Amazon is laying off hundreds of employees at the company’s corporate headquarters, marking a rare cutback from the massive online retailer that has enjoyed considerable growth over the last few years.
The layoffs, first reported by the Seattle Times, don’t appear to have hurt confidence in the company. Amazon’s stock (AMZN) price is up by nearly than 3.5 percent for the day and rose about $15 since the news of the layoffs broke.
Amazon stock is up after the company announced layoffs of hundreds of corporate employees. Photo: Petty Officer 2nd Class Timothy/U.S. Department of Defense
While there is no official word on how many people are being let go from the company, reports indicate that several hundred employees working at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle and hundreds more within the company’s global operations are being cut. The layoffs are reportedly focused primarily on Amazon’s consumer retail operations.
“As part of our annual planning process, we are making head count adjustments across the company—small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others,” a spokesperson for Amazon said of the cuts. “For affected employees, we work to find roles in the areas where we are hiring.”
According to Amazon, more than 40,000 people work at the company’s Seattle headquarters. Last year, the company reported it employed more than 500,000 workers globally.
The round of layoffs at Amazon are believed to be in response to the growth the company has experienced in recent years. Some of the sectors of the massive ecommerce company have reportedly been operating over budget and over-staffed, and the layoffs represent a course correction.
Some of the employees affected by the layoffs have already been informed of the elimination of their positions. Others will find out over the course of the next several weeks as Amazon completes its consolidation efforts.
A number of Amazon subsidiaries have also experienced cutbacks recently. Self-publishing platform CreateSpace recently laid off 50 employees—its second round of layoffs in the last two years—and shoe seller Zappos recently cut 30 people. Last year, Amazon subsidiary Quidsi laid off 250 employees.
While Amazon has performed cutbacks in some areas, the company has continued hiring in others. It saw a 66 percent growth in its workforce in 2017 according to its final earnings report for the year. Currently, Amazon has over 12,500 open corporate jobs available—and thousands more at its warehouses.