Amazon CEO Andy Jassy Says Layoffs Will Continue Into 2023

CEO memo to Amazon workers confirms layoffs will continue into next year, with total number of job losses still to be determined

Amazon staff face a demoralising lead up to the Christmas holidays after CEO Andy Jassy confirmed job layoffs will continue into 2023.

The admission came in an memo that Jassy wrote to Amazon staff on Thursday, in which he admitted that the e-commerce giant has not “concluded yet exactly how many other roles will be impacted.”

Amazon like other tech players had already implemented a hiring freeze and stopped expansion of its warehousing capacity in the US and elsewhere.

Amazon chief executive Andy Jassy. Image credit: Amazon
Amazon chief executive Andy Jassy. Image credit: Amazon

Job losses

The move comes as Amazon CEO Andy Jassy seeks to rein in costs as the company grapples with slowing growth in its core retail business, which still accounts for the lion’s share of Amazon’s revenue.

But last week the New York Times had reported that Amazon would axe 10,000 jobs, with the bulk of the job losses reportedly focused on Amazon’s devices organisation, its retail division, and ironically its human resources department.

Then earlier this week Amazon began axing staff at its devices and services team.

A memo from hardware chief Dave Limp that Amazon was consolidating some teams and programs in its devices and services unit after “a deep set of reviews” of the business.

Now on Thursday, CEO Andy Jassy in a memo confirmed the job losses will continue into next year it was one of his most difficult decisions he has had to make.

“Two weeks ago, Beth shared that S-team and I decided to pause new incremental hires in our corporate workforce,” he wrote. “Today, I want to share some information about role eliminations.”

“Yesterday, we communicated the difficult decision to eliminate a number of positions across our Devices and Books businesses, and also announced a voluntary reduction offer for some employees in our People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) organisation,” he wrote. “Our annual planning process extends into the new year, which means there will be more role reductions as leaders continue to make adjustments.”

Uncertain numbers

And Jassy then warned the job losses will continue into 2023, and the exact number is still to be determined.

“Those decisions will be shared with impacted employees and organisations early in 2023,” he wrote. “We haven’t concluded yet exactly how many other roles will be impacted (we know that there will be reductions in our Stores and PXT organizations), but each leader will communicate to their respective teams when we have the details nailed down.”

Jassy then admitted how difficult this decision has been.

“I’ve been in this role now for about a year and a half, and without a doubt, this is the most difficult decision we’ve made during that time (and, we’ve had to make some very tough calls over the past couple of years, particularly during the heart of the pandemic),” Jassy wrote. “It’s not lost on me or any of the leaders who make these decisions that these aren’t just roles we’re eliminating, but rather, people with emotions, ambitions, and responsibilities whose lives will be impacted.”

Amazon’s retail (consumer) sales had surged during the Covid-19 pandemic, as consumers stayed at home and avoided physical shops, and turned to online retailers.

But by early 2022, e-commerce spending began to decelerate, and Amazon in the first quarter reported its slowest rate of revenue growth since the dot-com bust in 2001.

It also posted its first quarterly net loss since 2015.

And things did not get much better in the second quarter.

In July Amazon posted its second straight quarterly loss after a $3.9 billion write down of its investment in Rivian Automotive.