Amazon sends 100,000 workers packin’ in massive summer layoff

Many tech companies are rethinking their staffing needs with recession fears mounting, inflation, the war in Ukraine, and the lingering pandemic taking a toll. Some of them are instituting hiring freezes, rescinding offers, and making rounds of layoffs. The latest company to discuss its belt-tightening efforts is Amazon.com Inc. The e-commerce giant said, during its quarterly earnings call, that it’s been adding jobs at the slowest rate since 2019.

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Amazon now has about 100,000 fewer employees than in the previous quarter after relying on attrition to winnow its staff. In April, Amazon said that it was overstaffed after ramping up during the pandemic and needed to cut back.

“As the variant subsided in the second half of the quarter and employees returned from leave, we quickly transitioned from being understaffed to being overstaffed, resulting in lower productivity,” Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said at the time.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., has been decelerating its recruiting efforts. “Like all companies, we’re not immune to economic headwinds,” Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said.

According to people familiar with the matter, Apple Inc. is planning to slow hiring and spending at some divisions next year to cope with a potential economic slump.

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Microsoft Corp. told workers in May that it was slowing down hiring in the Windows, Office and Teams groups as it braces for economic volatility.

A cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase Global Inc., told employees it was cutting 18% of staff in June to prepare for an economic downturn. It also rescinded job offers.

CEO Brian Armstrong said in a blog post: “We appear to be entering a recession after a 10+ year economic boom. While it’s hard to predict the economy or the markets, we always plan for the worst so we can operate the business through any environment.”

The streaming giant, Netflix Inc., has had several rounds of highly publicized layoffs since it reported the loss of 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter.

The audio service, Spotify Technology SA, is cutting employee growth by about 25% to adjust for macroeconomic factors, CEO Daniel Ek said in a note to staff in June.

“I do believe only the paranoid survive. And we are preparing as if things could get worse, but it’s hard to be anything but optimistic given what I am currently seeing,” Ek said.

Tesla Inc., the electric-vehicle maker, cut 200 autopilot workers in June, as it closed a facility in San Mateo, California.

According to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg, Twitter Inc. initiated a hiring freeze and began rescinding job offers in May, amid uncertainty surrounding Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company.

A video sharing platform, Vimeo, cut 6% of the company in July.

Many other companies followed the same step, including Carvana Co., Compass Inc., Gemini Trust Co., GoPuff, Lyft Inc., Meta Platforms Inc., Niantic Inc., OpenSea, Peloton Interactive Inc., Redfin Corp., Robinhood Markets Inc., Rivian Automotive Inc., Salesforce Inc., Shutterfly, Shopify Inc., Stitch Fix, Tonal Systems Inc., Unity Software Inc., Wayfair Inc., Whoop Inc.

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