Ama­zon is lay­ing off hun­dreds of work­ers

Re­tail to see cut­backs while jobs will be added in en­ter­tain­ment, busi­ness ser­vices

The Mercury News - - Business + Technology - By Abha Bhat­tarai The Wash­ing­ton Post

Ama­zon is lay­ing off hun­dreds of work­ers in its Seat­tle head­quar­ters and be­yond, re­vers­ing a years-long trend of break­neck hir­ing and ex­pan­sion, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the com­pany’s de­ci­sion.

The on­line gi­ant, which last year added nearly 130,000 em­ploy­ees glob­ally, will cut “a few hun­dred” po­si­tions in its Seat­tle head­quar­ters, as well as hun­dreds more glob­ally, the per­son said. Lay­offs be­gan a few weeks ago, and they are part of a strat­egy to trim parts of the ex­ist­ing re­tail busi­ness in fa­vor of adding jobs to sup­port rapid­ly­grow­ing ar­eas, such as its Ama­zon Echo de­vices, dig­i­tal en­ter­tain­ment and video, and the com­pany’s Ama­zon Web Ser­vices cloud busi­ness, said the per­son, who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity to dis­cuss in­ter­nal plans. The Seat­tle Times orig­i­nally re­ported the news Mon­day.

“As part of our an­nual plan­ning process, we are mak­ing head count ad­just­ments across the com­pany — small re­duc­tions in a cou­ple of places and ag­gres­sive hir­ing in many oth­ers,” an Ama­zon spokesper­son said in an email. “For af­fected em­ploy­ees, we work to find roles in the ar­eas where we are hir­ing.” (Jeff Be­zos, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of

“As part of our an­nual plan­ning process, we are mak­ing head count ad­just­ments across the com­pany — small re­duc­tions in a cou­ple of places and ag­gres­sive hir­ing in many oth­ers.” — Ama­zon spokesper­son

Ama­zon, also owns The Wash­ing­ton Post.)

As one of the coun­try’s largest pri­vate em­ploy­ers,

Ama­zon has been hir­ing ag­gres­sively in re­cent years. Last year, the com­pany an­nounced plans to hire 50,000 ware­house work­ers, stag­ing a one-day blitz dubbed “Ama­zon jobs day.” The com­pany is also cur­rently scout­ing sites

for a sec­ond North Amer­i­can head­quar­ters, where it plans to em­ploy as many as 50,000 full-time work­ers, many of them in high-pay­ing of­fice jobs. Those plans will not be af­fected by the lat­est lay­offs, ac­cord­ing to the per­son.

The on­line gi­ant re­ported its high­est quar­terly prof­its in com­pany his­tory this month, with $1.9 bil­lion in prof­its on sales of $60.5 bil­lion. It ended the year with 566,000 em­ploy­ees glob­ally, up 66 per­cent from a year ear­lier.

JA­SON RED­MOND — AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Ama­zon’s lay­offs, which be­gan sev­eral weeks ago, will af­fect po­si­tions at its Seat­tle head­quar­ters and other fa­cil­i­ties across the globe.

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