Amazon downsizes AWS in a fresh cost-cutting round

In 2018, Amazon introduced cashier-less tech “Just Walk Out” at a Seattle store. The system tracks items shoppers take and charges them automatically. It involves human moderators who review transactions and label footage remotely.

Just Walk Out was a pet project of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Bezos aimed to differentiate the company in the grocery market and eliminate waiting in lines, which he considered the worst aspect of physical retail. In his 2018 shareholder letter, Bezos expressed the vision of a store where customers could walk in, grab what they needed, and depart without delay.

The layoffs will impact a portion of the AWS identity and checkout teams within the Physical Stores Technology organization, wrote Dilip Kumar, vice president of AWS applications, in a message to employees, according to a report by GeekWire.

The layoffs follow Amazon’s largest job cut round 14 months prior, which saw 18,000 corporate roles eliminated as part of a cost-cutting drive after a pandemic-induced hiring boom.

Amazon has stated that these decisions, though difficult, are necessary to optimize resources and continue delivering innovation for their customers. The company has also committed to supporting affected employees through their transition to new roles within and outside Amazon.

This situation underscores the complex decisions companies like Amazon face as they adapt to a rapidly changing business and technological landscape.

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