Amazon has announced a significant restructuring within its Alexa voice assistant unit, resulting in the elimination of “several hundred” jobs. The move, attributed to evolving business priorities and a heightened focus on generative artificial intelligence (AI), aligns with Amazon’s ongoing strategic transformations across various divisions.
Daniel Rausch, Vice President of Alexa and Fire TV, stated in an internal email that the restructuring aims to better align with business priorities and address customer needs. The realignment involves discontinuing some initiatives within the Alexa division.
This restructuring extends beyond Alexa, impacting the devices division and echoing Amazon’s recent adjustments in its gaming and music sectors, as well as certain human resources roles. While the changes might seem drastic, they position Amazon at the forefront of embracing AI-driven technology, reinforcing its standing in the global tech landscape.
The company’s spokeswoman emphasized the optimization of resources toward the promising field of generative AI, signaling Amazon’s commitment to future technology trends.
Reports suggest an internal morale decline in the devices division, citing concerns over a perceived weak product pipeline. In September, Reuters highlighted internal unease, especially around Alexa’s perceived inability to keep pace with generative AI trends. While Amazon refuted claims that the narrative represented the entire Devices and Services team, it acknowledged the area’s ongoing quest for profitability.
Alexa, an almost decade-old voice assistant, has played a pivotal role in smart home ecosystems, enabling users to set timers, perform searches, play music, and control home automation.
This restructuring follows Amazon’s recent layoffs in its games division, reflecting the broader company-wide effort to reshape and enhance profitability in various business segments.