If you thought Big Tech’s dreadful year of layoffs would be confined to 2023, you’re (sadly) mistaken. Audible laid off around five percent of its employees on Thursday, which Variety reports is “just over 100 staffers.” The cuts in the audiobook division are part of parent company Amazon’s most recent round of layoffs, also affecting Prime Video, MGM, and Twitch.
“We did not take this route without considerable thought,” Audible CEO Bob Carrigan reportedly said in an audio memo delivered to staff. “But getting leaner and more efficient is the way we will need to operate now — and in the foreseeable future — in order to continue delivering best-in-class audio storytelling to our customers around the world.”
For those keeping score, “leaner and more efficient” echoes the language in numerous recent Big Tech layoff announcements. Variations of “In these uncertain times...” have also been popular.
Carrigan ironically began by talking about Audible's strong performance last year. “I want to acknowledge the strong year we had in 2023, in which we delivered amazing listening experiences for our customers thanks to outstanding collaboration with creators and partners,” he reportedly said. “Our business is in good shape, and that is because of the hard work of each and every one of you.”
The CEO extolled how much the company values its workers. “A big part of what makes working at Audible so special is our many talented and dedicated employees who bring their passion to work each and every day. It’s also what makes it even harder to say goodbye to people we care about,” he said. “I recognize the impact this will have on those transitioning out of Audible as well as all of you who remain. Thanks to all who are leaving us for their valuable contributions.”