speaking, there isn’t as much demand for Twitch as there was when people were stuck at home.