The tech sector’s ongoing economic woes continue to hammer Amazon, resulting in the largest round of layoffs in the e-commerce giant’s history. The company will eliminate an additional 8,000 positions this month alone, bringing the total up to 18,000 workers. That follows Amazon’s previous target, made public in November, to scale back 3 percent of its white-collar workers, or about 10,000 people.
On Wednesday, CEO Andy Jassy published a statement about the company’s updated plans to reduce its labor force. According to Jassy, the majority of the additional layoffs come from other areas of the company, such as brick-and-mortar Amazon Stores as well as its People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) organization, which handles human resources and similar responsibilities.
Amazon generally prefers to notify affected employees before making a public announcement, the CEO writes in the letter, but he says the news came earlier than executives hoped due to an alleged external leak from “one of [their] teammates.” The company will notify which workers have lost their jobs starting on January 18.
“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” Jassy writes in his statement, later adding that he is “optimistic that we’ll be inventive, resourceful, and scrappy in this time when we’re not hiring expansively and eliminating some roles.”
[Relate: Amazon debuts telehealth program.]
To further add credence to Amazon’s ongoing financial issues, an SEC filing made public on Tuesday shows the company recently obtained a $8 billion unsecured loan from various unnamed lenders, as The Register highlighted recently. Amazon explained the new loan in a statement provided to Reuters, saying it is part of “different financing options to support capital expenditures, debt repayments, acquisitions, and working capital needs.”
The online store joins fellow tech companies including Netflix, Peloton, Microsoft, and Twitter in recent dramatic layoffs and scaled back hiring strategies as a result of economic slowdown, as CBS News noted on Thursday. In November, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, announced the largest layoff in its history affecting 11,000 employees, citing “one of the worst downturns” in the company’s nearly 20 year existence.