Amazon is looking to trim headcount through a voluntary buyout program

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Amazon is one of the largest companies today's date. In fact, it has become so popular that it is now the world's third most valuable public company and one of the richest companies in the world. Amazon was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos and was originally known as "Cadabra". The company started as an online bookstore and eventually expanded to other areas such as electronics, books, toys and clothing. Today Amazon has grown into a multi-billion dollar corporation with over 100 million customers worldwide.


The company has several centres around the world including Seattle in Washington State where it has its headquarters and distribution centre, Dublin in Ireland where it has its European headquarters and distribution center, San Francisco where it operates its North American operations as well as Shanghai where it does business in China.


Amazon is looking to trim headcount through a voluntary buyout program, reports Bloomberg. The company has a number of employees worldwide and is targeting 5% of its workforce through the program, which will be open to any employee who wants to leave.


The initiative would be Amazon's second major round of layoffs in three years. In 2015, the company laid off 10% of its workforce. It also plans to close its cashier-less convenience store Amazon Go in Seattle later this year.


Amazon said on Monday that it will offer buyout packages to eligible employees starting June 4, with the option to accept or decline the offer by June 30. The company expects about 25% of eligible employees to take the deal.


The move comes as Amazon continues its efforts to reduce costs. It cut bonuses for hourly workers last summer and has been trying to improve performance reviews for managers as part of a broader effort to modernise how it manages its workforce.


The company also plans to hire 100,000 seasonal workers for the holiday season this year and plans to add 100,000 full-time jobs across all four of its offices in Germany next year, according to Reuters.


The online retail giant said it is offering up to $8,000 cash payments and stock in Amazon Web Services to hourly workers at its Seattle headquarters who want to leave their jobs. The move comes as Amazon continues to hire in the U.S. and ramp up its Amazon Go grocery store technology.


Amazon’s move comes after a number of retailers including Macy’s, JC Penney and Sears have announced job cuts in recent months as they seek to adapt to changing consumer shopping habits and increase efficiency in their operations. The program, which Amazon is calling "Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Plan (VERIP)," will allow eligible employees to leave the company with full benefits, including up to three months' salary and additional payments for unused vacation days.


The move comes as Amazon continues to push its employees into new roles and out of traditional retail positions. The company has announced plans to hire more than 100,000 people this year, up from 90,000 last year. Inc., the world's largest online retailer, is offering buyout packages to employees in an effort to reduce costs as the company prepares for its debut as a public company.


The offers range from $1,000 to $10,000 and are being extended to nearly all U.S.-based employees in Seattle and other locations around the world who have been with the company at least one year or have worked at least three months this year, according to people familiar with the matter. The company also has offered similar incentives in Germany, France and Brazil.


Amazon is offering its employees one-time relocation benefits totaling up to $5,000 per person who accepts an offer through its "voluntary separation program," said the people who asked not be allowed to speak anything online. Employees who take advantage of it will receive six months' salary plus additional benefits including stock options and cash payments based on years of service.

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