Amazon has revealed plans to lay off more than 18,000 employees in response to worsening global economic conditions.
A memo shared by Amazon CEO Andy Jassy with employees states several teams within the company will be affected, including human resources and Amazon Stores.
“Between the reductions we made in November and the ones we’re sharing today, we plan to eliminate just over 18,000 roles,” Jassy wrote in the note. In November it was reported Amazon had planned to cut 10,000 roles.
“Companies that last a long time go through different phases. They’re not in heavy people expansion mode every year,” he added.
Amazon’s job cuts are the biggest by a tech company in the past year and the largest number of layoffs in the company’s history. A number of tech giants have made sweeping cuts over the past few months. Meta announced 11,000 job losses last year, HP cut 6,000 jobs, Twitter 3,750 and Snap 1,300.
Jassy cited the “uncertain economy” for the job losses, and said the company had hired rapidly over the past few years. He described the cuts as a “difficult decision” and said he is ““deeply aware that these role eliminations are difficult for people, and we don’t take these decisions lightly or underestimate how much they might affect the lives of those who are impacted.”
Amazon employees affected by the move will be told from January 18, according to the company.
Amazon was one of several to thrive during the COVID-19 pandemics, when lockdowns and general anxiety forced shoppers online. But as countries opened back up again, many people have returned to in-person shopping, or have been forced to tighten their budgets amid surging inflation and a cost of living crisis. In October, Amazon’s quarterly earnings report disappointed Wall Street, missing expectations badly. The company’s stock fell by around 50% last year.