Amazon axes hundreds of staff in rare retreat

Amazon axes hundreds of staff in rare retreat

Amazon has confirmed the layoffs to the Seattle Times and several employees have reportedly already been notified of the job cuts.

Amazon.com Inc is cutting hundreds of jobs at its headquarters in Seattle, paring back older departments focused on selling goods online while hiring in newer lines of business like cloud computing and its Alexa platform.

Seattle head count jumped in 2010 to over 40,000 people from 5,000 in 2010. Their global workforce has increased 66 percent since previous year. The company's layoffs are the result of rapid growth in the last two years, which left too much staff in some teams and over budget in some units.

"With 300,000 USA employees, you would have to wonder what kind of organization Amazon is if some of those employees were not pared out occasionally", he told Retail Dive in an email, noting that the company continues to "hire at a brisk pace" and lease new office space.

Amazon is the second-largest USA -based corporate employer.

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In a statement to The Seattle Times, Amazon acknowledged the cuts. In Las Vegas, Amazon-owned footwear seller Zappos has laid off about 30 people. It now has 4,000 positions open in Seattle and 12,000 globally, all of which are corporate jobs and not in its warehouses or fulfillment centers.

Though an exact number of layoffs was not disclosed, a person familiar with the matter told the Times that the number will be "several hundreds".

Shares of the online retailer were up 3.6 percent on Monday afternoon. Along with the cuts, Amazon has now mandated that employees who are responsible for other supervisors, must also have four employees reporting to them.

Earlier in February, chief executive Jeff Bezos said that the company's 2017 projections for Alexa were "very optimistic" and that the company had "far exceeded them". Additionally, hundreds more could possibly be reassigned within the company. For instance, Microsoft had to lay off thousands of employees starting late past year - though most of those employees affected were outside of the United States.

Amazon says improvement plans are not used to achieve job cuts. It has also been said that the process would be completed in the next few weeks.

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