The announcement of job cuts – the largest in Amazon's history – is being made suddenly because one of the teammates "leaked this information externally", says CEO Andy Jassy.
Amazon says it will cut more than 18,000 jobs from its workforce, citing "the uncertain economy" and the fact the online retail giant had "hired rapidly" during the pandemic.
"Between the reductions we made in November and the ones we're sharing today, we plan to eliminate just over 18,000 roles," said CEO Andy Jassy on Wednesday in a statement to staff.
He said that stores operated by the group and human resources would be the main areas affected.
US media had reported in November that the company was planning to lay off 10,000 people. Amazon had said that layoffs were planned but did not give a figure until now.
Amazon becomes the latest tech giant to announce massive job cuts as it looks to rein in costs pic.twitter.com/JuGWC9i4OB— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) January 5, 2023
The job-slashing plan is the largest among recent workforce reductions that have impacted the once-unassailable US tech sector, including at giants such as Facebook-owner Meta. It is also the largest in Seattle-based Amazon's history.
He said the sudden announcement was being made "because one of our teammates leaked this information externally."
"This year's review has been more difficult given the uncertain economy and that we've hired rapidly over the last several years," Jassy said.
But he added that "Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so."
READ MORE: US online retail giant Amazon strikes deal with EU to avoid fine
In the tech sector, major platforms with an advertising-based business model are facing budget cuts from advertisers, who are reducing expenses in the face of inflation and rising interest rates.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, announced in November the loss of 11,000 jobs, or about 13 percent of its workforce. At the end of August, Snapchat let go about 20 percent of its employees, around 1,200 people.
Twitter was bought in October by billionaire Elon Musk, who promptly fired about half of the social media platform's 7,500 employees.
Also, the IT group Salesforce, which specializes in management solutions and cloud technology, announced on Wednesday that it was laying off around 10 percent of its employees, or just under 8,000 people.
READ MORE: Facebook owner Meta lays off thousands of employees