Business

Amazon began with the mass layoff of employees of the device division that popularized Alexa

The company has already notified the laid off employees, but said it will continue to work with them to provide support (Bloomberg)
The company has already notified the laid off employees, but said it will continue to work with them to provide support (Bloomberg)

Amazon is laying off employees at its units of devices and servicesthe e-commerce giant told its staff on Wednesday after recent reports that it would cut some 10,000 jobs.

The second largest private employer in the United States – the first being Walmart– did not share details on the number of jobs it will cut or a period of time. His shares were down 3 percent.

However, the announcement was a drastic change for a company known for creating jobs, in the latest layoffs in the tech sector.

“After a series of extensive reviews, we have recently decided to consolidate some teams and programs. One of the consequences of these decisions is that some posts will no longer be needed”, explained the senior vice president in charge of devices and services, Dave Limp, in an internal statement and later published on the company’s corporate blog.

The reduction affects the division of devices that popularized the speakers with which consumers interact through voice.

The retailer once set out to make alexa – its device-powering voice assistant – was ubiquitous and used to place any purchase order, though it was unclear to what extent users have embraced it for tasks more complex than checking the news or the weather.

File photo of Amazon's personal assistant Alexa (REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage)
File photo of Amazon’s personal assistant Alexa (REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage)

Some media, such as Reutersreported Monday that the cuts would amount to 3% of the roughly 300,000 employees of the company, without affecting warehouse and transport employees.

Some people who work at Alexa reported on LinkedIn Tuesday that they had lost their jobs. The unit in charge of the virtual assistant, a project inspired by a talking computer from the science fiction series Star Trek, reached 10,000 workers in 2019.

At the time, Amazon touted the sale of more than 100 million Alexa devices, a figure it hasn’t publicly updated since. His founder, Jeff BezosHe later said that the company often sold Alexa devices at a discount and sometimes below cost.

File photo of the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos (REUTERS / Gus Ruelas)
File photo of the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos (REUTERS / Gus Ruelas)

Dave Limp said the company has already notified the affected people, but will continue to work with them to provide support. In cases where workers cannot find accommodation within the company, Amazon will offer them a severance pay, benefits during transition and support in the subsequent job search. Limp has indicated that the division of devices and services continues to be an “important area” of investment for the firm, and that they will continue to launch new devices for their clients.

(With information from Reuters and EuropaPress)

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