Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced plans a restructure that includes more layoffs at the tech giant.
Some 10,000 jobs are expected to be axed as part of the plans, alongside 5,000 vacancies currently unfilled.
In an update to staff yesterday, Zuckerberg cited higher interest rates and geopolitical instability causing “more volatility” and increased regulation as a factor for slower growth and “increased costs of innovation”.
“At this point, I think we should prepare ourselves for the possibility that this new economic reality will continue for many years. Given this outlook, we’ll need to operate more efficiently than our previous headcount reduction to ensure success.”
Zuckerberg outlined a timeline to staff for the plan ahead, with leaders at the organisation announcing plans “focused on flattening our orgs, cancelling lower priority projects, and reducing our hiring rates. With less hiring, I’ve made the difficult decision to further reduce the size of our recruiting team”.
Recruiting team members are being informed today whether they will be impacted by the plans, he added.
Meta restructure timeline
Restructuring and layoff announcements are expected in late April for Meta’s tech groups, with those for business groups following a month later. Zuckerberg noted that for a minority of cases, the changes may not be completed before the end of the year.
“Our timelines for international teams will also look different, and local leaders will follow up with more details,” he added.
Zuckerberg said that during the firm’s “year of efficiency” the company will look to become a “flatter” organisation by removing layers of middle management, a leaner operation by cancelling projects that are “duplicative or lower priority” and will focus on “returning to a more optimal ratio of engineers to other roles”.
Meta intends to lift hiring and transfer freezes once the restructure is complete.
“This will be tough and there’s no way around that. It will mean saying goodbye to talented and passionate colleagues who have been part of our success. They’ve dedicated themselves to our mission and I’m personally grateful for all their efforts. We will support people in the same ways we have before and treat everyone with the gratitude they deserve,” Zuckerberg said.
Tech titans continue to stumble
The moves follow the shedding of 13% of Meta’s workforce last November, when Zuckerberg told staff that he was accountable for the company’s missteps in optimistically overhiring. In this latest announcement he described last year as “a humbling wake-up call”.
The layoffs are the latest in the stream of job losses in the tech industry, with Amazon, Google parent Alphabet and Microsoft among the many announcing sizable cuts in their workforce this year.
In its posting of Q4 and full-year results for 2022, Meta announced profits of $23bn over the year, 41% down from 2021. Revenue was 1% down from the previous year (4% down in Q4 2022 compared to the same period the previous year), while costs were up 23% in 2022, including a $4.61bn bill relating to the company’s “restructuring efforts”.
Headcount at the organisation stood at just below 86,500 by the end of 2022, though this included the majority of those that were affected by the initial round of layoffs at the tech giant in November.