The CEO said the announcement was brought forward as a staff member leaked the information, and impacted staff will be spoken to later this month.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has confirmed the company plans to sack more than 18,000 of its global workforce, a steep increase from the target of 10,000 reported last year.
The majority of the jobs to be cut are in the company’s retail and PTX (people, experience and technology) divisions. The total figure includes reductions that the company already made in November.
Amazon employs about 5,000 people in Ireland and more than 1.5m people globally. It is unclear how many Irish jobs could be cut.
Most of the job cuts in November were in Amazon’s devices and books divisions, along with some voluntary reductions in PTX.
Jassy said the latest announcement was brought forward as “one of our teammates leaked this information externally”. The CEO said impacted employees will receive communications on 18 January.
“S-team [Amazon’s senior leadership team] and I are deeply aware that these role eliminations are difficult for people, and we don’t take these decisions lightly or underestimate how much they might affect the lives of those who are impacted,” Jassy said.
“We are working to support those who are affected and are providing packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits and external job placement support.”
Jassy said the company’s review of the year ahead has been “more difficult” due to an uncertain economy and the fact Amazon has “hired rapidly over the last several years”.
The CEO said the job cuts will help Amazon pursue long-term opportunities with a “stronger cost structure”.
“I’m also optimistic that we’ll be inventive, resourceful and scrappy in this time when we’re not hiring expansively and eliminating some roles,” Jassy said.
A large number of tech companies have announced layoffs in recent months, as the sector reacts to a looming recession and issues in the global economy.
Yesterday (4 January), it was reported that Salesforce plans to cut around 10pc of its total global workforce. It will also close some of its offices around the world as part of its cutback plans.
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