Monday, March 4, 2024

Tech jobs cull continues as Amazon axes another 9,000 staff 

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Tech cull continues as Amazon axes another 9,000 jobs – having laid-off 18,000 just two months ago

Amazon is axing another 9,000 jobs on top of the 18,000 staff it laid off just two months ago.

It takes the number of job losses in the tech sector to more than 300,000 since the start of last year. 

Amazon chief executive Andy Jassy told staff: ‘This was a difficult decision, but one that we think is best for the company long term.’

Rich list: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with his partner Lauren Sanchez. The tech goant is axing another 9,000 jobs on top of the 18,000 staff it laid off just two months ago

The announcement came days after Facebook owner Meta said it would axe a further 10,000 jobs on top of the 11,000 it cut last October.

Tech companies are cutting costs, having expanded rapidly during the pandemic.

Amazon’s first round of job cuts hit the company’s brick-and-mortar business arms, such as Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go, and other innovative departments such as the one that runs the virtual assistant Alexa.

The latest round includes more profitable areas of the company including its cloud computing unit AWS and its burgeoning advertising business. 

Jassy, who took over from founder Jeff Bezos in 2021, said the plans were rooted in building a ‘leaner’ business – echoing Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions for 2023 to be the ‘year of efficiency’.

Amazon grew dramatically during the pandemic, cashing in on the online shopping boom. 

But the firm has suffered as the world opened back up and the appetite for tech stocks dwindled. Amazon shares are down nearly 40 per cent in the past year, falling far below their 2021 heights.

The news sparks fears over jobs in the UK where around 70,000 of Amazon’s 1.5m global workforce are based.

Workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Coventry staged a five-day strike earlier this month, calling for better pay. GMB members had previously walked out on February 28 and March 2. 

The union estimates the industrial action will cost Amazon more than £2million.

Dan Ives, tech analyst at Wedbush, said it is unsurprising that cost cutting is the main aim for tech firms after an era of intense spending during the pandemic.

Microsoft, Google parent Alphabet, Twitter and Spotify have all said they will be slimming teams in the coming months. 

According to job tracker site Layoffs.fyi, more than 139,000 have been laid off since the start of 2023, adding to the 161,411 laid off in 2022.

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