Amazon confirmed Wednesday in a public memo that the company has begun layoffs and “consolidations” in his division.
The news came via SVP of Devices & Services Dave Limp, whose sector includes popular virtual assistant Alexa and the not-so-popular home robot Astro, which was launched last year.
“As you know, we continue to face an unusual and uncertain macroeconomic environment. In light of this, we’ve been working over the last few months to further prioritize what matters most to our customers and the business. After a deep set of reviews, we recently decided to consolidate some teams and programs. One of the consequences of these decisions is that some roles will no longer be required,” he wrote.
He did not specify how many “roles” or employees were being cut, but reports from earlier this week put that number at 10,000.
He added, “It pains me to have to deliver this news as we know we will lose talented Amazonians from the Devices & Services org as a result. I am incredibly proud of the team we have built and to see even one valued team member leave is never an outcome any of us want.”
Limp explained that the people who were being let go were notified Tuesday, and Amazon is working to find them new jobs in other divisions. “In cases where employees cannot find a new role within the company, we will support the transition with a package that includes a separation payment, transitional benefits, and external job placement support,” he said.
Said Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel in a statement shared with TheWrap, “We don’t take these decisions lightly, and we are working to support any employees who may be affected.”
According to LinkedIn posts from laid-off workers, many of those being let go had worked with Alexa.
One Seattle-based scientist wrote on Tuesday night, “It’s with a heavy heart that I announce that I have been impacted by the Amazon #techlayoffs. My entire #datascience team at Amazon Alexa was laid off. Working at Alexa Privacy has been nothing short of a dream job and I’m really grateful to have gotten the opportunity to work as an Applied Scientist.”
Despite the bad news, which was earlier reported to be the largest in Amazon’s history, Limp stated, “Devices & Services organization remains an important area of investment for Amazon, and we will continue to invent on behalf of our customers.”