The job cuts could start as early as this week, and will likely include staff working on Amazon (AMZN) devices (such as its voice-assistant Alexa), as well as people in its retail and human resources divisions, according to the report. “The total number of layoffs remains fluid,” the report stated.
Amazon did not immediately respond to CNN Business’ request for comment Monday. CNN has not been able to independently confirm the report. The Wall Street Journal also reported Monday that Amazon is set to lay off thousands of workers, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The news would make Amazon the latest in a spate of tech companies that have announced significant layoffs in recent weeks, amid broader economic uncertainty and a sharp slowdown in the demand many tech giants saw during the pandemic that led them to quickly add staff. Last week, Facebook-parent Meta announced it is laying off 11,000 employees.
Earlier this month, Amazon said it was freezing corporate hiring “for the next few months,” citing economic uncertainty and “how many people we have hired” in recent years. Amazon rapidly grew its headcount as the pandemic shifted consumer habits and spending towards e-commerce. In its most-recent earnings report, however, Amazon forecast its revenue for the holiday quarter would be lighter than analysts had expected.
Shares in Amazon have fallen more than 40% in 2022 so far amid a broader market decline.
News of potential layoffs comes at a crucial time for the retail industry, ahead of the holiday shopping season. Despite recession fears and inflationary pressures, the National Retail Federation is predicting a 6% to 8% sales increase from last year during the holiday shopping months.
Last month, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos tweeted about the possibility of a looming recession, writing, “the probabilities in this economy tell you to batten down the hatches.” In an interview with CNN’s Chloe Melas on Saturday, Bezos said that advice was meant for business owners and consumers alike. “Take some risk off the table,” he said. “Just a little bit of risk reduction could make the difference.”