Amazon workers describe 'chaos' as 10,000 are told they'll lose jobs

Blindsided Amazon workers describe ‘chaos’ as 10,000 are told they’ll lose their jobs during scripted meeting: Workers offered buyouts to walk away and three months severance plus one week’s pay for every six months of tenure

  • Amazon employees worried about their jobs over reported layoffs looming, were axed two days later in a 15-minute, scripted meeting
  • Many of those who got the boot were members of the Alexa voice assistant division, with boss Dave Limp confirming it after two days of silence 
  • Those employees have since flooded LinkedIn looking for new opportunities, with many needing a tech job to keep their visas 
  • The company allegedly offered buyouts to the employees to voluntarily walk away by offering three months severance
  • The workers were also reportedly offered an additional one week of salary for every six months of tenure at the company

Amazon workers were left in chaos after they learned they were the first of the expected 10,000 to be laid off in a 15-minute meeting with executives. 

News of the coming layoffs broke on Monday, with employees getting a calendar invitation to the quick, scripted meeting with executives on Tuesday, specifically members of the Alexa voice assistant division. 

The company allegedly offered buyouts to the employees to voluntarily walk away by offering three months severance pay plus one week of salary for every six months of tenure at the company, Vox reported.     

Amazon Executive Dave Limp, who oversees the Alexa departments, finally broke the news to workers by Wednesday, and those employees have since flooded LinkedIn looking for new opportunities. 

‘Today, I found out that I’ve been laid off,’ Raj Kansagra, a software engineer said. ‘I’m joining many others who are experiencing the feelings that come with losing your dream job.’ 

Many begging for help on LinkedIn also noted that they had limited visas and were desperate to look for a new job to help them stay in the US 

Amazon Executive Dave Limp (above), who oversees the Alexa departments, informed employees on Wednesday that the reported layoffs were indeed coming. Executives reportedly axed the workers in a 15-minute, scripted meeting 

Many of the laid off workers went to LinkedIn to announce they had lost their ‘dream job’ 

The company allegedly offered buyouts to the employees to voluntarily walk away by offering three months severance pay plus one week of salary for every six months of tenure at the company. It is still unknown which employees will get the boot next as layoffs continue 

It took 48 hours since the initial report of the layoffs for executives to confirm that they were in fact coming as employees got the axe. 

In a message to workers on Wednesday, Limp wrote: ‘After a deep set of reviews, we recently decided to consolidate some teams and programs.

‘One of the consequences of these decisions is that some roles will no longer be required. It pains me to have to deliver this news as we know we will lose talented Amazonians from the Devices & Services org as a result.’ 

It is not currently known how many employees have gotten the axe so far.  

An Amazon senior manager, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, condemned the way the company laid off his colleges. 

‘This is a horrendous way to treat people,’ the manager told Vox. ‘I don’t even know if I want to work for this company any more.’ 

While many of the laid off employees maintained a professional appearance on LinkedIn, the business-centered social media site, several expressed their distress at losing their job, which allowed them to stay in the US.

Zukeun Cao, who was only just hired in March, was on such employee living in Seattle on STEM OPT, a 24-month visa for students working or studying in STEM fields that can be extended for three years after graduation. 

‘It is still hard to digest the fact that I was amongst the employees affected due to layoffs at Alexa AI,’ Cao wrote. ‘It’s unfortunate and heartbreaking to learn this before the holiday. For all impacted 10,000+ Ex-Amazonian, all the best to us!’ 

Many former Amazon employees asked for help on LinkedIn as they noted that they had limited visas and were desperate to look for a new job to help them stay in the US

Following Limp’s message to workers, Amazon released a public statement confirming the new layoffs. 

‘As part of our annual operating planning review process, we always look at each of our businesses and what we believe we should change,’ the statement read. ‘As we’ve gone through this, given the current macro-economic environment (as well as several years of rapid hiring), some teams are making adjustments, which in some cases means certain roles are no longer necessary. 

‘We don’t take these decisions lightly, and we are working to support any employees who may be affected.’ 

According to the New York Times, the online retailer plans to layoff 10,000 people in corporate and technology jobs in what would be the largest job cuts in the company’s history. 

For Amazon, the cuts will focus primarily on the company’s devices, including voice-assistant Alexa, sources familiar with the discussions said, as well as its retail division and human resources. 

If the company goes through with its proposal to cut 10,000 jobs, it would lose about 3 percent of Amazon’s corporate employees — though the cuts would only represent less than 1 percent of its global workforce of more than 1.5 million, which primarily comprises hourly workers. 

