From The Seattle Times:
Amazon is laying off hundreds of corporate employees, a rare cutback for a company that has spent most of the last few years in a frantic growth spurt.
The layoffs, underway now, will fall on several hundred employees at the online retailer’s Seattle headquarters, along with hundreds more elsewhere in Amazon’s global operations, one person familiar with the cuts said. The layoffs are primarily focused on Amazon’s consumer retail businesses, according to two people familiar with the matter.
A few hundred layoffs are modest for a company that is now the second-largest U.S.-based corporate employer, and pales in comparison to adjustments in recent years that saw Microsoft and Boeing eliminate thousands of jobs in a single cutting drive.
But at Amazon, a company with a wide range of growing businesses that prides itself on frugality and efficient allocation of resources, broad layoffs of any kind are rare.
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According to several employees, the rapid growth of the last two years left some units over budget and some teams with too much staff for their work. Amazon had implemented hiring freezes in recent months across several groups, a move that reduced the company’s open job listings in Seattle to their lowest level in years.
In a statement, Amazon acknowledged the cuts.
“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,” a spokesman said. “For affected employees, we work to find roles in the areas where we are hiring.”
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Self-publishing unit Createspace is conducting its second round of layoffs in two years, cuts that eliminated 200 jobs from the South Carolina-based Amazon subsidiary.
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Counting only corporate roles outside of Amazon’s warehouses, the company had 12,500 open jobs on Monday.
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The company has also recently instituted a mandate that managers who oversee other supervisors must have at least four people reporting to them. The aim, the company says, is to reduce layers of redundant management and keep the company flexible and fast-moving.
“Amazon has a problem right now with overpopulation,” said one engineer at the company.
Link to the rest at The Seattle Times