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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Twitch lays off more than 400 employees as Amazon cuts another 9,000 jobs

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More than 400 employees are being laid off from Twitch as a result of “the current macroeconomic environment,” which the company said is making it difficult to meet its financial expectations. The layoffs are part of wider job cuts at Twitch parent company Amazon, which said today that it will eliminate approximately 9,000 jobs over the next few weeks.

“As a company focused on building community together, this decision was incredibly difficult and one we did not make without considerable thought,” Twitch CEO Dan Clancy said in a statement.

“Like many companies, our business has been impacted by the current macroeconomic environment, and user and revenue growth has not kept pace with our expectations. In order to run our business sustainably, we’ve made the very difficult decision to shrink the size of our workforce.”

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy provided a little more context to the cuts in his own statement, saying that Amazon’s businesses have “added a significant amount of headcount” over the past several years. But the “uncertainty” of the current and future economy means Amazon has “chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount,” which means that people who used to have jobs now do not.

This is Amazon’s second huge round of layoffs, following the elimination of 18,000 jobs in January. It comes in the midst of comparably large-scale job cuts at other major tech companies including Facebook parent company Meta, which laid off more than 21,000 employees across two rounds of cuts, Microsoft, which eliminated 10,000 jobs in January, and Google, which cut 12,000 employees just a couple days after the Microsoft layoffs.

Being “leaner”—a word also used by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week—is bad news for the thousands of people left unemployed, but good news for shareholders: “I remain very optimistic about the future and the myriad of opportunities we have, both in our largest businesses, Stores and AWS, and our newer customer experiences and businesses in which we’re investing,” Jassy said.

Clancy, the CEO of Twitch, shared similar sentiments in his own statement. “Millions of streamers choose Twitch every day to build and engage with their communities,” he wrote. “I and the rest of the leadership team are confident that we have big opportunities ahead to support you and grow Twitch. Our singular focus has always been on inspiring, growing and sustaining our streamers globally, and that will never change.”

The timing of the announcement will no doubt raise some eyebrows: Clance took over as CEO of Twitch just last week, following the resignation of co-founder Emmett Shear. Shear, who will continue to work at Twitch in an “advisory role,” said he wanted to spend more time with his family, which is fair after more than 16 years at the top, but it’s also fair to wonder whether the timing is fully coincidental, or if the then-looming cuts—which Shear surely would’ve known were coming—played some role in his decision to move on.

Jassy said the layoffs at Amazon will take place “in the next few weeks,” after the company has finalized its decisions on who’s being let go.

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