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Amazon has halted most internal transfers as it slashes positions, leaving workers

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  • Amazon is working to slash costs by eliminating some projects and freezing hiring across most teams.
  • Employees whose roles Amazon cut this fall received three months to find new jobs internally.
  • But Amazon has frozen internal transfers, making it hard for some laid-off workers to find new jobs.

Corporate Amazon employees scrambling to transfer out of units they fear may get axed have found almost no jobs available on the internal-hiring board, adding to a climate of confusion and fear inside the company as it makes ongoing efforts to cut costs. 

Amazon’s hiring freeze announced this past week extends to the company’s internal-job board as well, according to Slack messages viewed by Insider and interviews with seven Amazon employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they’re not authorized to speak to press.

Employees who had transfers in progress in the past month have had those job changes halted, one Amazon employee said. This has also generated concern about immigration statuses among some employees who are on work visas, that employee added.

An Amazon spokesperson directed Insider to a blog that Beth Galetti, the company’s human-resources chief, posted this past week describing the company’s decision to “pause on new incremental hires in our corporate workforce.”

“We anticipate keeping this pause in place for the next few months, and will continue to monitor what we’re seeing in the economy and the business to adjust as we think makes sense,” Galetti wrote. Amazon will continue to backfill openings attrition has created, Galetti wrote, “and there are some targeted places” where Amazon will continue to create new jobs.

Amazon is still adding headcount to its satellite-internet venture, Project Kuiper, for instance, according to employees and job postings. Galetti wrote in the blog post that Amazon will “remain excited” about Kuiper, its self-driving vehicle wing Zoox, Prime Video, grocery, healthcare, and its virtual assistant Alexa.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Amazon is closely examining ways to cut costs in the devices organization of which Alexa is a part. In recent years, the division lost close to $5 billion a year, The Journal reported, based on internal documents. 

Amazon also cut headcount on some teams in recent weeks, including its autonomous-delivery robot, Scout; its virtual-travel-experiences project, Amazon Explore; and its live-radio venture, Amp. The company gave the hundreds of impacted employees three months to find new jobs inside Amazon and promised assistance on their internal-job hunts. Still, some workers whose roles Amazon eliminated said the lack of new gigs internally has made finding new roles inside Amazon difficult. 

In some cases, employees’ skills just don’t transfer to any of the small number of roles that are open, two workers whose roles the company eliminated said. Employees who had previously wooed content creators for Amp, for instance, may be hard-pressed to find a new role in autonomous-vehicle development or satellite internet. 

Other employees whose roles Amazon has eliminated have had an easier time. Two other workers whose roles Amazon cut said they found new jobs internally, one through an internal-job fair that Amazon hosted.

Some workers, though, said the turmoil had prompted them to give up on Amazon altogether.

“I’ve pretty much tuned out of any internal discussions and am focused on chasing external offers and enjoying the lack of work,” one worker whose role Amazon eliminated this fall said.

Do you work at Amazon? Got a tip? Contact reporter Katherine Long via phone or the encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-206-375-9280) or email (klong@insider.com). 



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