Amazon plans to fire hundreds of corporate employees in Seattle in a move that is quite unusual for the e-commerce giant, according to Settle Times. The layoffs come after nearly a decade of hires which pushed the number of Amazon’s workforce from 5,000 to 40,000 at its headquarters in eight years.
On the other hand, Amazon found that it has hired too many people in the last couple of years, which led to some departments having too many workers and demanding large budgets.
Since the start of the year, the retailer entered a hiring freeze, slashing the number of open positions from 3,500 to nearly a half.
The decision will impact corporate jobs at its Seattle-based HQ, but some retail subsidies will be also affected. Amazon likely eyes some savings in a bid to consolidate its business, analysts believe.
An Unusual Move
Laying off hundreds of people at a firm that has tens of thousands workers is not unheard of, but laying off workers when business is at its peak is indeed unusual. Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is known for his policies to get the most out of each employee while doing this in the most cost-effective way.
Other tech giants have already trimmed their workforce. For example, Microsoft cut thousands of positions in 2017, but most of those workers worked overseas.
Amazon’s business is booming. Last year, it raised its international workforce by 66%, and it is now employing half a million people worldwide. Experts don’t expect the company to scale back its hiring practices. The company currently seeks 4,000 more employees in Seattle alone.
Amazon couldn’t be reached for comment. A spokesperson told the newspaper that first broke the news that the decision is just a “head count adjustment” which will be paired with aggressive hiring for other positions.
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