Amazon’s secretive Prime Air project’s UK team has been gutted, with over 100 employees losing their jobs, according to a report from Wired.
The UK team’s primary goal was to test the service, which has been plagued with difficulties since it was announced in 2013.
Prime Air is Amazon’s answer to rapid drone delivery, where it aims to deliver items to customers in under 30 minutes via unmanned drones.
However the service has yet to properly launch as it has suffered a number of setbacks including staff turnovers and regulatory barriers.
According to a former Prime Air employee in an interview with Wired, the project is “chaotic” as managers which had little to no knowledge of the industry were being brought in from other areas of the business.
Some staff reported to having three different managers in one month.
Amazon has aimed to quash such reports by revealing that there are still employees working at the UK division, however they have not provided a total headcount.
Former employees have revealed that every few months an nameless American executive would arrive from the company’s head office, order the team pizza before doubling their workload.
“Everything started collapsing inwards because they (Amazon) piled too much on, they put people in charge who didn’t know anything about the project and they oversold,” the former employee said.
On the surface, Amazon’s Prime Air service looks to be heading in the right direction after receiving US Federal Aviation Authority approval to start flying drones in August last year.
However, according to insiders, it is in disarray, with another employee saying “It’s all one gigantic oversell, just so many promises that can’t be kept.”
Prime Air is planning on instigating a soft launch in the third quarter of 2022, according to people familiar with the matter.
You can watch Charged’s summation of the drone space here.