E-commerce company Amazon on Wednesday announced it will lay off more than 18,000 employees due to uncertainty in the economy. The impacted workers would be informed from January 18, Amazon Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy said in a note to staff.

The layoffs amount to 6% of Amazon’s roughly 3,00,000-person corporate workforce, according to the BBC. The firm has a global workforce of more than 15 lakh workers.

“Between the reductions we made in November and the ones we are sharing today, we plan to eliminate just over 18,000 roles,” the note on Wednesday said. In November, the online retail giant had announced 10,000 layoffs.

In his note, Jassy said Amazon had hired rapidly over the last several years and companies that exist for a long time go through different phases. “They are not in heavy people expansion mode every year,” he wrote.

The note said that the job cuts would mostly impact the company’s e-commerce stores, which include Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go, along with its PXT (People, Experience, and Technology) organisations, which handle human resources and other functions.

The note said Amazon has “weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past” and would continue to do so. “These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure,” the chief executive added.

Jassy said the sudden announcement about job cuts was being made because one of his teammates had leaked the information.

On Wednesday, San Francisco-based cloud-based software firm Salesforce also announced that it plans to cut 10% of staff. “The environment remains challenging and our customers are taking a more measured approach to their purchasing decisions,” Salesforce co-Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff said in a letter to staff.

Numerous other high-profile tech companies, including Facebook’s Meta and Twitter, have also announced layoffs in preparation for a recession.