Amazon is once again doubling down on its return-to-office mandate, warning staff that not complying could impact their chances of being promoted. The warning comes as the internet giant also is cutting jobs.
Amazon is laying off “several hundred” people in its Alexa division, the company confirmed to CNBC.
Daniel Rausch, Amazon’s vice president of Alexa and Fire TV, disclosed the cuts in a memo shared by an Amazon spokesperson with CNBC. GeekWire first reprted the news.
“As we continue to invent, we’re shifting some of our efforts to better align with our business priorities, and what we know matters most to customers — which includes maximizing our resources and efforts focused on generative AI,” the memo says. “These shifts are leading us to discontinue some initiatives, which is resulting in several hundred roles being eliminated.”
Return to office
Meanwhile, Amazon employees who don’t regularly work in an office at least three days a week will find that any potential promotion will be subject to an additional layer of leadership approval, the e-commerce giant confirmed to CNN on Friday.
There are a “variety of factors we consider when determining an employee’s readiness for the next level,” Brad Glasser, an Amazon spokesperson, told CNN in a statement.
“Like any company, we expect employees who are being considered for promotion to be in compliance with company guidelines and policies,” Glasser added.
In February, some three years into the dawn of the work-from-home era initially brought on by the pandemic, CEO Andy Jassy said that staffers would be required to return to office at least three days per week starting in May. “Collaborating and inventing is easier and more effective when we’re in person,” Jassy told workers at the time in a company memo.
Like much of the broader business world, Amazon has faced some employee resistance to this mandate. At the end of May, some corporate workers staged a walkout at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, citing multiple grievances, including the push to get workers back in the office at least three days a week. The walkout in May also occurred months after the company confirmed it was laying off some 27,000 workers over multiple rounds of cuts.