Facebook parent Meta prepares for large-scale layoffs this week


Facebook parent Meta is preparing for major layoffs this week that are expected to affect many thousands of its workforce.

In a recent spate of tech job cuts following the industry’s rapid growth during the pandemic, Meta Platforms Inc plans to begin major layoffs this week, according to people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

The layoffs are expected to affect many thousands of employees and an announcement is planned to come as soon as Wednesday, according to the people familiar with the matter.

Meta reported that they had more than 87,000 employees at the end of September. Company officials have already told employees to cancel nonessential travel starting this week, the people said.

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The planned layoffs would be the first broad reductions in the company’s 18-year history. The number of Meta employees expected to lose their jobs could be the largest yet at a major technology company in a year that has seen a tech industry downturn, WSJ reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported in September that Meta planned to cut expenses by at least 10 percent in the coming months, partly through staff reductions.

The cuts are expected to be announced this week after several months of more targeted staff reductions in which employees have been retrenched or seen their roles eliminated.

“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people in the company who shouldn’t be here,” Mark Zuckerberg told employees at a corporate meeting in late June. Meta, like other tech giants, went on a hiring spree during the pandemic as life and business shifted more online.

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It added more than 27,000 employees in 2020 and 2021 combined and added another 15,344 in the first nine months of this year – about a quarter of that in the last quarter. A spokesperson for Meta declined to comment, referring to Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s recent statement that the company is “focusing our investments on a small number of priority growth areas.”

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“So that means some teams will grow meaningfully, but most other teams will remain flat or shrink next year,” he said at the company’s third-quarter earnings call on Oct. 26.

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“Overall, we expect 2023 to be either about the same size or even a slightly smaller organization than we are today,” he added. Meta shares have fallen more than 70 percent this year.

The company highlighted worsening macroeconomic trends, but investors were also spooked by its spending and threats to the company’s core social media business, WSJ reported.

Growth for that business in many markets has stalled amid stiff competition from TikTok, and Apple Inc. its requirement that users opt out of tracking from their devices has reduced the ability of social media platforms to target ads.


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