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'Deforestation' at Amazon

The tech giant continues to make cuts, this time to its AWS branch

Amazon confirmed yesterday it was laying off hundreds of employees from its cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services. The layoffs—impacting sales and marketing roles as well as employees focused on technology at its physical stores—come amid a broader company pivot on grocery store strategy.

An Amazon warehouse photo

Earlier this week, Amazon announced it was ending its “Just Walk Out” program, which is used in over half of its more than 40 Amazon Fresh stores nationwide. The program allowed customers to skip checkout lines by relying on automated cameras and sensors, and was reportedly supplemented by more than 1,000 Indian workers reviewing and labeling transactions. This week, Amazon said it will pivot to Dash Carts, whereby a screen and scanner in grocery carts will allow shoppers to manually scan their items as they shop.

Yesterday’s announcement marks the latest in layoffs for Amazon, following 27,000 job cuts since late 2022. The news comes as sales for Amazon’s $90B cloud business have slowed in recent quarters.

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