Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon.Com Inc., during the GeekWire Summit in Seattle, Washington, USA. U.S., on Tuesday, October. 5, 2021.
David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Amazon plans to lay off roughly 10,000 employees in corporate and technology roles starting this week, according to a report in The New York Times.
Amazon shares fell 2.5% on Monday.
The cuts would be the largest in the company’s history and would primarily affect Amazon’s devices organization, retail division and human resources, according to the report. The reported layoffs would represent less than 1% of Amazon’s global workforce and 3% of its corporate employees.
The report follows staff cuts at other tech companies. Meta announced last week that it will lay off more than 13% of its staff, or more than 11,000 employees, and Twitter has laid off roughly half of its workforce in the days following Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of the company .
Amazon reported 798,000 employees at the end of 2019, but had 1.6 million full- and part-time employees as of December. 31, 2021, an increase of 102%. The New York Times said the total number of layoffs “remains fluid” and could change.
An Amazon representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The holiday shopping season is a critical one for Amazon, and typically one where the company has increased its staff to meet demand. But Andy Jassy, who took over as CEO in July 2021, has been in cost-cutting mode to preserve cash as the company faces slowing sales and a bleak global economy.
The company has already announced plans to freeze hiring for corporate roles in its retail business. In recent months, Amazon has shuttered its telehealth service, discontinued a quirky video-call projector for kids, closed all but one of its US call centers, scrapped its roving delivery robot, shuttered underperforming brick-and-mortar chains and is to close , canceling or delaying some new warehouse locations.
Amazon reported disappointing third-quarter earnings in October that spooked investors and sent shares tumbling more than 13%. It was the first time Amazon’s market cap fell below $1 trillion since April 2020, and the report marked the second time this year that Amazon’s results were enough to trigger a double-digit percentage sale. The sell-off continued for days after the report and erased nearly all of the pandemic rally in stocks.
Amazon shares are down 41% for the year, more than the S&P 500’s 14% drop, and are on track for their worst year since 2008.
— CNBC’s Annie Palmer contributed to this report.