Amazon Web Services Lays Off Hundreds Of Staff

Amazon continues to reduce its workforce as it seeks to cut operational costs, amid tightening household and organisational budgets.

According to Geekwire, Amazon Web Services will cut several hundred jobs in its Sales, Marketing, and Global Services organisation, as well as a few hundred jobs on its Physical Stores Technology team.

According to the Geekwire report, executives at the tech giant’s cloud computing division had informed employees Wednesday morning in internal emails.

Job losses

In the Sales, Marketing, and Global Services organisation, most of the cuts are reportedly in training and certification, and sales operations. AWS said it is shifting its focus to self-serve digital training and training programs run by external partners.

“We do not take these decisions lightly, and I know change can be difficult,” Matt Garman, AWS senior vice president was quoted by Geekwire as writing in an email. “We operate in an incredibly fast-moving industry, and it is important that we stay agile as an organisation.”

“The changes we are making are preparing the organisation for the future, aligning with our strategy and priorities, and reducing duplication and inefficiency,” he reportedly added. “I recognise the effect this has on every individual impacted.”

Meanwhile the AWS team that develops technology for Amazon’s physical retail stores, the cuts come amid reports that Amazon is shifting away from its “Just Walk Out” technology in its larger Amazon Fresh grocery stores.

The layoffs will impact a portion of the AWS identity and checkout teams within the Physical Stores Technology organization, Dilip Kumar, VP of AWS applications, reportedly wrote in a separate message to employees.

Amazon directly confirmed the job losses to Geekwire in a statement.

A spokesperson reportedly said that AWS “identified a few targeted areas of the organisation we need to streamline in order to continue focusing our efforts on the key strategic areas that we believe will deliver maximum impact.”

The company is “committed to supporting the employees throughout their transition to new roles in and outside of Amazon,” the spokesperson reportedly stated, adding that the decisions “are difficult but necessary as we continue to invest, hire, and optimize resources to deliver innovation for our customers.”

Other layoffs

Amazon has been aggressively cut jobs over the past couple of years, after a hiring boom during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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.

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

In January 2024, 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 earlier this year 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.

In February 2024 Amazon confirmed it was cutting “a few hundred roles” at its health focused units, namely the One Medical and Pharmacy divisions. It came after a small number of staff had been let go at Amazon’s Pharmacy unit last July.

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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