According to The Wall Street Journal, Meta is planning significant job cuts that could affect “thousands” of employees. According to sources familiar with the situation, layoffs could begin as early as Wednesday.
The parent company of Facebook and Instagram had over 87,000 employees at the end of September, but these “large-scale” layoffs are expected to affect a significant portion of the workforce. According to the WSJ, the layoffs could be even more devastating to Meta than Twitter’s mass layoffs, which affected roughly half of the company’s 7,500 employees.
In June, Meta’s chief product officer Chris Cox issued a “serious times” warning, noting that employees must “execute flawlessly in an environment of slower growth.” Around the same time, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg began to put pressure on employees, saying in an internal Q&A session “there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here.” In September, Zuckerberg implemented a hiring freeze and warned that the company might be forced to downsize in the near future.
“In 2023, we’re going to focus our investments on a small number of high priority growth areas,” Zuckerberg said. “So that means some teams will grow meaningfully, but most other teams will stay flat or shrink over the next year. In aggregate, we expect to end 2023 as either roughly the same size, or even a slightly smaller organization than we are today.”
Despite Zuckerberg’s claim that Facebook has more active users than ever before, investors remain concerned about the company’s high-risk bet on the metaverse. Meta’s virtual reality division lost $3.7 billion in the most recent quarter and $9.4 billion this year, while the company’s stock is trading at its lowest level since 2016.