Amazon Cuts Hundreds Of Jobs In Health Units

Cost cutting continues at e-commerce giant Amazon, with more divisions being impacted by job losses in early 2024.

Amazon confirmed to CNBC that it is cutting “a few hundred roles” at its health focused units, namely the One Medical and Pharmacy divisions. It comes after a small number of staff were let go in Amazon’s Pharmacy unit last July.

CEO Andy Jassy has been aggressively cutting jobs so far in 2024, on top of the many thousands of jobs that were lost at the e-commerce giant in 2023.

Amazon chief executive Andy Jassy. Image credit: Amazon

Job losses

CNBC cited a memo from Neil Lindsay, who leads Amazon Health Services, which confirmed the latest job cuts.

“As we continue to make it easier for people to get and stay healthy, we have identified areas where we can reposition resources so we can invest in invention and experiences that have a direct impact on our customers and members of all ages,” Lindsay is quoted as writing in the memo to employees on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, these changes will result in the elimination of a few hundred roles across One Medical and Amazon Pharmacy.”

“We are aware these role eliminations are difficult for those impacted, as well as those who have worked alongside them,” Lindsay wrote. “We will support those who are affected with financial support, benefit continuation, and career assistance to aid in their transition, as well as the opportunity to apply for new roles in the organisation.”

Lindsay mentioned that Amazon would “typically wait to communicate about these outcomes until we can speak with the people who are directly impacted. However, because one of our teammates leaked this information externally, I wanted you to hear the details directly from me. This is not ideal, and I am sorry if you heard about this externally first.”

Lindsay wrote that impacted staff would be notified on Wednesday.

Healthcare market

Amazon has been making a notable move into the healthcare market for a number of years now, most recently with its virtual Amazon Clinic service.

Actually Amazon has been involved in the healthcare sector for more than 20 years, as it was a major investor in Drugstore.com, a start-up that launched in 1999 and was acquired by US pharmacy chain Walgreens in 2011.

More recently Amazon bought prescription delivery firm PillPack in 2018, before launching its own Amazon Pharmacy subsidiary in 2020.

The Amazon Pharmacy allows customers to get their medication delivered to their door conveniently – in just two days for Prime Members.

Then in July 2002 Amazon announced it would acquire San Francisco healthcare provider One Medical for $3.9 billion.

It closed the acquisition of One Medical in February 2023.

Previous job losses

Despite growing its healthcare focus, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has been aggressively slashing costs since 2023.

At the start of 2023 Amazon began culling its principle workforce, and in a series of redundancies, axed more than 27,000 jobs in total, after a heavy hiring period during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Then in November 2023 Amazon cut “several hundred” jobs at its Alexa voice assistant division, and in early 2024 the job losses have continued.

Last month Amazon-owned game streaming service Twitch said it was cutting as many as 500 staff, or approximately 35 percent of the workforce, on top of two rounds of layoffs at the unit back in 2023.

Shortly after that it emerged that Amazon was also laying off several hundred employees in its streaming (Prime Video) and studio operations (Amazon MGM Studios), as well as 5 percent of its workforce of Audible (Amazon’s audiobook and podcast division).

Amazon also said last month that it was cutting 5 percent of staff at its ‘Buy with Prime’ unit.

The Buy with Prime division provides retailers (who are not Amazon merchants) with fulfillment and delivery services via Amazon’s vast logistics network.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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