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We caught up with the MSP’s HR lead to ask about the timing of new exec hirings, given tech sector chaos.

Kelly Teal

November 21, 2022

6 Slides

Mission Cloud Services is an Amazon Web Services-only partner. Last week, the company contacted us to share an announcement about executive hirings — the same day as news broke that AWS layoffs could lie in the offing alongside thousands of others at parent company Amazon.

That got us thinking. Even though organizations rarely punt their executives amid downturns (Twitter drama notwithstanding), we had to ask Mission Cloud for more insight: How confident is the managed service provider about navigating the downturn now with approximately 10,000 layoffs and contractor reductions in full swing at Amazon? The timing of Mission Cloud’s hiring news struck us as a bit unusual or even bold, especially considering that its Google Cloud-only peer, SADA, just downsized by 11%. In addition, the tech sector as a whole is shedding jobs like it’s once again 1999.

Mission Cloud’s Karoline Saffi, senior vice president of people and culture, agreed to do a Q&A with us. That interview comprises most of the slideshow above. But first, to set the stage, we go a little deeper into the situation at Amazon overall.

Amazon in Chaos

AWS layoffs, if they come to fruition, likely won’t cut as deeply as those within Amazon’s devices and books business (where technologies including Alexa and Luna undergo development). After all, AWS is Amazon’s cash cow. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy finally addressed the rumors of job losses on Nov. 17. Prior to that, Amazon had stayed quiet. Employees reported that they found out about pending layoffs through media, leading to expressions of anger.

“We get news articles on Monday,” one worker wrote, according to Business Insider. “Radio silence from [e]veryone and severance emails late Tuesday night. Very upsetting from our S-team. Lead with empathy, or lead with greed.”

Jassy and team seemed to get the message, responding at last.

Jassy-Andy_AWS.jpeg

AWS’ Andy Jassy

“We are in the middle of our annual operating planning review where we look at each of our businesses and make decisions about what we believe we should change,” Jassy wrote. “Leaders across the company are working with their teams and looking at their workforce levels, investments they want to make in the future, and prioritizing what matters most to customers and the long-term health of our businesses. This year’s review is more difficult due to the fact that the economy remains in a challenging spot and we’ve hired rapidly the last several years.”

Again, the bulk of the cuts appear to be happening outside of AWS. AWS layoffs could hit, though. It’s simply unclear to what extent and to which roles. Last month, Business Insider reported that AWS managers had been tasked with stopping hiring and stack-ranking team members to force out the lowest performers.

More to Come

Regardless, wider Amazon job losses will continue.

“Our annual planning process extends into the new year, which means there will be more role reductions as leaders continue to make adjustments,” Jassy said. “Those decisions will be shared with impacted employees and organizations early in 2023. We haven’t concluded yet exactly how many other roles will be impacted (we know that there will be reductions in our Stores and PXT organizations), but each leader will communicate to their respective teams when we have the details nailed down. And, as has been the case this week, we will prioritize communicating directly with impacted employees before making broad public or internal announcements.”

With all that as background, then, we return to the Q&A with Mission Cloud, a top AWS partner. See the slideshow above for insight.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Kelly Teal or connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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