Facebook Parent Meta Laying Off 11,000 Employees
The cuts represent about 13 percent of Meta’s worldwide workforce and are the first mass layoffs in the company’s history.
Facebook parent Meta has committed to firing more than 11,000 employees as it faces an economic downturn, dwindling investment and skepticism about its metaverse efforts.
The cuts, which represent about 13 percent of Meta’s worldwide workforce, are the first mass layoffs in the company’s history. They were widely rumoured earlier this week, but the scale has still shocked markets.
In a letter to employees, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “Today I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history. I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13 percent 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.
“Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected. This is a sad moment, and there’s no way around that. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility.”
Zuckerberg notably stopped short of mentioning his company’s extensive investment in the metaverse: an investment that has been widely panned by critics and has caused a loss of investor confidence.
Meta Stock Has Plummeted In 2022
Meta’s shares have lost 72 percent of their value this year, although the company can’t take sole blame: all major tech companies have taken a hammering through 2022.
In the last month Microsoft and Amazon have slashed hiring targets, and Twitter has let go of fully half its workforce.
Florence Brocklesby, founder of employment law specialists Bellevue Law, said:
“Redundancies are, sadly, a fact of life, and delivering difficult news is never easy. But how a restructuring is conducted is hugely important, not only for those leaving the business, but also for those who remain and the company’s wider reputation. Good processes combined with humanity are key to navigating a challenging time safely and with dignity.
“Twitter’s handling of its current restructuring has shone a light on how redundancies in the tech sector should—and should not—be handled. Just a few days ago Twitter announced plans to let go of 50 percent of its staff, with swaths of employees finding themselves suddenly locked out of company systems. Meta needs to avoid making those same mistakes today.”
Global Cuts Unclear
Meta did not specify how employees in different countries would be affected by the cuts.
Affected employees have already lost access to corporate systems but were allowed to retain their email accounts to “say farewell,” according to Zuckerberg’s message. U.S. employees will receive 16 weeks of base pay, plus two additional weeks for every year of service and will be paid for their remaining paid time off as part of the severance package.
This article originally appeared on CRN’s sister site, Computing.