Amazon CEO says layoffs to exceed 18,000 roles

STORY: The head of Amazon says the company is upping its layoffs to more than 18,000 roles cut.

That number, announced by Chief Executive Andy Jassy in a note on Wednesday, is higher than what sources told Reuters and other media reported last year.

Jassy said it will largely impact the company's e-commerce and human-resources organizations.

And that the company will start reaching out to affected staff from January 18.

The cuts amount to 6% of Amazon's roughly 300,000-person corporate workforce.

It also represents a swift turn for the online retail giant, after recently doubling its base pay ceiling to compete more aggressively for talent.

Jassy said in the note that annual planning "has been more difficult given the uncertain economy and that we've hired rapidly over the last several years."

After a big pandemic boom, Amazon has braced for likely slower growth as soaring inflation encouraged businesses and consumers to cut back spending.

Its share price has halved in the past year.

The company began letting staff go in November from its devices division, with a source telling Reuters at the time it was targeting around 10,000 cuts.

Jassy said Amazon chose to disclose the news before informing affected staff because of a leak.

His note on Wednesday followed a report in the Wall Street Journal that the layoffs involved more than 17,000 jobs.

Amazon still must file certain legal notices about mass layoffs and says it plans to pay severance.