Facebook parent Meta is preparing for large-scale layoffs this week which is expected to affect many thousands of its workforce.
In a recent spate of tech job cuts after the industry’s rapid growth during the pandemic, Meta Platforms Inc is planning to begin large-scale layoffs this week, according to people familiar with the matter, reported The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
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 having more than 87,000 employees at the end of September. Company officials already told employees to cancel non-essential travel beginning this week, the people said.
The planned layoffs would be the first broad head-count reductions to occur in the company’s 18-year history. The number of Meta employees expected to lose their jobs could be the largest to date at a major technology corporation in a year that has seen a tech-industry retrenchment, reported WSJ.
The Wall Street Journal reported in September that Meta was planning to cut expenses by at least 10 per cent in the coming months, in part through staff reductions.
The cuts are expected to be announced this week following several months of more targeted staffing reductions in which employees were managed out or saw their roles eliminated.
“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” Mark Zuckerberg told employees at a companywide meeting at the end of June.
Meta, like other tech giants, went on a hiring spree during the pandemic as life and business shifted more online. It added more than 27,000 employees in 2020 and 2021 combined and added a further 15,344 in the first nine months of this year–about one-fourth of that during the most recent quarter.
A spokesman for Meta declined to comment, referring to Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s recent statement that the company would “focus our investments on a small number of high-priority growth areas.”
“So that means some teams will grow meaningfully, but most other teams will stay flat or shrink over the next year,” he said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call on October 26.
“In aggregate, we expect to end 2023 as either roughly the same size or even a slightly smaller organization than we are today,” he added.
Meta’s stock has fallen more than 70 per cent this year. The company has highlighted deteriorating macroeconomic trends, but investors have also been spooked by its spending and threats to the company’s core social-media business, reported WSJ.
Growth for that business in many markets has stalled amid stiff competition from TikTok, and Apple Inc.’s requirement that users opt into the tracking of their devices has curtailed the ability of social media platforms to target ads.