On January 18th, Amazon sent a letter out to their employees informing them of significant layoffs planned as part of their response to the COVID-19 economic recovery. According to documents released by journalist Jason Del Rey, these “role reductions” will be applied across the globe in multiple industries. Over 18,000 Amazon workers are expected to be let go as part of the effort. Affected employees will be notified over the course of the coming weeks.
Following this announcement, ComiXology employees online confirmed that they had been affected as well. ComiXology program manager Scott McGovern posted on Twitter that he and many others were informed that they were being fired. McGovern claims that, while no precise numbers are available, “at least 50% of the staff have been let go. Possibly 75%.” Many employees at the company cannot speak openly about what is happening due to clauses in their contracts.
ComiXology was launched in 2007 as a way to easily purchase and read online digital comics. They now have over 200,000 comics on their site from publishers such as DC, Marvel, Image, and many others. The site has been owned by Amazon since 2014 when the tech giant purchased them for an undisclosed amount. Since that time, a number of changes have been made to the platform including shutting down old readers and apps in order to further integrate the service with the wider Amazon ecosystem such as Kindle. In early 2022, ComiXology was fully integrated with Amazon’s other web services. It’s unknown what these layoffs could mean for the future of the service.