Facebook’s parent company Meta is set to lay off 11,000 people and reduce its workforce by 13%, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Wednesday (Nov. 9).
The news was shared around 3 a.m. PST with staff access “to most Meta systems” removed effective immediately.
In a company-wide memo that was all posted on the company’s public pages, Zuckerberg blamed the pandemic, saying that the digital growth and “surge of e-commerce” experienced during the early days of COVID-19 – when lockdowns meant people were stuck at home – seemed as though it would become a “permanent acceleration that would continue even after the pandemic ended.”
Zuckerberg said employees would soon receive an email “letting you know what this layoff means for you” and support would be provided including severance packages, 6 months of health insurance in the U.S. and careers services. Those working in the U.S. on visas would be assisted by “immigration specialists” while Meta employees working internationally would be assisted in accordance with local employment laws.
“I [predicted this] too, so I made the decision to significantly increase our investments,” Zuckerberg said in his memo. “Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected. Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.”
Zuckerberg said that as part of Meta’s effort to become “more capital efficient” it was “scaling back budgets, reducing perks, and shrinking our real estate footprint.” Instead, he said resources would continue being poured into the AI discovery engine, the ads and business platforms and its “long-term vision for the metaverse.”
“Today I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history,” Zuckerberg said in a message sent to Meta’s staff. “I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13% and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go. We are also taking a number of additional steps to become a leaner and more efficient company by cutting discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through Q1.”
“I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here. I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry to those impacted.”
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