Amazon started with mass layoffs

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The reduction affects the division that popularized speakers that consumers interact with by voice

Amazon started layoffs

The company has already notified the laid off employees, but said it will continue to work with them to provide support (Bloomberg)

Amazon is laying off employees in its devices and services units, the e-commerce giant told its staff on Wednesday after recent reports that it would cut some 10,000 jobs.

The second largest private employer in the United States – the first is Walmart– did not share details on the number of jobs it will cut or a period of time. Its shares were down 3 percent.

However, the announcement was a drastic changefor a company known for creating jobs, in the most recent layoffs in the technology sector.

“After a series of extensive reviews, we have recently decided to consolidate some equipment and software. One of the consequences of these decisions is that some positions will no longer be necessary”, explained the senior vice president in charge of devices and services, Dave Limp, in an internal communication and later published in the corporate blog of the company.

The reduction affects the device division that popularized speakers that consumers interact with by voice.

The retailer once set out to make < b>Alexa – her device-powering voice assistant – was ubiquitous and used to place any purchase order, though it was unclear to what extent users have embraced it for tasks more complex than checking the news or the time.

Amazon started with the mass layoffs

File photo of Amazon's Alexa personal assistant (REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage)

Some media, including Reuters, reported on Monday that the cuts would amount to 3% of the approximately 300,000 employees of the company, without affecting warehouse and transport employees.

Some people who work at Alexa reported on LinkedIn Tuesday that they had lost their jobs. The unit in charge of the virtual assistant, a project inspired by a talking computer from the science fiction series Star Trek, reached 10,000 workers in 2019.

At that time, Amazon touted the sale of more than 100 million Alexa devices, a figure it hasn't publicly updated since. Its founder, Jeff BezosHe later said the company often sold Alexa devices at a discount and sometimes below cost.

Amazon started with the mass layoffs

File photo of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (REUTERS/Gus Ruelas)

Dave Limp said the company has already notified the affected people, but will continue to work with them to provide support. In cases where workers cannot find a place within the company, Amazon will offer them severance pay, benefits during the transition, and support in their subsequent job search. Limp has indicated that the devices and services division remains an “important area” of investment for the firm, and that they will continue to launch new devices for their customers.

(With information from Reuters and EuropaPress)

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