Facebook’s parent company Meta is preparing for large-scale layoffs this week that are expected to affect many thousands of its workforce.
Meta Platforms Inc. plans to begin large-scale layoffs this week after the industry’s rapid growth amid a pandemic of tech layoffs, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
The layoffs are expected to affect many thousands of workers, and an announcement is scheduled to be made as early as Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Meta reported more than 87,000 employees at the end of September. Company officials have already told employees to cancel non-essential travel starting this week, the people said.
The planned layoffs would be the first large-scale layoffs in the company’s 18-year history. The number of Met employees expected to lose their jobs could be the largest yet for a major tech corporation in a year that has seen the tech sector shrink, the WSJ reported.
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 layoffs.
The cuts are expected to be announced this week after months of more targeted staff cuts, which have seen employees being managed or their roles eliminated.
“Realistically, there are probably a lot 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 to work during the pandemic as life and business shifted more online.
More than 27,000 workers were added in 2020 and 2021 combined, and another 15,344 were added in the first nine months of this year — about one-quarter in the last quarter. A Met spokesman declined to comment, citing CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent announcement that the company would “focus its investments on a small number of high-priority growth areas.”
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“This means that some teams will grow significantly, while 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.
“Overall, we expect to end 2023 as roughly the same size or even slightly smaller organization than we are today,” he added. Meta shares are down more than 70 percent this year.
The company has highlighted worsening macroeconomic trends, but investors are also spooked by its spending and threats to the company’s core social media business, the WSJ reports.
That business’s growth has stalled in many markets amid stiff competition from TikTok, and Apple Inc. requiring users to opt-in to tracking their devices has reduced the ability of social media platforms to target ads.