Amazon's stock jumped after a Seattle Timesreport said the ecommerce behemoth is planning to lay off hundreds of employees, primarily in its retail division.
Amazon has been on a hiring spree in recent months, creating some 130,000 jobs worldwide in 2017 - around 5000 of which were in the United Kingdom - and announcing plans for a second headquarters in North America, which will create 50,000 more jobs. The company has about 560,000 global employees, Amazon's spokesperson told Retail Dive.
Recent moves, including these layoffs, point to Amazon's move away from consumer retail, as in creating and selling its own merchandise.
While the size of the payroll cut is modest given Amazon's size, trimming jobs is an unusual move at what is now the second-biggest USA -based employer. For the employees affected, the company works trying to find new roles in areas where hiring is taking place.
While Amazon supports thousands of jobs, the layoffs are in sharp contrast to its rapid expansion over the past few years, CNBC reports. Amazon reportedly had 4,000 job openings in Seattle as of Monday. And a year ago, Quidsi, the subsidiary behind Diapers.com and other sites, cut more than 250 jobs.
It appears Amazon is consolidating operation while managing its incredible growth phase, which, as the company sees fit, must be accompanied by spending cuts. Jeff Bezos, its founder and chief executive, is the world's richest person, with a fortune of $112 billion.
The company has also recently instituted a mandate that managers who oversee other supervisors must have at least four people reporting to them.
That's a tiny proportion of Amazon's close to 300,000 US -based employees, but rare for a company that unlike many, seldom undergoes large cuts.
"Amazon has a problem right now with overpopulation", said one engineer at the company.
Watch Amazon's stock move in real time here. The company is also looking at setting up its second headquarter, where it plans to fill almost 50,000 new workers. About 500 employees will be affected and some have been already informed about the layoffs.
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