The Amazon devices division currently employs 10,000 people. These are the staff that are in charge of the Alexa, Kindle, Fire TV, Ring, Echo, Amazon Earbuds and Fire Tablet devices. All of these products are unprofitable lose $5 billion annually in the past few years. Most of these devices are loss leaders because Amazon normally subsidizes the cost to get more market share. However, there are more competition in this space and Amazon does not have the power that it once had. The Kindle is still the worlds most popular e-reader, but there is no shortage of connected speakers, TV integration from Roku, Apple and Google and the tablet space is heavily saturated.
Amazon.com is now taking a serious review of its unprofitable businesses, including the devices unit that houses voice assistant Alexa, to cut costs. Following a months-long review, Amazon has told employees in some unprofitable units to look for jobs elsewhere in the company, while moving to redeploy staff from certain teams to more profitable areas and closing teams in areas such as robotics and retail. Amazon is aiming to eliminate 10,000 jobs in total in the next few months.
The expected layoffs would represent the biggest cut in the company’s 28-year history.
In recent weeks, Amazon also began laying off some contracted employees who worked in recruiting roles for its advertising, internal operations, and Fire TV divisions, according to people with knowledge of the cuts. The company still plans on hiring 150,000 seasonal employees for the holiday shopping season. The vast majority will be in warehouse jobs, but also logistics and delivery drivers.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.