AmazonSmile is being cut as the company tightens its belt despite record profits, ending the company’s charitable obligations.
Amazon launched their charitable program AmazonSmile in 2013, allowing customers to designate a charity to donate a percentage of all their purchases to. According to the company, they’ve donated approximately $500 million through the program in nearly ten years.
“After almost a decade, the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped,” the company said. “With so many eligible organizations — more than 1 million globally — our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.”
According to the statement, they will continue to invest in areas where they can “make meaningful change” like natural disaster relief, affordable housing initiatives, and community assistance programs. They have not yet specified any particular recipients, however. The average annual donation of AmazonSmiles to charities was less than $230, according to Amazon.
Amazon employees will soon be in need of those latter two programs, as well. Along with axing AmazonSmiles, the company has begun the largest layoffs in their history, a corporate hiring freeze, and culling other less profitable projects like their telehealth service.
All of these cuts come under the rein of CEO Andy Jassy, who took over Amazon from Jeff Bezos in 2021. Jassy, who was paid over $212 million in his first year as CEO, is on a company-wide review of where to cut costs in the face of high inflation and the falling purchase power of his consumer base.
Amazon will be laying off over 18,000 people in the U.S., Costa Rica, and China. Most of the lost jobs will be in human resources, brick-and-mortar stores, and tech positions. And of course, everyone working for AmazonSmiles.
In summary, a man earning over $200 million is choosing to close a charitable program because it is not donating enough money, money coming from the same pool as his paychecks, while also firing over 18,000 people to cut costs.
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