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How to Stay off the Layoff Lists

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Ethan Evans

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What you'll learn

Understand how the lists are made

The truth is layoffs often try to target perceived poor performers.

Ensure you are perceived as a high-performer

Identify perception risks and take action.

Be prepared to learn and adjust

If you are let go, learn from the experience and come back stronger.

Why this topic matters

In 2003, three days after returning from adopting my daughter in China, I was laid off. My wife left her job to be at home with our new child, we went from two incomes to no income and an infant. I was scared, but less than two years later I started my successful career at Amazon. I’ll share how I handled that critical career moment to come back stronger, in hopes of helping you.

You'll learn from

Ethan Evans

Retired Amazon Vice President; 70+ patents; led global teams of 800+; LinkedIn Top Voice

In my 15+ years at Amazon, I led global teams of 800+ and invented well-known businesses and products such as Prime Video, Amazon Video, Amazon Appstore, Merch by Amazon, Prime Gaming (formerly Twitch Prime), and Twitch Commerce.

  • Reviewed 10,000+ resumes and conducted 2,500+ interviews.
  • Hold 70+ patents.
  • Helped advocate for and draft the Amazon Leadership Principle (LP) “Ownership” — the words, “They never say ‘that’s not my job.’” are mine.

I've promoted 8 reports from Senior Manager (Amazon L7) to Director (Amazon L8), contributed to 25+ Director promotions, hired 10+ Directors internally and externally, drove the promotion of 3 engineers to Principal, and of my former reports 2 are current Amazon VPs (L10) and 5 are C-Suite outside of Amazon.

I retired from Amazon as a Vice President in September 2020 to allow me to focus on paying forward my good fortune to others.

Prior to Amazon, I spent 12 years at 3 startups.

Follow me on LinkedIn.

Subscribe to my newsletter and join our Level Up Career Community to get candid career advice.

Retired after 15+ years at


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