Facebook parent Meta is preparing for large-scale layoffs this week that are expected to affect many thousands of its workforce.
In a recent wave of tech job cuts following the rapid growth of the industry 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 that they had more than 87,000 employees at the end of September. Company officials have already told employees to cancel non-essential travel beginning this week, the people said.
The planned layoffs would be the first extensive headcount reductions to occur in the company’s 18-year history. The number of Meta employees expected to lose their jobs could be the largest ever 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 plans to cut expenses by at least 10 percent in the coming months, in part through staff reductions.
The cuts are expected to be announced this week after several months of more targeted staffing reductions in which employees were run out or saw 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 company-wide meeting in late 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 another 15,344 in the first nine months of the year — about a quarter of the last 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.”
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“So that means some teams will grow meaningfully, but most other teams will remain flat or shrink over the next year,” he said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call on Oct. 26.
“In general, we expect to end 2023 as approximately the same size or even a slightly smaller organization than we are today,” he added. Meta’s stock has fallen more than 70 percent this year.
The company has highlighted deteriorating macroeconomic trends, but investors are also spooked by its spending and threats to the company’s core social media business, reported WSJ.
Growth for the business in many markets has stalled amid stiff competition from TikTok, and Apple Inc. s requirement that users opt in to the tracking of their devices has curbed the ability of social media platforms to target ads.