Once again, those who have been keeping close tabs on global online retailer Amazon and its quest for a city to build their “HQ2” in would have to endure the ongoing news blackout on the most recent developments to that effect. Some might have jumped onto the mention of Austin during the Amazon commercial for their Alexa smart speaker shown during Super Bowl LII was a hint that the Texan city was “The One”, only to be shot down by the company itself. But now a new event at Amazon’s workplaces has got people wondering: What’s with the massed lay-offs?
CNN reports that Amazon has begun a phase of employee downsizing. Most of the employee’s about to be laid off are from the online retail platform’s primary home in Seattle, HQ1 as it were; however there may be some Amazon staff in other offices worldwide that might get the work termination notices that are being passed out now. Amazon itself confirmed the downsizing in a statement sent to CNN itself. In further detail, the affected company employees are from their online retail operations teams, which have been termed “mature” areas of Amazon’s overall international business.
Why is Amazon letting some of its people go? The statement explained that it is part of Amazon’s corporate planning process that goes on about once every year. Their more restrained description of the layoffs is that they comprise a “headcount adjustment” of their employees. And it’s not as if the affected Amazon people are instantly out on their ear; the company assures that anybody who loses their spot because of the downsizing will be given a chance to be reassigned to certain sectors of the international retailer where they are currently hiring, and aggressively at that. It’s because the layoffs’ objective is not to reduce the total employee headcount.
At present, even as the headcount adjustment goes on in Amazon HQ1, said corporate headquarters – even before the start of the layoffs – has opening listings amounting to some 3,900 corporate-level jobs. In the rest of the world, Amazon has no less than 12,000 job vacancies that they seek to fill through their aggressive hiring approach. In fact, the company notes that last 2017 they have added 130,000 job positions filled, and that does not include their mega-deal acquisition of Whole Foods. They ended the previous year with a global workforce and staff number 560,000.
In the end, Amazon is emphasizing that the layoffs are small potatoes even when compared to the possible 50,000 jobs that will open, along with HQ2, in a lucky North American city. But we don’t know which city it will be yet. The story is not yet over.
Photo courtesy of money.cnn.com