Hundreds of Job Cuts Set to Hit Amazon’s Alexa Division
Amazon is set to eliminate several hundred positions within its Alexa division, marking a strategic shift to prioritize the development of new forms of artificial intelligence, according to an internal memo (via GeekWire).
Daniel Rausch, Alexa and Fire TV’s vice president, highlighted the company’s evolving focus on aligning efforts with customer priorities, emphasizing the concentration on generative AI.
This shift in direction necessitates the discontinuation of specific initiatives, leading to the elimination of several hundred roles, the memo revealed.
The precise details regarding the initiatives being phased out by Amazon, however, remain undisclosed.
This move adds to prior restructuring within the Alexa team. Last year, Amazon implemented layoffs in its Devices & Services segment, as part of broader corporate cuts, reportedly due to the division’s significant annual losses, estimated at up to $10 billion.
Amidst the evolving landscape of generative AI, Amazon faces mounting pressure to stay competitive.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT has drawn attention for its advanced capabilities in natural language conversations, with the San Francisco-based company introducing mobile features enabling voice and audio interactions with ChatGPT.
In September, Amazon provided a glimpse of its generative AI-powered Alexa feature, “Let’s Chat,” designed to facilitate longer conversations with the voice assistant while maintaining conversational context.
The restructuring within Amazon’s Alexa division coincided with Dave Limp, the longstanding executive overseeing Devices & Services, announcing his departure in August.
September saw the appointment of former Microsoft executive Panos Panay as his successor.