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Amazon to shed 18,000 jobs

 Even the mighty Amazon is not immune to the downturn in the European economy brought about by the cost of living crisis in the UK and rising energy costs attributable to the war in Ukraine.  Its famous smile logo may be reversed this week as the online giant announced it is to shed around 18,000 roles, including losses already announced last November.

 The job cuts are understood to affect the European business, as well as retail outlets like Amazon Fresh and Go.  In a statement to staff, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said: “This year’s review has been more difficult given the uncertain economy and that we’ve hired rapidly over the last several years. In November, we communicated the hard decision to eliminate a number of positions across our Devices and Books businesses, and also announced a voluntary reduction offer for some employees in our People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) organization. I also shared that we weren’t done with our annual planning process and that I expected there would be more role reductions in early 2023.

 “Today, I wanted to share the outcome of these further reviews, which is the difficult decision to eliminate additional roles. Between the reductions we made in November and the ones we’re sharing today, we plan to eliminate just over 18,000 roles. Several teams are impacted; however, the majority of role eliminations are in our Amazon Stores and PXT organizations.”

 He added that Amazon has “weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past” and would continue to do so. He said that the job cuts would help the company “pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure”.  He observed: “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. Companies that last a long time go through different phases. They’re not in heavy people expansion mode every year. We often talk about our leadership principle Invent and Simplify in the context of creating new products and features. There will continue to be plenty of this across all of the businesses we’re pursuing”.

 He said that such decisions were not taken lightly and that the company was 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”.