E-commerce: The Seattle-based firm has run its EU business from Luxembourg for more than a decade but has never actively spoken with the press here… until last week.
E-commerce and digital media giant Amazon has for the first time told press in Luxembourg how many employees it has in the Grand Duchy, what they do and discussed its expansion plans.
The company, notoriousamongthepressforitslackofaccessibility, also justified its communications philosophy. It prefers to talk about company announcements and not about what’s on the media’s agenda. “We are a company that speaks when we have something new to offer customers, authors, sellers, developers”, said Xavier Garambois, a vice president at Amazon responsible for its EU consumer business. The comments came in an exclusive interview with Delano’s sister publication Paperjam, published on Wednesday.
Garambois officially confirmed the company’s headcount in the Grand Duchy, which it has not done publically since six years ago, when it said it employed around 500 staff. “We now have a team of over 1,000 Amazonians in three large offices in different parts of the city”. Those are its original location in the Grund, its second site in Clausen, inaugurated in 2012, and offices in Kirchberg, opened last year.
Hub of activities
He then clarified what exactly the firm does in Luxembourg. “Amazon’s EU business is five consumer websites--for the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and France--serving tens of millions of customers across the EU.” In addition, the Luxembourg hub helps run the European parts of “the Kindle Direct Publishing platform for authors, Marketplace platform for third party sellers, and Amazon Web Services platform for developers.”
Moreover much of its Luxembourg workforce is dedicated to corporate functions for its EU business. “We have our senior management teams for retail, legal, finance, marketing, public relations, and human resources”, according to Garambois. “Our senior operations team that manages 28 fulfilment centres across Europe is also based here.”
Grand Duchy plans
“We’ve had our European headquarters in Luxembourg for over a decade,” he explained. “We chose Luxembourg because it’s a great place to do business and for our employees to live. We are able to recruit from a vast pool of highly educated, multi-lingual professionals. It’s easy to travel throughout Europe, which is important for a pan-European business like ours.”
Amazon, however, does not plan to bring one part of its operations to the Grand Duchy. The firm does not have “any plans to locate a fulfilment centre in Luxembourg. We have a large centre in Koblenz, not too far from here in Germany. The senior team that manages our entire network in Europe is based in Luxembourg. Those guys have a big job and there are a lot of smart people on that team,” he stated.
And for the time being Amazon will not add a fourth site in the Grand Duchy either. Garambois said: “We have not announced any plans to expand into new offices, but we do continue to hire in Luxembourg; there are lots of great jobs listed on our website.”