Amazon on Friday said that it is cutting “several hundred” jobs within its Alexa division.
The layoffs come as the e-commerce giant is “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,” an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to FOX Business.
The spokesperson characterized the cuts as a “relatively small percentage of the total number of people in the Amazon Devices business.” The company employs a total of more than 1 million people, according to its website.
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“These shifts are leading us to discontinue some initiatives, which is resulting in role eliminations,” the spokesperson said.
Alexa and Fire TV Vice President Daniel Rausch notified relevant teams of the job cuts via email. Notification of affected employees began Friday in the U.S. and Canada, with workers in India slated to receive the news next week.
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Amazon’s Alexa has been available to customers for nearly a decade, with it having since been incorporated into a slew of the company’s devices.
Meanwhile, generative AI has grown following the rollout of OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT in November 2022.
The Amazon spokesperson said the company’s “investments in generative AI are bringing our vision for an even more intuitive, intelligent, and useful Alexa closer than ever before.” The technology “remains an incredibly important part of our business.”
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Amazon cut about 18,000 jobs in January and 9,000 in March, citing an “uncertain economy” and cost reductions. Amazon Stores, PXT, AWS, Advertising and Twitch were affected by the prior cuts, according to company blog posts.