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Amazon layoffs reflect 'change in mindset for the company'

More than 18,000 Amazon employees will be out of a job by the time an ongoing round of layoffs is complete.

That's nearly double the amount that was anticipated when layoffs began in November. GeekWire's Todd Bishop expects "this is where [Amazon] is going to stop," though.

In other words, Bishop does not foresee additional layoffs at the company in the short term.

"At this point, with the 18,000 number, I think it would behoove Amazon to stop there," Bishop told KUOW's Angela King. "Obviously, things can change. It's a very dynamic economic environment. But you've seen the company go through this process over the past month or so, and I think we now have our hands around the full scope of these cutbacks."

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy wrote in a blog post that the staff reductions were set off by the uncertain economy and the company's rapid hiring over the last several years.

Now, that hiring spree is being offset by this historic number of layoffs, the most in the company's history and the biggest number among major tech companies in the past year, Bishop says.

"Amazon has historically, maybe more than a decade ago, been a company that really prided itself on being focused and somewhat specific in its bets. Over the past decade, you've seen Amazon become a bit of a sprawling company, where they have initiatives all over the place," he says. "Part of what Amazon is doing through this process is simplifying."

Bishop says one of the company's core leadership principles is to simplify customer experience. Now, it appears to be applying that principle to the company overall.

"It's really a change in mindset for the company," he explains. "This is a company that, even through the pandemic, really was forced to grow at a breakneck speed. And here, you have a real shift. Leadership is saying, 'Wait a second. Let's take a step back and make sure that we're putting our bets on the right squares.'"

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