Amazon on Wednesday will begin a fresh round of job cuts in what’s expected to become the largest workforce cuts in its 28-year history.
Earlier this month, CEO Andy Jassy said the layoffs would affect more than 18,000 employees, primarily in its human resources and stores divisions. It comes after Amazon said in November it was looking to cut staff, including in its devices and recruiting organizations. CNBC reported at the time that the company was looking to lay off about 10,000 employees.
Amazon is trimming its headcount after it went on a hiring spree during the Covid-19 pandemic. The company’s global workforce swelled to more than 1.6 million by the end of 2021, up from 798,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The company is also confronting slowing sales growth, rising expenses and a worsening economic outlook. In addition to the layoffs, Amazon has implemented a hiring freeze across its corporate workforce, slowed its warehouse expansion, and shuttered some experimental projects, including its telehealth service and a quirky, video-calling projector for kids.
Amazon isn’t the only tech company making cuts to its workforce. Companies from Salesforce to Meta and Twitter have made sweeping reductions to their headcount amid a deepening economic downturn.