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Meta, Facebook’s parent company, will lay off 11,000 staff

by OnverZe
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Facebook parent company Meta announced 11,000 layoffs on Wednesday, the most significant job cuts in the tech giant’s history.
The layoffs come as Meta faces a number of challenges in its core business and makes a risky and costly bet on pivoting to the metaverse. It also follows a string of layoffs at other tech firms in recent months as the high-flying sector responds to high inflation, rising interest rates, and fears of a recession.

“Today, I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in an employee blog post. “I’ve decided to reduce our team size by about 13% and let go of over 11,000 of our talented employees.”

The job cuts will affect many areas of the company, but Meta’s recruiting team will be particularly hard hit because “we’re planning to hire fewer people next year,” according to Zuckerberg’s post. With few exceptions, he added, a hiring freeze would be extended until the first quarter. According to a September SEC filing, Meta had over 87,000 employees in September.

Apple’s privacy changes, advertisers’ tightening budgets, and increased competition from newer rivals like TikTok have all harmed Meta’s core ad sales business. Meanwhile, Meta has been spending billions of dollars to create the metaverse, a future version of the internet that is likely to be years away from widespread acceptance. The company reported its second quarterly revenue decline last month and said its profit was cut in half from the previous year. Meta’s market value has dropped from more than $1 trillion last year to around $250 billion.

“I want to accept responsibility for these decisions and how we arrived here,” Zuckerberg wrote in his post on Wednesday. “I know this is difficult for everyone, and I’m especially sorry for those who have been affected.”

In recent months, a number of technology companies have announced hiring freezes or job cuts, often after experiencing rapid growth during the pandemic. Last week, ride-hailing company Lyft announced layoffs of 13% of its workforce, and payment-processing company Stripe announced layoffs of 14% of its workforce. The same day, e-commerce behemoth Amazon announced a moratorium on corporate hiring.

Also last week, as its new owner, Elon Musk, took the helm of Facebook rival Twitter, the company announced mass layoffs affecting roles across the board.

Aside from the layoffs, Zuckerberg stated that the company will “roll out more cost-cutting changes” in the coming months. Meta, like other tech behemoths, is rethinking its real estate needs and “transitioning to desk sharing for people who already spend the majority of their time outside the office,” he said. “Overall,” he said, “this will add up to a meaningful cultural shift in how we operate.”

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