Firm lays off some workers in promoting
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy speaks at the Bloomberg Technology Summit in San Francisco on June 8, 2022.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Amazon On Tuesday, it began laying off some employees in its advertisement as part of CEO Andy Jassy’s efforts to contain costs, the company confirmed.
Paul Kotas, Amazon’s senior vice president of advertising, IMDb and Grand Challenge, sent a note to employees to inform them of the layoffs, according to a copy of the memo shared by an Amazon spokesman.
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“As Andy shared a few weeks ago, throughout the 2023 planning process, we have diligently prioritized resources to maximize benefit to customers and the long-term health of our business,” Kotas wrote. “For Ads, this process included reallocating resources through changing team members, slowing down or shutting down certain programs, or concluding we didn’t have the right skillset to address our priorities. As a result, we’ve made carefully considered decisions about how best to move forward, resulting in a small percentage of our organization eliminating roles.”
It’s unclear how many people go through the advertising unit. Jassy announced last month that Amazon would lay off 9,000 employees, in addition to the 18,000 cuts previously announced last November and January. The previous cuts were primarily focused on retail, equipment, recruiting, and human resources departments.
In March, Jassy said the latest round would affect employees in Amazon’s advertising, cloud computing, Twitch live streaming and human resources departments. Around 100 employees at Amazon’s video game business were also laid off earlier this month.
Amazon is experiencing its biggest layoffs in its 29-year history after having a hiring frenzy during the Covid pandemic. The company’s global workforce grew to more than 1.6 million by the end of 2021, up from 798,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Jassy also takes a broad look at the company’s spending as it anticipates an economic downturn and slowing growth at its core retail business. Amazon froze hiring of its corporate workforce, canceled some experimental projects, and slowed warehouse expansion.
By announcing layoffs at ads and Amazon Web Services, Jassy has shown that two of Amazon’s largest and most profitable companies aren’t immune to the cost-cutting.
Here is Kotas’ full memo:
I want to let you know that this morning we took the difficult step of notifying Amazon Ads team members who have been impacted by role cuts in the US and Canada. In other regions, we follow local policies that require additional time and procedural steps, including consultation with employee representatives. We will communicate with impacted employees in other regions in accordance with these policies and timelines. We recognize that this message is important to all of our team members, so we want to provide you with additional context on both the decision to eliminate roles and how we are supporting our impacted colleagues.
As Andy shared a few weeks ago, throughout the planning process for 2023, we have diligently prioritized resources to maximize customer benefit and the long-term health of our business. For Ads, this process included reallocating resources through changing team members, slowing down or shutting down certain programs, or concluding that we didn’t have the right skillset to address our priorities. As a result, we made well-considered decisions about how best to move forward, resulting in a small percentage of our organization eliminating roles.
Importantly, I would like to acknowledge and thank our affected colleagues for the work they have done on behalf of Amazon Ads clients. Our immediate focus is to support our team members through this difficult transition and to that end, employees whose roles have been eliminated will have an in-person follow-up meeting with a leader of their team to outline the next steps. Those affected will receive full pay and benefits for the next 60 days (90 days if located in New York and New Jersey), as well as an additional severance package and outplacement support to help them fulfill their next role outside of Amazon find.
Looking ahead, I remain very optimistic about the opportunities ahead, even in an uncertain economic environment. We have built a strong foundation and personally I am very excited about the invention and building that is happening across our organisation. I also want to thank each of you for showing empathy and support for one another during this time. If you have any questions, please contact your team leaders or MyHR.
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