Embattled Amazon CEO Andy Jassy told employees to brace for a rebound process that will take “many months” following a brutal stretch that included sweeping job cuts, according to leaked audio from a recent staff meeting.
Jassy issued the rallying cry days after Amazon confirmed a larger-than-expected round of 18,000 layoffs. The pink slips were part of a broader cost-cutting effort as the e-commerce giant contends with sagging revenue and difficult economic conditions.
“This is not work that’s going to take one or two months, you know, we’re going to make progress, meaningful progress every month, but this will take many months, and I’m quite confident that we will be misunderstood and we will be underrated,” Jassy told employees during the meeting, according the recording obtained by Insider and published Tuesday.
Jassy has faced intense scrutiny following a rough year in which Amazon shares plunged in value by 50% — with some analysts floating a possibility that the slump could prompt Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to oust him and return as CEO. Speculation about Jassy’s job security has reportedly reached Amazon’s internal message boards.
However, Jassy said it would “not be the first time” that Amazon has reinvented its business in response to difficult conditions.
“If we focus squarely on delivering for customers and realizing, all of us as owners, that we all have a piece of making this happen, and being part of the solution, I’m quite confident that we’re going to deliver an immense amount and redefine what it is to be Amazon,” Jassy said.
“I feel really strongly that our best days are unquestionably in front of us, and I look forward to making that happen with all of you,” Jassy added.
The Post has reached out to Amazon for comment.
The Amazon boss reportedly addressed the company’s outlook in response to a question from an employee. The worker asked Jassy to square the recent budget-tightening moves against Amazon’s long-term investments in fields such as grocery shopping and healthcare, according to Insider.
Amazon’s stock has jumped about 15% this year amid a minor rally in the broader tech sector.
In a separate interview with the Financial Times this week, Jassy pledged to “go big” on brick-and-mortar stores despite concerns about Amazon’s investment in the grocery business – which included a $13.7 billion deal to acquire Whole Foods in 2017.
Earlier this month, Amazon’s disclosed that it took a $720 million impairment last quarter while dialing back on a planned expansion of its Amazon Fresh grocery stores and shuttering some locations.
“Remember, a lot of these opened right in the heart of the pandemic,” Jassy told the outlet. “So we haven’t had a lot of normalcy. We’re experimenting with selection, checkout formats, assortment, price points. I’m encouraged we have several that I think are promising.”
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