Amazon to lay off 9,000 more workers

The latest round is expected to impact Amazon’s cloud computing, advertising, human resources and Twitch units.

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The article has been updated with Jassy’s full memo, including this excerpt:

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Been a fair amount of coverage this morning.

Not surprising that Big Tech has failed to manage its human beings, productivity and growth of costs in both its successful and unsuccessful ventures.

So far, I have seen none of the tech employee cuts which appear to have affected the delivery of services to these companies.

Some even appear to be stronger.

The news on Twitter’s advertising performance, increased ads that actually make sales for advertisers is heartening, and may represent a change which could benefit ecomm merchants.

I feel sad for the laid off employees and hope they have savings and marketable skills. As an old curmudgeon, I doubt they have either.

I feel great respect for Jassy for trying to manage a company Bezos did not bother to manage.

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I’m reserving judgement until we see org structure improvements that directly translate into my personal experience as a Seller improving in some way.

So basically until forever???

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In December 2022 Amazon had approximately 1,541,000 global employees. Of which roughly 1.1 million were domestic US employees. So 27,000 since the first of the year is only, what 2.5% of US workers? As Amazon doubled their workforce during the pandemic, I’m surprised that the reductions announced have been so small. I’d have expected 10% to 18% reduction like we have seen at Salesforce (10%), General Motors (15%), Meta (13%), Yahoo (20%), and Impossible Foods (20%).

eBay has laid off a larger percentage (4%) of their workforce than Amazon. But nothing close to Twitter (50%, 70% since taken private in October), that would be a very bad sign!

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I suspect some “reductions” have been cloaked by internal moves to new initiatives or consolidations rather than eliminations. From Jassy’s memo:

As our internal businesses evaluated what customers most care about, they made re-prioritization decisions that sometimes led to role reductions, sometimes led to moving people from one initiative to another, and sometimes led to new openings where we don’t have the right skills match from our existing team members.

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Of course, good managers always move valuable younger employees to other departments and divisions, as favors to other managers and as rewards to the employees. Older employees get buyouts. Disliked, poor, and unmemorable employees are always the ones to ‘get pink slips in their lockers.’

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Translation: We are still heavily siloed and one department has no idea what any other department may be working on thus duplicating a small problem into a giant problem. Oh well, Happy Motoring!

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And then there is Amazon’s incredible turnover rate which allows them to contract without telling anyone about it.

From what I understand this turnover rate extends well beyond warehousing / logistics.

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