Meta’s planning major job cuts that could affect “thousands” of workers, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Sources familiar with the situation told the WSJ that the layoffs could begin as soon as Wednesday.
The Facebook and Instagram parent company reported over 87,000 employees at the end of September, but these “large-scale” layoffs are expected to slash a significant portion of staff members. According to the WSJ, the layoffs could hit Meta even harder than the mass job cuts at Twitter, which affected about half of the company’s 7,500-employee workforce.
In June, Meta’s chief product officer Chris Cox warned employees of “serious times,” noting that employees must “execute flawlessly in an environment of slower growth.” Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg started to turn up the heat on employees around the same time, saying in an internal Q&A session obtained by The Verge’s Alex Heath that “there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here.” Zuckerberg later implemented a hiring freeze in September and warned that the company could downsize in the near future.
Meta declined to comment on the situation but pointed The Verge to Zuckerberg’s statement during the company’s earnings call last month. “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.”
Although Zuckerberg says Facebook has more active users than ever before, investors are still concerned about the company’s pricey bet on the metaverse. Meta’s virtual reality arm lost $3.7 billion this past quarter and a total of $9.4 billion this year, while the company’s stock is trading at its lowest price since 2016.