Amazon suspends hiring of corporate staff

Amazon suspends hiring of corporate staff

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy speaks at the GeekWire Summit in Seattle on October 5, 2021.

david ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon is suspending hiring for positions within its corporate staff, the company said in a memo to staff Thursday.

The company previously announced last month that it would freeze hiring for corporate positions in its retail business, but the latest update affects its other businesses.

Amazon human resources manager Beth Galetti wrote in the memo that the company decided to further restrict new hiring amid a deteriorating economic outlook and after hiring rapidly in recent years.

“We plan to maintain this pause over the next few months and will continue to monitor what we see in the economy and business to adjust as we see fit,” Galetti said.

Amazon will fill roles to replace employees who leave for new opportunities, and it will continue to “hire people incrementally” in certain targeted locations, she added.

The retail giant has been on a hiring spree during the Covid-19 pandemic as it seeks to cope with a pandemic-induced surge in online shopping. Since then, it has shifted to slow headcount growth as consumers have returned to physical stores, and its retail business is no longer growing at the rapid pace it has in recent years.

CEO Andy Jassy has also aggressively cut company spending in recent months amid fears of a recession, rising inflation and soaring interest rates. Amazon lost warehouse space, halted some experimental projects and shut down its telehealth service.

In the third quarter, Amazon’s workforce grew just 5% year-over-year to 1.54 million employees worldwide. That’s after the company’s workforce contracted for the first time in years in the second quarter.

Amazon says it employs about 75,000 people in the Seattle area, including its offices. It also has significant corporate facilities in Virginia, Tennessee, Silicon Valley and New York.

Here is the full memo:

With the economy in an uncertain place and in light of the number of people we have hired over the past few years, Andy and S-team have decided this week to pause on additional new hires to our corporate workforce. . We had already done this in some of our businesses in recent weeks and have added our other businesses to this approach. We plan to maintain this pause over the next few months and will continue to monitor what we see in the economy and business to adjust as we see fit. In general, depending on the business activity or sector, we will hire replacements to replace employees who move on to new opportunities, and there are targeted places where we will continue to hire people gradually.

We are facing an unusual macro-economic environment and want to balance our hiring and our investments while being attentive to this economy. This is not the first time we have faced uncertain and difficult economies in our past. While we had several years where we greatly increased our headcount, there were also several years where we tightened our belts and were more streamlined in the number of people we added. With fewer people to hire right now, this should give every team the opportunity to prioritize more of what matters most to customers and the business, and be more productive.

We continue to plan to hire a significant number of people in 2023 and remain excited about our significant investments in our major businesses, as well as new initiatives like Prime Video, Alexa, Grocery, Kuiper, Zoox and Healthcare.

If you have any questions about how this pause in additional hires for the next few months will impact your team, please speak with your manager in the coming days.


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