Amazon employees are ranked from Level 1 to Level 7. As a result, employees at all levels will be affected. The New York Times first reported in mid-November that Amazon would implement mass layoffs, citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter that 10,000 people would be laid off.
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However, company managers have been told for the past few days to try to identify performance problems among employees as part of an effort to lay off about 20,000 people. Twenty thousand employees equates to about 6% of the corporate workforce. Also, about 1.3% of Amazon’s total workforce of 1.5 million includes global distribution center and hourly workers.
Corporate employees are told they will be given 24 hours’ notice and severance pay as per their company contracts. “There is a sense of dread among employees at the company as the news has come out,” said one person briefed on the layoff effort. The layoffs are the largest layoffs in the company’s history.
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“No specific department or location has been identified for the layoff; it is across the business. We have been informed that this is a result of over-hiring during the pandemic and the need to cut costs as the company’s finances are falling,” the source said.
Following the New York Times comment, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy confirmed the layoffs in a public message to employees on November 17. However, he did not specify the number of employees to be laid off.
“Our annual planning process extends into the new year, which means there will be more stock reductions as leaders continue to make changes. Those results will be shared with affected employees and organizations in early 2023,” Jassi said. No official information about the layoff has been released.