Amazon lays off some devices employees: Read the memo

David Limp, senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon.com Inc., introduces the Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker during an unveiling event at Spheres headquarters in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Thursday September 20, 2018.

Andrew Burton | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon lays off some employees of its Devices and Services unit, Materials Manager Dave Limp written in a note to workers on Wednesday.

The online retailer is consolidating certain teams and programs in its devices and services unit after “a series of in-depth reviews” of the business, Limp wrote. Amazon began notifying affected employees yesterday, he added.

“One of the consequences of these decisions is that certain roles will no longer be needed,” Limp said. “It pains me to have to break this news, as we know we are going to lose talented Amazons from the Devices & Services organization.”

The job cuts are part of broader layoffs hitting Amazon as it watches a deteriorating economic outlook. Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told CNBC in a statement that multiple teams are making adjustments, which means “some roles are no longer needed.”

“We do not make these decisions lightly and we are working to support all employees who may be affected,” Nantel said.

The New York Times reported on Monday that Amazon was aiming to cut up to 10,000 jobs from the company, with its devices, retail and human resources divisions mostly hit by the layoffs. The expected layoffs would represent the largest workforce reductions in its 28-year history.

The number of layoffs remains fluid as decisions are made on a company-by-company basis, according to a person familiar with the matter. Although job cuts could total 10,000 people, there is no specific target for total job cuts, the person said.

CNBC previously reported the company began notifying employees on Tuesday that they were being laid off. Members of Amazon’s Luna and Alexa cloud gaming teams were among those fired. The company also laid off contract workers during recruitment.

The job cuts are a sharp reversal for Amazon, which less than a year ago couldn’t find enough workers to staff its warehouses and went on a hiring spree fueled by the pandemic. It almost doubled its workforce between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021, growing from 798,000 employees worldwide to 1.6 million.

Here’s Limp’s full memo:

People,

At our last town hall meeting in July, I spoke a bit about the state of our economy. As you know, we continue to face an unusual and uncertain macroeconomic environment. In light of this, we have been working over the past few months to prioritize what matters most to our customers and the business. After a series of in-depth reviews, we recently decided to consolidate some teams and programs. One of the consequences of these decisions is that certain roles will no longer be necessary. It pains me to have to break this news, as we know we will lose talented Amazons from the Devices & Services organization as a result. I’m incredibly proud of the team we’ve built and seeing even a valued team member leave is never an outcome any of us want.

We notified affected employees yesterday and will continue to work closely with everyone to provide support, including helping to find new roles. In cases where employees cannot find a new position within the company, we will support the transition with a package including severance pay, transition allowances and external job placement assistance. We know people across the organization may be impacted differently by this news and we will lead with compassion for all team members.

While I know this news is hard to digest, I want to emphasize that the Devices & Services organization remains an important area of ​​investment for Amazon, and we will continue to invent on behalf of our customers. Having been through times like this in the past, I know that when the economy is tough, customers tend to turn to the companies and products they believe provide the best customer experience and take the best care of them. Historically, Amazon has done a very good job in this area.

Thank you for the support and empathy that I know our team will show during this time. Feel free to contact me or ping your manager if you have any questions.

Dave-

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