Amazon told employees on Wednesday it would cut 18,000 jobs across the company, far more than previously reported, as tech companies across the country cut costs and curb hiring amid concerns about the economy.
CEO Andy Jassy said Amazon has been hiring rapidly over the past few years as consumers spend wildly online during the isolated years of the COVID-19 pandemic. But fears of a recession and reduced consumer spending forced companies to downsize.
The layoffs will be mainly in the tech giant’s corporate ranks, The Wall Street Journal reported, and will represent about 1.2 percent of the company’s 1.5 million employees.
“This year’s review was more difficult given the uncertain economy and that we have been hiring rapidly over the past few years,” Jassy wrote to employees. “Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so.”
Employees affected by the layoffs will be notified beginning January 18. Jassi said the news, which appeared in The Wall Street Journal, was intended to be shared internally but was leaked to the media before those decisions were made.
The company previously said it would lay off about 10,000 people, mainly in its devices and books businesses, but warned it could make bigger cuts in the future.
“To those affected by these reductions, I want you to know how grateful I am for your contributions to Amazon and the work you have done on behalf of customers,” Jassi wrote to employees. “You have made a significant difference in the lives of many customers.”
Many tech companies have been hurt by the post-pandemic economy, and companies such as Meta, Twitter and Salesforce have said they will make massive layoffs after a long hiring spree.