Facebook parent Meta is gearing up for massive layoffs this week that are expected to affect thousands of its workforce.
In the latest round of tech job cuts after the industry’s rapid growth during the pandemic, Meta Platforms Inc. plans to begin large-scale 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 expected as early 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 beginning this week, the people said.
The planned layoffs would be the first broad head-count reductions in the company’s 18-year history. The number of Meta employees expected to lose their jobs could be the largest at a major technology corporation in a year that has seen tech-industry retrenchment, the WSJ reported.
The Wall Street Journal reported in September that Meta planned to cut expenses by at least 10 percent in the coming months through staff cuts.
The cuts are expected to be announced this week after several months of more targeted staff cuts in which employees were streamlined or their roles eliminated.
“Actually, there are probably a lot of 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, went on a hiring spree during the pandemic as life and business moved more online.
It added more than 27,000 employees in 2020 and 2021 combined and added 15,344 more in the first nine months of this year — nearly a quarter of what it did in the most recent quarter. A Meta spokeswoman declined to comment, citing 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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“This 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.
“Overall, we expect to end 2023 as either roughly the same size or a slightly smaller organization than we are today,” he added. Meta’s stock is 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 reported.
Growth for that business has stalled in many markets amid stiff competition from TikTok, and Apple Inc. The need for users to opt-out of tracking of their devices has reduced the ability of social media platforms to target ads.