By Sahid Fawaz
Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, is the richest man in history, netting an extra $20 billion last month alone. His company is receiving offers for billions in tax cuts for its second headquarters, not to mention all the tax savings it is receiving from the GOP tax plan. Despite that, his company is laying off hundreds.
"Amazon is laying off hundreds of corporate employees, a rare cutback for a company that has spent most of the last few years in a frantic growth spurt.
The layoffs, underway now, will fall on several hundred employees at the online retailer’s Seattle headquarters, along with hundreds more elsewhere in Amazon’s global operations, one person familiar with the cuts said. The layoffs are primarily focused on Amazon’s consumer retail businesses, according to two people familiar with the matter.
A few hundred layoffs are modest for a company that is now the second-largest U.S.-based corporate employer, and pales in comparison to adjustments in recent years that saw Microsoft and Boeing eliminate thousands of jobs in a single cutting drive.
But at Amazon, a company with a wide range of growing businesses that prides itself on frugality and efficient allocation of resources, broad layoffs of any kind are rare.
The cuts come after a hiring binge that took the company’s Seattle head count to more than 40,000 people, from just 5,000 in 2010.
According to several employees, the rapid growth of the last two years left some units over budget and some teams with too much staff for their work. Amazon had implemented hiring freezes in recent months across several groups, a move that reduced the company’s open job listings in Seattle to their lowest level in years.
In a statement, Amazon acknowledged the cuts.
'As part of our annual planning process, we are making head count adjustments across the company — small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others,' a spokesman said. 'For affected employees, we work to find roles in the areas where we are hiring.'
Some employees have already been informed of the elimination of their roles, and layoffs are expected to be completed in the next few weeks, one of the people said."
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