Meta to Cut ‘Thousands’ of Jobs This Week: Report

Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook, is gearing up for its largest round of layoffs this week — reports The Wall Street Journal.

According to people close to the developments, Meta is planning to announce the job cuts as early as Wednesday. Company officials have already told employees to cancel nonessential travel plans starting this week.

The move comes after Meta previously instituted a company-wide hiring freeze and announced plans for corporate restructuring.

Sources said the planned layoffs could number in the thousands, which would be Meta’s first headcount reduction of this scale since the company was founded as Facebook 18 years ago.

A spokesman for Meta declined to comment on the situation, and instead pointed to CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent statement that the company would “focus our investments on a small number of high priority growth areas.”

“So that means some teams will grow meaningfully, but most other teams will stay flat or shrink over the next year,” Zuckerberg said during Meta’s third-quarter earnings call late last month. “In aggregate, we expect to end 2023 as either roughly the same size, or even a slightly smaller organization than we are today.”

The number of Meta employees expected to lose their jobs could also represent the largest to date at a major tech company. Twitter’s new owner and CEO Elon Musk did cleave 50% of the company’s workforce last week, but that only amounted to about 3,700 employees. Meta, in comparison, employs more than 87,000 individuals as of September.

“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” Zuckerberg said during a companywide meeting back in June.

Companies like Meta are finding themselves in a tricky spot as consumer spending decreases and the demand for tech products and services, along with the tech industry as a whole, sees a post-pandemic correction. Tech companies have grown too quickly in recent years, especially during the pandemic, and are now having to tighten their belts.

The tech industry has had a rough year, some companies more so than others. Meta’s shares have fallen a little over 72% year-to-date. The social media giant’s share price dipped 23% when it reported third-quarter earnings late last month. Meta saw its second straight quarterly decline in revenue during Q3, and profits nosedived 52% to $4.4 billion.

Job cuts are only one of the cost-cutting measures Meta has in store. The company is also slashing internal budgets and entire projects — earlier this year, Meta pulled the plug on developing an Apple Watch competitor.

Meta also plans to be more cautious with resource allocation. The company’s priorities currently include Zuckerberg’s fabled “metaverse” and its TikTok competitor, Reels. Last month, Meta launched its first mixed reality (AR/VR) headset, the $2,299 Meta Quest Pro.