Amazon reported its quarterly earnings earlier in the day today, and saw its stock price dropping more than 3% in trading after hours on Thursday, as growth outstripped revenue growth.
The AWS business was, once again, the star of the show, even as the e-commerce giant recorded a smaller profit in Q2.
But the big reason for this is that Amazon is spending heavily on hiring.
The company saw a 51% increase in general and administrative costs, of which employee salaries usually make up a large amount. And some new details that have come in show that Amazon is on a huge hiring spree for its cloud unit and ad salespeople.
Now, Amazon, usually does a ton of hiring for its warehouse positions, of course. It has an upcoming job fair set for August 2, where it hopes to add 50,000 more workers.
But as the pioneer in cloud computing, it is now bringing on people for both AWS and its advertising unit, at a growth rate that is faster than the 42% average across the entire company. This, at a time, when it is facing increased competition in the cloud sphere from Microsoft and Google.
This hiring ramp up seems like one way to fend off these rivals, and extend its lead at the top. In fact, this recent report from CB Insights showed 5,600 open job listings for the AWS unit.
No wonder then, that the Amazon CFO also specifically called out the hiring of salespeople for both these divisions, in the earnings call with reporters after announcing the results.
And while the AWS hiring spree comes as no surprise, Amazon is still a relatively small player compared to giants like Google and Facebook on the advertising front, accounting for just a 0.8% global market share.
But this side of the business is also growing rapidly for the company, as it continues to add new products to steal the search advertising business from Google.
Amazon does not break out its ad business, but it does make up a big part of the sales category it has labeled as Other, and which had witnessed a growth rate of 51% year over year, this most recent quarter.