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Amazon Is Cutting Hundreds of Corporate Jobs (techcrunch.com) 61

According to a Seattle Times report, Amazon is laying off hundreds of corporate workers in its Seattle headquarters and elsewhere. "The corporate cuts come after an eight-year hiring spree, taking the company from 5,000 in 2010 to 40,000 in its Seattle headquarters and gobbling up several retail businesses throughout the country," reports TechCrunch. From the report: However, according to the report, Amazon's rising employee numbers over the last two years left some departments over budget and with too many staff on hand. In the last few months, the company implemented hiring freezes to stem the flow of new workers, cutting the number of open positions in half from the 3,500 listed last Summer. The layoffs will mainly focus on Amazon's Seattle office, but there have already been cuts in some of its retail subsidiaries in other parts of the country, such as the Las Vegas-based online footwear retailer Zappos, which had to lay off 30 people recently. And the company behind Diapers.com, Quidsi, had to cut more than 250 jobs a year ago. The moves suggest Amazon may be trying to rein in spending and consolidate some of its retail businesses.
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Amazon Is Cutting Hundreds of Corporate Jobs

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    They are being replaced by "Corporate Robots" - marginally safer than "incorporated robots".
  • I thought Amazon was going around the country to find a place for they're second headquarters where they promised 50,000 jobs.

    So are they cutting a bunch of middle managers and these 50k jobs are going to be all tech centric?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      not sure what is confusing for you here. You can be cutting unnecessary staff while still growing or having growth plans. You don't keep unnecessary positions just because you are growing.

    • as someone who worked there they have like 12 different manager levels just to manage 1 floor. they have alot of unnecessary jobs for the sake of jobs. its good there finely cutting that out.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      they're just trimming the fat so they can bring on new recent grads and h1b holders, both of which work for peanuts compared to someone who's been with the company awhile.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I thought all these corporate tax cuts would lead to all sorts of new job hiring (positions) and raises.

      Do you mean to tell me that cutting corporate tax rates doesn't directly or even proportionally translate to money invested into workers? I don't believe it.

  • by ranton ( 36917 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @06:48PM (#56111535)

    Studies seem to show that it is very hard to accurately assess employees during the interview process. The only effective way of keeping quality up is to fire under-performers. If Amazon hasn't been doing this regularly enough for eight years, then I could see why this could be long overdue. To some extent you can find useful work for under-performers to do, but as some point you just get too many of them.

    • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Monday February 12, 2018 @07:23PM (#56111729)

      Studies seem to show that it is very hard to accurately assess employees during the interview process. The only effective way of keeping quality up is to fire under-performers. If Amazon hasn't been doing this regularly enough for eight years, then I could see why this could be long overdue. To some extent you can find useful work for under-performers to do, but as some point you just get too many of them.

      If you're not properly managing under-performers to turn them into performers, you're doing it wrong.

      Some under-performers cannot be fixed. If you're not weeding those out in the first 90 days of employment, you're doing it wrong.

      Mass firings serves one fucking purpose; abusing the bullshit tactic of fear and intimidation to keep your slaves in line. At some point, your most valuable assets leave for the competition, because you can't fucking stop doing it wrong.

      • if you walk in during there holiday hiring spree thinking your going to have a job 3 months later your doing it wrong. and relly for your own sanity you dont wanna be there more then a few months.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, and they're firing the people who are doing it wrong.
        In this case, the issue is simply a matter of middle management bloat. They can't "do it right" because there's nothing for them to actually do.

      • Mass firings serves one fucking purpose; abusing the bullshit tactic of fear and intimidation to keep your slaves in line. At some point, your most valuable assets leave for the competition,

        Except in Amazon's case, they are extinguishing most of their competition. So there's nowhere for them to go.

        • You presume that they were at the top of their game at Amazon, whose business model surrounds finding high-margin industries, and sucking away the distribution to attempt to use supply chain and logistics and increased selection to justify margins. Take any of those pieces away, and Amazon leaves that industry segment alone.

          Amazon is NOT starting at the top, and so there IS some place for them to go. Amazon is far more of a McJob than they'll admit.

      • Just ask IBM - They reduce costs to prop up stock value.
    • the problem with amazon is so many layers of management and favoritism uts not about the top preforming employee but who kisses the most ass.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have been offered a number of opportunities to interview for Amazon, but have not interviewed with them at all, for concerns of this nature and other reasons.

    There's no reason for me to put my head on the chopping block for such a large, impersonal business where I've heard one too many stories about how they drive their engineers to work long hours at a level of high performance that seems unsustainable long-term. I'll keep my quality-focused job instead and not worry about burnout and layoffs.

    • there interview is show us your ged/hsd and your hired. you litterly sit down with 50 other guys at once.
    • while I don't like Amazon and I doubt I would work for them either, BUT this sort of practise is the sign of a healthy business not bad one. The worst type of company to work for is one that doesn't get rid of the dead wood.
  • a result of normal business cycles. The holiday season has passed and is over for now. But it will ramp back up and there maybe a hiring increase again.

    Just my 2 cents ;)
  • If you have ~40,000 employees, laying off hundreds seems like the normal hiring process. People come and go. Also, if you want to get rid of business groups who under perform or are not the focus of the business anymore, you remove those jobs. Then hire in other areas. Common practice in large organizations. Not sure how this really is a story. I'm not even touching on the seasonal aspect of their business.

    On the other hand, if they were laying off say 10% of peeps in Seattle, then you have a story.

  • Well hopefully they are reducing their H1B visa workers first.
    • As far as I am over-clarifying all my not-too-evident post for the (unfortunately) huge number of poorly-understanding individuals, note that Corporate is a new very funny TV series (the one referred in the Wikipedia article linked from the aforementioned smiley) about a fictitious company called Hampton Deville. The title of this article is "Amazon Is Cutting Hundreds of Corporate Jobs" and that's why "Hampton Deville should have seen that coming" was meant to be funny because of playing with the unintende
  • Um isn't Amazon looking to move it's HQ soon? Makes sense to go through a few boxes to get rid of what you don't need before you drag it to the new pad...

    I'd guess this is all part of the same corporate process.

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