Amazon freezes hiring in parts of lucrative web services division


Amazon has frozen hiring in parts of its lucrative web services division — an apparent escalation of the company’s cost-cutting efforts, The Post has learned.

Amazon Web Services — the highly profitable division that brought in more than $62 billion in revenue in 2021 — has started telling some job candidates that roles they were seeking have been frozen, according to prospective candidates.

Amazon shares tumbled more than 1.7% to $117.77 after The Post reported on AWS’ partial hiring freeze. 

The news comes just days after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos warned of a looming recession, saying that “the probabilities in this economy tell you to batten down the hatches.” 

On Oct. 4, the New York Times reported that Amazon would stop hiring new corporate employees in its retail and logistics operations — but added that AWS was not affected by the freeze.

Some analysts interpreted AWS’ reported exemption as evidence of the division’s importance within Amazon, where it has been responsible for generating an increasingly large share of the company’s profits in recent years. Current Amazon CEO Andy Jassy founded and led AWS before he replaced Jeff Bezos as chief executive in 2021 — further evidence of the division’s significance.

But an AWS spokesperson confirmed that parts of the division have stopped hiring new employees.

“In some areas of AWS we have met our hiring needs, and in others we have thousands of job openings,” the spokesperson told The Post. 

The spokesperson did not provide specifics on which areas of AWS have frozen hiring or how many roles were affected. 

“Across Amazon, our many different businesses are at various stages of evolution, and we expect to keep adjusting our hiring strategies in each of these businesses at various junctures,” the spokesperson said. 

While Amazon’s e-commerce business receives far more attention from consumers, AWS sells so-called cloud computing services that are crucial to the modern internet.

Companies like Netflix and Snapchat are large AWS customers, while rivals like Google and Microsoft have built their own cloud computing services to compete with Amazon. 

Amazon is still planning to hire roughly 150,000 seasonal workers to deal with this year’s holiday shipping rush. 

Other Big Tech tech firms including Microsoft, Google and Meta have all slowed or frozen hiring in recent months as companies brace for a potential recession. 

Microsoft reportedly laid off about 1,000 employees last week, while other tech firms including Salesforce, Gopuff and Peloton have also slashed jobs in October.