According to the New York Times, Amazon plans to lay off 10,000 of its staff during the week. Anonymous sources speaking to the Times said much of those layoffs will hit the company’s devices division, which creates the Alexa and Echo devices.
Those layoffs are said to be the largest amount ever conducted by the multinational company, and will make up around 3 percennt of its corporate workforce. In terms of its overall employee base of 1.5 million, the layoffs will account for less than 1 percent.
Layoffs at Amazon come following last week’s report that it lost $1 trillion in stock value, which was attributed to an economic downturn and months of diminishing quarterly earnings. In recent months, Amazon has also done a hiring freeze for corporate positions and shuttered physical Amazon stores.
Per the Wall Street Journal, which viewed internal documents from Amazon, its device group has been operating at a yearly loss of $5 billion in recent years. Amazon has reportedly explored adding new capabilities to Alexa, but the assistant is said to only be used by customers for a handful of functions.
The layoffs don’t appear to affect either Amazon’s game division or its Luna cloud service.
Amazon had spent some years trying to turn Alexa into another platform for developers to develop and release games. Some developers, such as EA, elected to integrate the device into their already-released titles like The Sims.
In a statement provided to the Wall Street Journal, an Amazon representative wrote that Alexa “remains an important business and area of investment for Amazon.”
Tech layoffs have been the running theme this November. At the start of the month, new Twitter CEO Elon Musk laid off nearly half of the social media site’s staff. Over the weekend, it began to lay off much of its contract staff.
Meta laid off 11,000 workers last week, which included its VR division Reality Labs. Before those layoffs, Reality Labs reportedly made $285 million in revenue over the three-month period that wrapped on September 30, 2022, and had a loss of $3.67 billion.