Amazon.com Inc. is set to begin a round of layoffs ultimately affecting more than 18,000 employees in the largest job cull in its history, which it announced earlier this month. The cuts come as the retailer grapples with slowing online sales growth and braces for a possible recession affecting the spending power of its customers.
The eliminations started last year and initially fell hardest on Amazon’s Devices and Services group, which builds the Alexa digital assistant and Echo smart speakers. The latest round, scheduled to commence Wednesday, will mostly affect the retail division and human resources.
While the cuts represent only about 1% of the total workforce, which includes hundreds of thousands of hourly warehouse and delivery personnel, they amount to about 6% of Amazon’s 350,000 corporate employees around the globe.