Jeff Bezos announces charity pledge amid reported Amazon layoffs

E-commerce planning to cut workforce by 10,000 people beginning this week, report says

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced plans to donate much of his wealth to charity hours before it was reported the company was planning to cut thousands of jobs. AP
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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced his plans to donate much of his $124 billion fortune to charity, hours before it was reported that his company plans to lay off about 10,000 people.

In an interview with CNN, Mr Bezos said he would donate much of his fortune to help fight climate change and for people who aim to unify humanity. On Sunday, he awarded a $100 million award to musician and philanthropist Dolly Parton.

Meanwhile, Amazon's reported job cuts could come as soon as this week, the New York Times reported. Those cuts are expected to focus on the company's devices unit, which houses Alexa, as well as in retail and human resources. The report noted the total number of layoffs remains fluid.

The company did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

As of December 31, Amazon had more than 1.6 million full- and part-time employees and had recently said it would freeze hiring for the next few months.

The news comes just weeks after Amazon told of a slowdown in growth for the busy holiday season when it generates the highest sales, saying consumers and businesses had less money to spend due to rising prices.

Amazon is the latest US company to make deep cuts to its employee base to brace for a potential economic downturn.

Mr Bezos in a tweet last month said Americans should "batten down the hatches". He told CNN that he meant people should refrain from making large purchases for the time being.

Last week, Facebook's parent Meta Platforms said it would cut more than 11,000 jobs, or 13 per cent of its workforce, to rein in costs. Others include Twitter, Microsoft and Snap.

Shares of Amazon, which have lost about 40 per cent of their value so far this year amid a broader tech sell-off, briefly pared losses and were last trading down 2.4 per cent at $98.38.

Reuters contributed to this report

Updated: November 15, 2022, 7:29 AM