Amazon CEO Andy Jassy speaks at the GeekWire Summit in Seattle on October 5, 2021.

David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon halts hiring in its corporate workforce, the company announced in a memo to staff Thursday.

The company already announced last month that it would freeze hiring for corporate roles in its retail business, but the latest update affects its other businesses.

Amazon’s human resources chief Beth Galetti wrote in the memo that the company has taken steps to further limit new hiring amid a worsening economic outlook and after hiring rapidly in recent years.

“We anticipate maintaining this pause for the next several months and will continue to monitor what we see in the economy and business to adjust as we think makes sense,” Galetti said.

Amazon will fill roles to replace employees who leave for new opportunities and will continue to “hire people incrementally” in some targeted locations, she added.

The retail giant began hiring during the Covid-19 pandemic as it tried to cope with a pandemic-induced surge in online shopping. Since then, the company has faced slowing headcount growth as consumers have returned to brick-and-mortar stores and its retail business is no longer growing as quickly as in recent years.

Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy has also aggressively cut costs at the company in recent months amid fears of a recession, rising inflation and rising interest rates. Amazon freed up warehouse space, halted some experimental projects and shut down its telehealth service.

IN third quarter, Amazon’s headcount grew just 5% year-over-year to 1.54 million employees worldwide. It comes after the company’s workforce shrank for the first time in years in the second quarter.

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Amazon says it employs about 75,000 people in the Seattle area, including corporate offices there. It also has significant corporate facilities in Virginia, Tennessee, Silicon Valley and New York.

Here’s the full note:

With the economy uncertain and in light of how many people we’ve hired over the past few years, Andy and the S-team have decided this week to pause new incremental hires into our corporate workforce. We have already done this in several of our businesses in recent weeks and have added other of our businesses to this approach. We anticipate maintaining this pause for the next several months and will continue to monitor what we see in the economy and business to adjust as we see fit. Generally, depending on the business or area of ​​the company, we will hire to replace employees who move on to new opportunities, and there are some targeted positions where we will continue to hire people incrementally.

We are facing an unusual macroeconomic environment and want to balance our hiring and investment with a careful attitude to this economy. This is not the first time we have faced uncertain and challenging economies in our past. While we’ve had some years where we’ve expanded our headcount extensively, there’s also been some years where we’ve tightened our belts and been more streamlined in the number of people we’ve added. With fewer people to hire at this point, this should enable each team to further prioritize what’s most important to customers and the business and be more productive.

We still intend to hire a significant number of people in 2023 and remain excited about our significant investments in our larger businesses as well as newer initiatives such as Prime Video, Alexa, Grocery, Kuiper, Zoox and Healthcare.

If you have any questions about how this hiatus in hiring for the next few months affects your team, please speak with your manager in the coming days.


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