Even AWS isn’t immune to hiring freezes | CIO Dive

Even AWS isn’t immune to hiring freezes | CIO Dive
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Amazon sent out a note to staff Wednesday announcing companywide hiring freeze, in an effort to pause new incremental hiring for its corporate workforce. The company said it plans to backfill certain positions and will add staff in targeted areas. 

The pause even extends to AWS, the company’s reliable profit center. 

Thursday, when Amazon published the memo, more than 9,000 jobs were listed as open at AWS, according to CIO Dive’s review of the job site. Friday afternoon, just over 5,700 jobs were listed, marking an approximate drop of 35% for AWS openings listed on Amazon’s jobs site in approximately 24 hours. 

This is a sharp decrease from the 21,100 jobs open at AWS on Oct. 3, according to a screen capture from the Wayback Machine. Amazon did not respond to CIO Dive’s questions about hiring freezes affecting AWS by publication time.

The economywide contraction is having a long reach, as the largest tech companies are taking a cautious approach to business operations. 

AWS, which is reliably the most profitable segment of Amazon, has seen slowing growth rates. In Q3, the period ending Sept. 30, AWS reported 27% year-over-year growth, surpassing $20.5 billion in net sales.

While prolific, it’s still down from the 39% year-over-year growth AWS saw in the same period last year.

AWS is not alone among cloud players looking to control operational expenses. Microsoft plans to slow hiring in the coming year and has made a small number of layoffs.

Axios reported in mid-October that Microsoft plans to cut around 1,000 jobs across job levels, teams and geographies. 

During Microsoft’s fourth quarter, for the period ending June 30, Microsoft saw $113 million of costs related to employee severance expenses. Its headcount still grew 22% year-over-year, Microsoft said during its Oct. 25 earnings call for the period ending Sept. 30. But Microsoft expects minimal total headcount growth next quarter.

Microsoft did not respond to questions about job cuts or which segments were affected by slow hiring. A company spokesperson did say, “like all companies, we evaluate our business priorities on a regular basis, and make structural adjustments accordingly. We will continue to invest in our business and hire in key growth areas in the year ahead.” 

At Alphabet, Google Cloud’s parent company, a slower pace of hiring will become more apparent in 2023, in an effort to moderate operating expense growth. Headcount additions in Q4 will slow to less than half of those added in Q3, CEO Sundar Pichai said during a Q3 earnings call last week for the period ending Sept. 30. 

Ruth Porat, CFO Alphabet and Google, said she was pleased with Google Cloud’s momentum and plans to continue meaningful investments in the business. “We’re still focused, very much so, on the path to profitability and free cash flow strength here,” she said during the earnings call. 

In a statement to CIO Dive, a spokesperson said, “Google Cloud continues to hire for critical roles.”

This content was originally published here.