- Amazon has suspended a number of work activities or services on Wednesday amid layoffs.
- More than 18,000 people are expected to lose their jobs this week.
- The suspensions reflect the anxiety felt across the company.
Amazon suspended several work activities and services on Wednesday to be more mindful of the employees let go as part of the company’s largest layoff in history.
The suspensions reflect the anxiety felt across the company as more than 18,000 people are expected to lose their jobs. Laid off employees were notified by email individually and without any prior warnings or face-to-face meetings, though the company announced the size of the jobs cuts earlier this month.
Amazon Web Services, for example, asked employees to pause social marketing content on Wednesday “to be empathetic towards our impacted co-workers,” according to an email viewed by Insider. It told employees to carefully monitor comments from customers and flag any off-topic comments or those that “need to be deleted due to insensitivity or appropriateness in light of the recent situation.” Any exceptions must be approved by VP-level executives.
Additionally, Amazon suspended some AWS content streams on Twitch, another person said.
Amazon will also pause some recruiting activities on Wednesday and Thursday, according to a person familiar with the matter. The decision was made “out of respect” for those who lost their jobs, this person said.
Meanwhile, engineers on the retail team were told that Wednesday and Thursday were an “emergent Blocked Day,” meaning new service updates or code rollouts would be banned during that period, according to an internal email seen by Insider. The restrictions are applied across all regions worldwide.
Amazon’s spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The move in part shows Amazon’s effort to be more conscious about employee morale. Amazon pledged in 2021 to become “Earth’s Best Employer,” making “lead with empathy” one of the company’s stated goals. Amazon’s HR boss Beth Galetti also said in an email to employees on Wednesday to show “support and care” for those affected by the layoffs, as Insider previously reported.
Still, many Amazon employees were upset about the ambiguity and lack of communication in the overall layoff process. On Wednesday as the layoffs began, employees scrambled to an internal Slack channel to put together a list of teams impacted, while some expressed the need for a union for corporate workers, as Insider previously reported.
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