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March 20, 2023

AWS hit as Amazon makes 9,000 redundancies in latest round of Big Tech layoffs

CEO Andy Jassy says he is building a leaner Amazon, and another 10,000 staff are paying the price.

By Matthew Gooding

Amazon is making a further 9,000 staff redundant as job cuts continue across Big Tech businesses. The company’s highly profitable public cloud division, AWS, will be among the affected departments, CEO Andy Jassy said.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announced further redundancies at the company today. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Jassy confirmed the latest news in a letter to staff today. Amazon made 18,000 staff redundant in January as part of cost-cutting measures designed to combat the turbulent economic conditions hitting businesses around the world.

It employs more than 1.5 million people globally, and had annual revenue of $514bn in 2022, but reported a loss of $2.7bn.

Andy Jassy explains fresh Amazon job cuts

As well as AWS, cuts will be made in the company’s advertising department at its streaming platform for gamers, Twitch.

Jassy said today’s news was “best for the company in the long term” and decisions have been taken to help build a leaner Amazon.

He said: “For several years leading up to this one, most of our businesses added a significant amount of headcount. This made sense given what was happening in our businesses and the economy as a whole.

“However, given the uncertain economy in which we reside, and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount.

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“The overriding tenet of our annual planning this year was to be leaner while doing so in a way that enables us to still invest robustly in the key long-term customer experiences that we believe can meaningfully improve customers’ lives and Amazon as a whole.” 

Jassy said staff being let go would be compensated with a package including “a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support.

Big Tech redundancies continue

Big Tech companies such as Amazon which hired substantially during the Covid-19 pandemic have been making cuts in recent months as rapidly rising interest rates, and the war in Ukraine, have hit consumer and enterprise spending. According to the layoffs.fyi tracker, 150,000 tech workers lost their jobs last year.

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, laid off 11,000 staff before Christmas and announced last week that 10,000 more jobs would go across the company. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company had experienced a “humbling wake-up call” in 2022, as revenue tanked, and did not rule out further redundancies. “I think we should prepare ourselves for the possibility that this new economic reality will continue for many years,” he said.

Google has also made 10,000 staff redundant this year already, with CEO Sundar Pichai blaming the “new economic reality” in which tech companies are operating.

Read more: Dell plans 6,500 layoffs in latest round of tech job cuts

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