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy was said to be considering laying off 10,000 employees as of Monday. The company was criticized for not speaking to workers until Wednesday 

The company was trading at $95.77, down 46 percent from the same time last year.

The proposed layoffs mark a dramatic turn of events for Amazon, which had seen its most profitable era during the COVID pandemic when people throughout the world were forced to stay at home.

It doubled its workforce over the course of just two years, and funneled its massive earnings into new projects.

And in an effort to hire even more employees earlier this year, Amazon more than doubled its cap on cash compensation for tech workers, citing ‘a particularly competitive labor market.’

But in its quarterly earnings report at the end of September, executives warned investors that its growth may weaken — possibly to the lowest point since 2001 — amid record high inflation.

Then, just last week, the Times reports, Amazon executives met with institutional investors as its stock sank to its lowest level since the early days of the pandemic, costing the company $1trillion.

As of Thursday afternoon, the company was trading at $95.77, down 46 percent from the same time last year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told CBS Mornings on Monday he plans to freeze hiring

https://youtube.com/watch?v=ygoHUJj1MOE%3Frel%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26hl%3Den-US

On Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook also told CBS Mornings that it is slowing some hiring as well.

‘What we’re doing as a consequence of being in this period, is we’re being very deliberate in our hiring,’ he said. ‘That means we’re continuing to hire, but not everywhere in the company are we hiring.’

At the same time, though, Cook said ‘we don’t believe you can save your way to prosperity.”

‘We think you invest your way to it,’ he said.

Tech job cuts – including mass layoffs at Meta and Twitter – are accelerating

In recent weeks, a slew of tech companies have announced cost-cutting measures, with Amazon, Apple and Google-parent Alphabet all announcing hiring slowdowns or freezes.

For the tech sector, the pandemic boom has turned to a post-pandemic bust, as rising interest rates batter share prices and inflation cuts into profits.

The sector shed 9,587 jobs in October, the highest monthly total since November 2020, according to data from consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas cited by Bloomberg. 

Total job cuts announced by US-based employers jumped 13 percent to 33,843 in October, the highest since February 2021, a report said. 

Meta

The Facebook-parent said in November it would cut 13 percent of its workforce, or more than 11,000 employees, in one of the biggest tech layoffs this year as it grapples with a weak advertising market and mounting costs.

Meta said it would cut 13 percent of its workforce, or more than 11,000 employees, in one of the biggest tech layoffs this year

Like its peers, Meta aggressively hired during the pandemic to meet a surge in social media usage by stuck-at-home consumers. 

But but the pandemic boom-times have petered out as advertisers and consumers pull the plug on spending in the face of soaring costs and rapidly rising interest rates.

After plunging billions into CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse vision with little to show for it, Meta has been faced with rising costs and shrinking profits.

Meta, once worth more than $1 trillion, is now valued at $256 billion after losing more than 70 percent of its value this year alone. 

‘Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected,’ Zuckerberg said in a message to employees, according to Reuters.

‘I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.’

Zuckerberg delivered the grim news about job cuts on a call with hundreds of Meta executives

On a short call on Wednesday, a red-eyed Zuckerberg addressed employees but took no questions. 

He stuck to a script that closely followed the wording in the morning’s blogpost and called the increased investments in e-commerce a ‘big mistake in planning.’

Twitter

Twitter laid off half its workforce across teams ranging from communications and content curation to product and engineering following Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover.

The cutbacks affected roughly 3,700 employees, who learned their fate by email last week. 

However, Bloomberg on Sunday reported Twitter was reaching out to dozens of employees who lost their jobs, asking them to return.

Twitter laid off half its workforce across teams ranging from communications and content curation to product and engineering

Musk previously said there was no other choice but to impose mass layoffs as the company loses hundreds of millions of dollars every year and needs a financial overhaul

Salesforce

On Monday, cloud-based software company Salesforce quietly laid off hundreds of employees.

The exact number of jobs cut was unclear, but it was less than 1,000 according to CNBC.

‘Our sales performance process drives accountability. Unfortunately, that can lead to some leaving the business, and we support them through their transition,’ a Salesforce spokesperson told CNBC in a statement.

Salesforce had 73,541 employees as of the end of January. 

The company said in an August filing that headcount rose 36 percent in the past year ‘to meet the higher demand for services from our customers.’ 

Amazon

Amazon executives are said to be planning to layoff 10,000 people in corporate and technology jobs as early as this week in what would be the largest job cuts in the company’s history.

