Amazon begins layoffs at Seattle headquarters

Gladys Abbott
February 15, 2018

The layoff suggests Amazon is trying to control spending and the cut is not unusual for such a big company. So as Amazon looks to grow elsewhere, it appears to be consolidating resources at its home base. Its Seattle headquarters alone employs over 40,000 people. It's now seeking a location for its second headquarters. Currently, Amazon has over 12,500 open corporate jobs available-and thousands more at its warehouses.

Geekwire, which reports on Seattle tech firms, cited Amazon's frugality leadership principle that states in part, "Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention", but it also noted that cutbacks were unusual for Amazon.

The layoffs follow a reported hiring freeze towards the end of last year, the first sign that the company's rapid expansion of the past few years was slowing down.

"People are in awful shape", he said. The aim, the company says, is to reduce layers of redundant management and keep the company flexible and fast-moving. Amazon has said the city that wins will receive over $5 billion in investments and 50,000 job openings.

Through a prepared statement in the company's most recent earnings report, CEO and founder Jeff Bezos said Amazon would be doubling down on Alexa after projections were easily surpassed.

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In the case of Amazon's workforce, what goes up is now coming down.

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Previous consolidations at the company have led to lay-offs in some areas. About 500 employees will be affected and some have been already informed about the layoffs.

In an email to FOX Business, a spokesman for Amazon acknowledged the cuts, saying they are part the company's annual planning process.

Amazon has said that those being cut are being given the option to be assigned to a different division in the company that is growing. "We do not use our performance management process to achieve head-count goals".

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