Facebook parent Meta is preparing for mass layoffs this week that are expected to affect thousands of its employees.
In a recent wave of technology job cuts following the industry’s rapid growth during the pandemic, Meta Platforms Inc plans to begin mass layoffs this week, according to people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
The layoffs are expected to affect thousands of employees, and an announcement is planned as soon as Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter.
Meta reported more than 87,000 employees at the end of September. Company officials have already asked employees to cancel non-essential travel starting this week, the people said.
The planned layoffs will be the first widespread head-count reductions in the company’s 18-year history. Meta employees are expected to lose their jobs in a year that could be the largest number of tech-industry layoffs to date at a major technology corporation, reports the WSJ.
The Wall Street Journal reported in September that Meta plans to cut costs by at least 10 percent by cutting staff in the coming months.
The cuts are expected to be announced this week after months of more targeted staff cuts in which employees were reorganized or eliminated in roles.
“Realistically, there are probably people in the company who shouldn’t be here,” Mark Zuckerberg told employees at a companywide meeting in late June. Meta, like other tech giants, has sought to hire as jobs and businesses shift more online during the pandemic.
More than 27,000 employees were added in 2020 and 2021 combined, and another 15,344 were added in the first nine months of this year — about a quarter of those in the most recent quarter. A Meta spokeswoman declined to comment, referring to a recent statement by Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg that the company would “focus our investments on a small number of high-priority growth areas.”
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“That means some teams will grow meaningfully, but most others will be flat or shrink over the next year,” he said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call on Oct. 26.
“Overall, we expect to end 2023 as either roughly the same size or slightly smaller organization than today,” he added. Meta’s stock has fallen more than 70 percent this year.
The company has highlighted worsening macroeconomic trends, but investors are also spooked by its costs and threats to the company’s core social media business, the WSJ reported.
Fierce competition from TikTok has stalled the business’s growth in many markets, and Apple Inc. The social media platform’s ability to target ads has been reduced by requiring its users to opt out of their device tracking.