Amazon lays off some devices employees: Read the memo from hardware chief Dave Limp

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David Limp, senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon.com Inc., presents the Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker during an unveiling event at the company’s Spheres headquarters in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.
Andrew Burton | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon is laying off some employees in its devices and services unit, hardware chief Dave Limp wrote in a memo to workers on Wednesday.

The e-retailer is consolidating some teams and programs in its devices and services unit after “a deep set of reviews” of the business, Limp wrote. Amazon began notifying impacted employees yesterday, he added.

“One of the consequences of these decisions is that some roles will no longer be required,” Limp said. “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.”

The job cuts are part of broader layoffs hitting Amazon as it stares down a worsening economic outlook. Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told CNBC in a statement that several teams are making adjustments, which means “certain roles are no longer necessary.”

“We don’t take these decisions lightly, and we are working to support any employees who may be affected,” Nantel said.

The New York Times reported Monday that Amazon aims to cut up to 10,000 jobs across the company, with its devices, retail, and human resources divisions primarily being impacted as a result of the layoffs. The expected layoffs would represent the largest workforce cuts in its 28-year history.

The number of layoffs remains fluid because the decisions are being made business by business, according to a person familiar with the matter. While the cuts may total 10,000 people, there is no specific target for total job cuts, the person said.

CNBC previously reported the company began notifying employees Tuesday that they were being let go. Members of Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming and Alexa teams were among those laid off. The company has also laid off contracted workers in recruiting.

The job cuts are a sharp reversal for Amazon, which less than a year ago couldn’t find enough workers to staff its warehouses and went on a pandemic-fueled hiring spree. It nearly doubled its workforce between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021 from 798,000 employees globally to 1.6 million.

Here’s the full memo from Limp:

Folks,

At our last Town Hall in July, I talked a bit about the state of our economy. 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. 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.

We notified impacted employees yesterday, and will continue to work closely with each individual to provide support, including assisting in finding new roles. 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. We know people across the organization may be impacted differently by this news and will lead with compassion for all team members.

While I know this news is tough to digest, I do want to emphasize that the Devices & Services organization remains an important area of investment for Amazon, and we will continue to invent on behalf of our customers. Having gone through times like this in the past I know that when there’s a difficult economy, customers tend to gravitate to the companies and products they believe have the best customer experience and that take care of them the best. Historically, Amazon has done a very good job at this.

Thank you for the support and empathy that I know our team will show each other during this time. Please don’t hesitate to ping me or your manager if you have any questions.

Dave-

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