Amazon set for largest layoffs in company history

From a billionaire’s charitable pledge to impending layoffs, what happened?

Yesterday, we had planned on using this space to write about Amazon’s massive, under-the-radar advertising business.

As the day progressed — plans changed.

Early yesterday morning…

… CNN dropped an interview with Jeff Bezos in which he committed to giving away the majority of his $124B fortune.

  • Bezos — who’s pledged $10B to climate causes over 10 years — has been criticized for being philanthropically sparing. His ex-wife MacKenzie Scott, for instance, has doled out ~$4B to 465 organizations in less than a year.

Still, Bezos’ pledge was positive — which is why the next chunk of news felt particularly stark.

“Amazon said to plan to lay off thousands”

Reporting from The New York Times found some 10k corporate employees —  ~3% of its corporate workforce — could be cut this week, primarily from Amazon’s devices, retail, and HR units.

  • Last week, Amazon became the first public company to ever lose $1T+ in value, dipping to $879B from its peak of $1.88T in July 2021. (It’s now back to ~$1T.)

The layoffs would be CEO Andy Jassy’s latest cost-cutting measure. Following a period of explosive growth, Amazon has scaled back on warehouse expansions and home delivery robots, sunset Fabric.com, and frozen hiring.

On Twitter, while many celebrated Bezos’ charitable morning announcements, some were quick to point out the fishy timing before the layoff news. “Chef’s kiss billionaire/media behavior,” one user wrote.

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