Amazon is laying off employees in the "low hundreds" an in effort to shift head count allocation to businesses that are growing, CNBC has learned.
The Seattle Times first reported that Amazon was laying off "hundreds" of employees and "managing out" others as the company consolidates its retail operations.
A person familiar with the matter says the cuts are focused on Amazon's Seattle headquarters and will affect some workers globally. The layoffs will occur in the consumer retail business, which includes Amazon's toys, books and groceries units, to make room for head count in businesses that are growing, like Alexa, AWS and digital entertainment. Jeff Bezos, in a statement in the last earnings report, said Amazon would "double down" on Alexa after blowing past projections.
While Amazon supports thousands of jobs, the layoffs are in sharp contrast to its rapid expansion over the past few years. It created 130,000 jobs worldwide last year, not including the nearly 90,000 it added with its acquisition of Whole Foods. It has nearly 4,000 corporate jobs currently open in Seattle and 12,000 worldwide.
"As part of our annual planning process, we are making head count adjustments across the company — small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others," an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC. "For affected employees, we work to find roles in the areas where we are hiring."