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Amazon to cuts hundreds of jobs in Alexa division, read VP’s memo to employees on layoffs – Times of India



Amazon is cutting jobs in the Alexa division and is laying off “several hundred” employees. Those who will be laid off will include employees working in the artificial general intelligence team. The development comes a week after the company trimmed down its teams working in music and gaming divisions as well as job cuts in some human resources roles.
Daniel Rausch, Amazon’s vice president of Alexa and Fire TV, informed the team about the layoffs on Friday (November 17). He said that the company is shifting its resources to focus on generative AI. Read his letter to employees:
Team,
We’re really encouraged by the progress we’re making with Alexa: customers are interacting with Alexa tens of millions of times every hour and there are more than half a billion Alexa devices in customers’ homes. Our investments in generative AI are also bringing our vision for an even more intuitive, intelligent, and useful Alexa closer than ever before. 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. These shifts are leading us to discontinue some initiatives, which is resulting in several hundred roles being eliminated.
Today, we will reach out to colleagues in the U.S. and Canada who are impacted by these role reductions. Notification emails will be sent out shortly, and we expect all notifications in the U.S. and Canada to be completed this morning (Pacific time). We will communicate with impacted colleagues in India next week, and are following local processes in other regions, which may include time for consultation with employee representative bodies, and possibly resulting in longer timelines to communicate.
To those of you impacted by these reductions, please know we did not make this decision lightly. I want to sincerely thank you for all your hard work and dedication to the organization, and to our customers. We are committed to supporting you, and are providing packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, external job placement support, and paid time to conduct your job search.
While this was a hard decision to make, we remain very optimistic about the future of Alexa. I want to reiterate that Alexa remains an incredibly important part of our business. I’m proud of the innovation we’ve driven, and continue to drive. Incorporating a new large language model into a voice-forward, personal AI, has been and continues to be an enormous scientific and engineering challenge. I’m excited for our customers to soon experience the future of Alexa, and to hear their feedback, so that we can continue to invent and evolve the experience for them.
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or anyone on the leadership team if you have any questions.
-Daniel





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