In a rare move for the online retail giant, Amazon is laying off hundreds of corporate laborers in its Seattle headquarters and elsewhere, according to a Seattle Time report.
The corporate cuts come after an eight-year hire spree, taking the company from 5,000 in 2010 to 40,000 in its Seattle headquarters and gobbling up several retail business throughout the country.
However, according to the report, Amazon’s rising employee numbers over the last two years left some departments over budget and with too many staff on hand. In the last few months, the company enforced hiring freezes to stem the flow of new workers, cutting the number of open positions in half from the 3,500 listed last Summer.
The layoffs is principally focus on Amazon’s Seattle office, but there have already been cuts in some of its retail subsidiaries in other parts of the country, such as the Las Vegas-based online footwear retailer Zappos, which had to lay off 30 people lately. And the company behind Diapers.com, Quidsi, had to cut more than 250 chores a year ago.
The moves suggest Amazon may be trying to rein in spending and consolidate some of its retail businesses.
It’s important to note that cutting out a few hundred workers at a company with dozens of thousands of employees is not unusual — and is pretty small in comparison to other established tech monsters that have had to lay off far more recently. For instance, Microsoft had to lay off thousands of employees starting late last year — though the majority of members of those employees affected were outside of the United States.
The cuts likewise don’t indicate Amazon, which hires more than half a million people globally, has any intentions of cutting more or of slowing down its hire practises elsewhere. According to its most recent quarterly earnings report, the company has upped its world personnel by 66 percent over the past year. Amazon currently has more than 4,000 undertaking listings on its site for Seattle.
We have yet to hear back from Amazon about the latest report, but a spokesperson for the company told The Seattle Hour the move was part of the company’s annual planning process and that, “We are attaining head count readjustments across the company — small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others.”
According to the report, several employees have already been told they’ve been laid off and those layoffs are expected to be completed in the next few weeks.
“For affected employees, we work to find roles in the areas where we are hiring, ” the spokesperson said.