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Amazon Is Laying Off Hundreds of Employees at Its Seattle Headquarters

February 12, 2018, 7:17 PM UTC

Amazon (AMZN) is cutting hundreds of jobs at its Seattle headquarters in a rare set of layoffs for the online retailing giant, according to a media report.

The company will also cut hundreds more jobs in other parts of Amazon’s operations, the Seattle Times reported on Monday, citing a person familiar with the eliminations.

An Amazon spokesman told Fortune that “as part of our annual planning process, we are making head count adjustments across the company—small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others.”

According to the Times, the Amazon layoffs are the result of the quick growth of late that saw it end up with too much staff in some units. The paper also said managers are under pressure to squeeze out lower-caliber employees and show more spending discipline. “Amazon has a problem right now with overpopulation,” one unnamed engineer told the Times.

The layoffs are mostly concentrated in Amazon’s consumer retail businesses, the Times reported. The move echoes recent layoffs at Amazon’s e-commerce arch-rival Walmart (WMT). Walmart is in the process of cutting up to 500 or so jobs at its Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters as it looks to streamline its operations and be as nimble as it can to compete with Amazon.

For both companies, the cuts are modest in relation to staffing levels. Amazon employs about 566,000 people worldwide, according to its recently published annual report for 2017. That was up from 341,400 a year earlier. (In addition to its organic growth, Amazon has made some acquisitions in the last year, notably that of Whole Foods Market last summer.) Such has Amazon’s growth been that it is currently in the process of prospecting locations for a second headquarters.

Earlier this month, Amazon reported revenues of $60.5 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, up from $43.74 billion a year earlier, fueled by strong sales during the holiday season. It also reported a profit of $1.9 billion on the strength of the popularity of its voice-activated Echo devices and jump in its Prime memberships.