Amazon announces layoffs that will affect hundreds of employees

BY KAT SHEPHERD / FEBRUARY 12, 2018 /

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CNBC is reporting that the e-commerce retail giant Amazon is planning to lay off hundreds of employees, as they shift focus to businesses that are “growing” and consolidate its retail operations.

Amazon is apparently laying off employees in the “low hundreds” while “managing out” others.

CNBC reports: A person familiar with the matter says the cuts are focused on Amazon’s Seattle headquarters and will affect some workers globally. The layoffs will occur in the consumer retail business, which includes Amazon’s toys, books and groceries units, to make room for head count in businesses that are growing, like Alexa, AWS and digital entertainment. Jeff Bezos, in a statement in the last earnings report, said Amazon would “double down” on Alexa after blowing past projections.

“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 told CNBC. “For affected employees, we work to find roles in the areas where we are hiring.”

The layoffs follow a rumored hiring freeze put in place late last year. In December, it was reported that Amazon was sharply cutting down on hiring, the first sign of a slowdown in its rapid expansion over the past few years. Amazon also had the smallest number of open positionsfrom August to December of last year, making it the slowest hiring four-month period for Amazon in King County.

Amazon is currently trying to nail down the location of its second headquarters, seeking opportunities in multiple states to find the perfect spot. They’ve received offers from 238 bidders in 54 different regions. Only 20 possible sites are still under consideration.

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