AmazonSmile will be shut down

January 19, 2023 by
Frank Calviño

AmazonSmile will be shut down. Amazon has announced that it is canceling its charity donation program as part of the company's global cost-cutting efforts. 

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Through the program called AmazonSmile, the e-retailer donates a percentage of eligible purchases on the site to the shopper’s chosen charity organization. 

AmazonSmile has donated roughly $500 million to charities since the program launched in 2013.

Amazon won’t smile… for now 

The news regarding the cancellation of the AmazonSmile program was released via an official statement past Wednesday. 

“After almost a decade, the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped,” the company said. “With so many eligible organizations — more than 1 million globally — our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.”

The average donation to charities was less than $230, Amazon said.

Amazon will continue to invest in areas where it can “make meaningful change,” such as assisting with natural disaster relief, affordable housing initiatives, and community assistance programs, the company said.

The move to shutter AmazonSmile comes as CEO Andy Jassy has embarked on a sweeping review of the company’s expenses amid a worsening economic outlook and slowing growth in its retail division.

Amazon has commenced the most extensive layoffs and instituted a hiring freeze across its corporate workforce. As Jassy has worked to rein in costs, the company paused warehouse expansion and shuttered some experimental projects like its telehealth service and a quirky video calling device for kids.

AmazonSmile won’t be the only ‘cutting down’

Amazon announced a second round of layoffs this week. The company has started notifying employees affected by its new round of layoffs, part of its plan to reduce its headcount by around 18,000 people. 

The move, which comes after a previous round of layoffs, is part of a harrowing day for tech workers; Microsoft also announced that it’s cutting around 10,000 jobs, and its CEO has predicted that the tech industry has two difficult years ahead of it.

It’s unclear exactly how many workers are being impacted in this particular round. Still, the company laid off 2,300 employees in Washington, according to the state’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification system. Most worked in Seattle, where one of the company’s headquarters is located.

In November, Amazon started its first round of layoffs. At the time, there were reports that around 10,000 people would be affected, including members of its hardware and services, human resources, and retail teams.

In January, Amazon confirmed the layoffs and their massive scale, saying that including the ones from last year, Wednesday’s round, and potential additional cuts in 2023, they would affect 18,000 employees overall. A memo from CEO Andy Jassy posted on the company’s website announced that impacted employees would be notified starting on the 18th.

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