Amazon just announced the removal of more than 18,000 positions, the most in the company’s history.
The announcement, which was communicated in stages, will primarily affect administrative positions, according to the company.
Amazon Mass Layoffs
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, as part of Amazon’s broad layoffs, several drone delivery project personnel are losing their jobs.
In 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos appeared on ‘60 Minutes’ on CBS to disclose a future scheme his business had been quietly pursuing to deliver products by drone within 30 minutes.
A pre-recorded demonstration saw an Amazon-branded octocopter carrying a tiny box off a conveyor belt and into the sky to a customer’s home, landing gracefully in the backyard, delivering the item, and then taking off again.
A fleet of Amazon drones might take to the skies within five years, according to Bezos, who added, “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Launching Of Drones
After a decade, Amazon’s Prime Air program is finally launching in two tiny markets. But just as the drone program is finally getting off the ground, it is confronted by a faltering economy and CEO Andy Jassy’s extensive cost-cutting initiatives.
Prime Air is losing a considerable number of staff as part of Amazon’s plan to eliminate 18,000 jobs, the company’s largest workforce reduction in history.
Two top Amazon executives notified staff via email on Wednesday that anyone affected by the layoffs will be notified shortly, according to anonymous sources with knowledge of the situation who requested anonymity for reasons of confidentiality. When they could no longer use Slack, one person realized what was going on.
Multiple locations, including Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, released employees. Amazon’s drone test site in Pendleton, Oregon, was hit particularly hard, with half of the workforce laid off, according to a LinkedIn post by a former Prime Air employee that he has since deleted.
Amazon spent years developing drone technology in the English countryside to help Bezos realize his vision of even faster delivery, without having to rely on gas-guzzling automobiles clogging neighborhood roads.
However, the organization reduced its drone operations in the United Kingdom. According to a 2021 Wired article, Prime Air employees charged with identifying drone footage voiced concerns about leadership dysfunction.
Then, in 2019, Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s consumer head at the time, declared that drones would be operational within a few months. A year later, the Federal Aviation Administration granted the business permission to test drone delivery.