Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced massive layoffs — affecting more than 11,000 workers, or 13% of its workforce. For context, Meta has 87,000 employees; the layoffs will affect all teams.
Zuckerberg had previously announced the move to hundreds of executives in a meeting Tuesday, adding that he was accountable for the company’s missteps in optimistically overhiring.
“Today I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history,” Zuckerberg said in an open letter. "I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13% and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go. We are also taking a number of additional steps to become a leaner and more efficient company by cutting discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through Q1"
Meta staff were being told what was happening to them individually via email. Those affected in the US would get at least six weeks salary as compensation, plus a further two weeks' wages for every year served.
The arrangements would be similar elsewhere, the company said, though it was unclear whether any UK jobs were affected. Meta has its European HQ in Ireland.
“I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here. I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry to those impacted,” he added.
But investors are also concerned about Meta's big spending on its virtual and augmented reality division called Reality Labs. They have called Zuckerberg's metaverse vision into question - with shares down 71% in the year to date - as it remains unclear whether the prospects for applications in the space are matching the reality.
Zuckerberg wrote: "While we're making reductions in every organisation across both Family of Apps and Reality Labs, some teams will be affected more than others.
However, he signalled a continued investment commitment to the division.
“As we build our AI infrastructure, we’re focused on becoming even more efficient with our capacity. Our infrastructure will continue to be an important advantage for Meta, and I believe we can achieve this while spending less.”
“Fundamentally, we’re making all these changes for two reasons: our revenue outlook is lower than we expected at the beginning of this year, and we want to make sure we’re operating efficiently across both Family of Apps and Reality Labs,” he concluded.
The cuts are likely to be some of the biggest this year in the tech sector, which has been shedding jobs for several months amid rising borrowing costs, faster inflation and slower economic growth.
Just last week, thousands of Twitter employees from across various parts of the company were informed by new owner and CEO Elon Musk their roles had been made redundant.