Facebook’s parent company Meta could announce large-scale layoffs this week, which is expected to affect many thousands of its workforce, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal citing ‘people familiar with the matter.’
This could be the largest round in a recent spate of tech job cuts after the industry’s rapid growth during the pandemic.
Meta went on a hiring spree during the pandemic as everything shifted online by adding more than 27,000 employees in 2020 and 2021 combined, and added a further 15,344 in the first nine months of this year. Meta reported more than 87,000 employees at the end of September.
It sets its sights on a future business model more closely tied to the Metaverse.
A spokesperson for the company pointed to a statement by CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the Q3 earnings call when he said “In 2023, we’re going to 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.”
During that call Zuckerberg went on to say: “In aggregate, we expect to end 2023 as either roughly the same size, or even a slightly smaller organization than we are today.”
The planned layoffs would be the first broad head-count reductions to occur in the company’s 18-year history. The number of Meta employees expected to lose their jobs could be the largest to date at a major technology corporation in a year that has seen a tech-industry retrenchment.
Meta shares have dropped 73 pc this year, their lowest since early 2016, ranking the social media giant is the worst performer in the S&P 500 for 2022.