Meta to lay off 10,000 employees

Andrew Kogan

Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc. will undergo a new round of layoffs in the coming months, impacting 10,000 of the company’s employees.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the layoffs in a company email on March 14. The latest decrease in the company’s workforce is slightly smaller than its last announced layoff in November 2022, which affected 11,000 employees. The two rounds combined will leave the Big Tech company with roughly 66,000 workers, down 25% from the more than 87,000 that Meta’s team consisted of in September 2022.

“I’ve tried to be open about all the work that’s underway,” Zuckerberg said in a company email. “While I know many of you are energized by this, I also recognize that the idea of upcoming org changes creates uncertainty and stress. My hope is to make these org changes as soon as possible in the year so we can get past this period of uncertainty and focus on the critical work ahead.”

The first round of layoffs occurred because the company hired a surplus of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when users were mostly isolated within their homes and on their digital devices.

As pandemic restrictions began to ease, in-person interactions took the place of many digital interactions, removing the need for such a heavy online presence.

The employees impacted will be largely from the company’s “Family of Apps” segment — which includes workers for Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp — and its “Reality Labs” segment, which includes workers whose work is centered around virtual reality content.

Around 5,000 anticipated job openings will also be slashed in the company’s effort to pursue a management theme this year focused on efficiency.

“We’re focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organization,” Zuckerberg said, according to Meta’s fourth quarter press release, adding that the company “took several measures to pursue greater efficiency and to realign our business and strategic priorities … including [the] cancellation of multiple data center projects.”

The company reported a significant drop in its fourth quarter profits compared to levels seen a year prior, down to $4.65 billion from over $10 billion.

While 2022 revenue increased by a meager 1% from 2021, costs rose by 23%, making recent layoffs all but inevitable. Other reasons for the layoffs include changes in the world economy and “competitive pressures,” as Zuckerberg wrote.

The 38-year-old business magnate also put some of the blame on his shoulders.

“In retrospect, I underestimated the indirect costs of lower priority projects,” he wrote.

These projects, as Zuckerberg stated, took managers’ attention away from more salient operations while simultaneously exerting greater company resources.

But the new year has not seen the end of job dismissals throughout Meta. Instead, Zuckerberg wrote that this is only the beginning of job cuts at the company, not the end. Upcoming cuts would speed up company-wide decisions by minimizing the hierarchical structure of the corporation, leaving fewer middlemen employed.

The uncertain state of the American and global economy took a toll on several massive technology corporations other than Meta as well. Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, anticipate significant job cuts of their own, gearing up for 10,000 and 12,000 layoffs, respectively. Inc., which has undergone its own budget cuts in recent months, already laid off over 18,000 workers in January., a website that tracks job dismissals in the technology industry, reported that over 300,000 workers were laid off since 2021. But these cuts seem to be due to a return to normal, pre-pandemic employment levels as companies put the pandemic in the rearview mirror.