The cuts would focus primarily on Amazon’s devices, including voice-assistant Alexa, sources familiar with the discussions told the New York Times, as well as its retail division and human resources.

The move comes as the company reportedly lost $1trillion over the year after its stock plummeted from a high during the pandemic. 

If the company goes through with its proposal to cut 10,000 jobs, it would lose about 3 percent of Amazon’s corporate employees

The move comes after the company put a hiring freeze in place, affecting major teams including Prime Video, Alexa and Amazon Fresh.

‘We’re facing an unusual macroeconomic environment, and want to balance our hiring and investments with being thoughtful about this economy,’ Beth Galetti, senior vice president of people experience and technology at Amazon, wrote in a memo, which was seen by the Wall Street Journal.

Intel

Intel Corp’s CEO Pat Gelsinger told Reuters ‘people actions’ would be part of a cost-reduction plan. 

The chipmaker said recently it would reduce costs by $3 billion in 2023, then ramping that up to $10 billion by 2025.

The adjustments would start in the fourth quarter, Gelsinger said, but did not specify how many employees would be affected.

Some Intel divisions, including the sales and marketing group, could be cut by up to 20 percent, Bloomberg News reported last month, citing people with knowledge of the situation.

Chipmaker Intel is reportedly planning major layoffs, likely numbering in the thousands, in the face of a slowdown in the personal computer market

The company had 113,700 employees as of July, when it slashed its annual sales forecast by $11 billion after missing estimates for second-quarter results.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, California declined to comment on the job cuts when reached by DailyMail.com in October. 

Intel has been battered by shifting market trends, including the decline of traditional personal computers as smartphones and tablets rise in popularity.

Last quarter, global PC shipments, including desktops and laptops, declined another 15 percent from a year ago, according to IDC. 

Microsoft

Microsoft laid off under 1,000 employees across several divisions last month, according to Axios.

The layoffs represent less than half of 1 percent of the company’s 221,000 employees globally, ABC News reported. 

But the job cuts affect everything from Microsoft’s Xbox console gaming division to its cutting edge Microsoft Strategic Missions and Technology organization.

In a statement, Microsoft executives said: ‘Like all companies, we evaluate our business priorities on a regular basis, and make structural adjustments accordingly.

Microsoft laid off under 1,000 employees across several divisions last month, according to Axios

‘We will continue to invest in our business and hire in key growth areas in the year ahead.’

Microsoft executives previously announced in July that it was laying off less than 1 percent of its workforce and significantly slow hiring, as its revenue fell short of investor expectations.

The company recorded only $51.9 billion in revenue during the second quarter of the year, but was expected to rake in $52.4 billion.

It had previously recorded blockbuster growth during the COVID pandemic, when consumers and businesses turned to its products as they shifted to a work-from-home model.

Lyft

Ride-hailing firm Lyft said it would lay off 13 percent of its workforce, or about 683 employees, after it already cut 60 jobs earlier this year and froze hiring in September.

Lyft said in a regulatory filing it would likely incur $27 to $32 million in restructuring charges related to the layoffs. 

‘We are not immune to the realities of inflation and a slowing economy,’ Lyft’s founders wrote in the memo to staffers. 

Ride-hailing firm Lyft said it would lay off 13 percent of its workforce, or about 683 employees, after it already cut 60 jobs earlier this year

The company’s share price has fallen 76 percent since the beginning of the year and currently stands at around $10, compared to nearly $45 in January.

Announcing the job cuts in a memo seen by the Wall Street Journal, Lyft founders John Zimmer and Logan Green told staff: ‘There are several challenges playing out across the economy.

‘We’re facing a probable recession sometime in the next year and rideshare insurance costs are going up.

‘We worked hard to bring down costs this summer: we slowed, then froze hiring; cut spending; and paused less-critical initiatives.

‘Still, Lyft has to become leaner, which requires us to part with incredible team members.’

Lyft has about 4,000 employees, not including its drivers.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told CBS Mornings on Monday he plans to freeze hiring

Apple 

Though Apple has not yet announced any major layoffs, CEO Tim Cook told CBS Mornings that it is slowing some hiring as well.

‘What we’re doing as a consequence of being in this period, is we’re being very deliberate in our hiring,’ he said. ‘That means we’re continuing to hire, but not everywhere in the company are we hiring.’

At the same time, though, Cook said ‘we don’t believe you can save your way to prosperity.”

‘We think you invest your way to it,’ he said.

 

 

 

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