Amazon is laying off dozens of Israeli engineers as part of its decision to shut down its health-focused Halo division.
The company sent a message to Halo customers this week announcing the move, effective July 31, and offered full refunds on hardware purchased in the past 12 months, which will no longer function after that point.
“We notified impacted employees in the US and Canada today,” the letter said. “In other regions, we are following local processes, which may include time for consultation with employee representative bodies and possibly result in longer timelines to communicate with impacted employees. For employees who are impacted by this decision, we are providing packages that include a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and external job placement support.”
Hundreds of employees in Halo development teams were laid off, according to Geektime. The sales pages for the company’s Halo View, Band and Rise products were removed, according to a report by The Verge.
Amazon has operated a research and development (R&D) center in Israel since 2014; currently the company has centers in Tel Aviv, Herzliya and Haifa.
Among the company’s projects in Israel are the Annapurna Labs unit, Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud services division, development of the Alexa voice assistant and its Alexa Shopping subdivision, cyber activity based on the CloudEndure startup Amazon acquired, development of its Prime Air drone-based delivery service, Sizmek advertising activities based on the Israeli MediaMind startup acquired by the company, the E8 data storage division and its Lab 126 innovation unit, in addition to an accelerator for startups in the Jewish State.
The company employed about 1,300 people in the Jewish State until the most recent wave of layoffs that sent some 18,000 employees home – approximately 1.2 percent of the company’s total workforce worldwide.