Amazon Is Laying Off Hundreds of People in Alexa Division Inc. is cutting hundreds of employees in the division responsible for its voice-activated Alexa assistant, according to a memo sent to employees on Friday.

Daniel Rausch, an Amazon vice president who leads teams working on Alexa and the company’s Fire TV streaming franchise, said the company was “shifting some of our efforts to better align with our business priorities,” including focusing on building capabilities powered by generative artificial intelligence. “These shifts are leading us to discontinue some initiatives, which is resulting in several hundred roles being eliminated.”

Rausch didn’t specify which initiatives would be eliminated.

Amazon, which avoided mass job cuts for most of its existence, began its largest-ever layoffs about a year ago, ultimately axing 27,000 corporate positions after a hiring spree during the pandemic left the company with too many people. Having wrapped up a round of layoffs earlier this year that totaled about 18,000 workers, Amazon announced another 9,000 layoffs in March, which Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy said would land on the cloud services division, human resources, advertising and the Twitch livestreaming service.

Since then, the company has continued to look for cost cuts, at times leading to more layoffs. Amazon recently eliminated jobs in its music division and video games unit, and shuttered its physical clothing stores.

Rausch said employees in the US and Canada set to be laid off would be informed Friday morning Seattle time. Employees in India will find out next week, and cuts in other countries may follow other timelines to allow for consultations with employee groups or other factors.

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