In India, sources said 200-300 staffers could be laid off, and that attempts would be made to absorb as many within the different business units of the company as possible. Only those for whom it is unable to find a good fit would be asked to go, the sources said.
In an email response to Business Standard, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said: “As part of our annual operating planning review process, we always look at each of our businesses and what we believe we should change. As we’ve gone through this, given the current macro-economic environment (as well as several years of rapid hiring), some teams are making adjustments, which in some cases 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.”
Sources in the know also confirmed that each business was evaluating its employee base. “One cannot deny the global macro environment. But Amazon is a vast company and each business unit is run by its own processes and legal requirements, someone may be looking at voluntary separation programme too,” said a person aware of the internal developments.
Media reports had said that Indian employees in the retail segment had received mails offering a voluntary separation.
According to a post on LinkedIn, the voluntary separation programme for Indian employees included a 12-week lump sum payment. This would be equal to three months’ base salary, including one week of base salary for every six months of services, the continuation of health insurance benefits till the end of December 2022, and “forgiveness” of any outstanding obligations for signing bonus or relocation expenses.
Those who wish to opt for the programme have been asked to inform the company by November 30, and if they change their mind they can withdraw their mail by December 5.
Amazon had acknowledged that it was laying off employees globally, though the company has not revealed any specific number. International news reports have pegged the layoffs at 10,000.
Meanwhile, Dave Limp, senior VP of devices and services at Amazon, wrote in an internal blog: “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.” In India this could impact 10-20 people.
Limp said the firm had notified the impacted employees on Wednesday, and would “continue to work closely with each individual to provide support, including assisting in finding new roles”. He said, in cases where employees could not 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.”
Sources also confirmed that the web services or cloud business team could be insulated from the layoffs. “So far, no email has come to the web services or cloud business team. But, yes, there is trouble in the e-commerce/retail business,” said another source on the condition of anonymity.