Facebook parent Meta is preparing for mass layoffs this week that are expected to affect thousands of its employees.
In the latest round of tech job cuts after the industry’s rapid growth during the crisis, Meta Platforms Inc plans to begin layoffs this week, according to people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
The layoffs are expected to affect thousands of workers and an announcement is scheduled to come as soon as Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter.
Meta reported that it had more than 87,000 employees at the end of September. Company officials have already told workers to cancel non-essential travel starting this week, the people said.
The planned layoffs will be the first major layoffs in the company’s 18-year history. The number of Meta employees expected to lose their jobs could be the largest so far for a major tech company in a year of layoffs for the tech industry, the WSJ reported.
The Wall Street Journal reported in September that Meta plans to cut costs by at least 10 percent in the coming months, in part through layoffs.
The layoffs are expected to be announced this week following several months of targeted layoffs where employees were laid off or terminated.
“Frankly, there are probably a lot of people in the company who shouldn’t be here,” Mark Zuckerberg told employees at a company-wide meeting at the end of June. Meta, like other tech giants, continued to hire during the crisis as life and business changed dramatically online.
It added more than 27,000 workers in 2020 and 2021 combined and added 15,344 more in the first nine months of this year – nearly a quarter of that in the most recent quarter. A spokesperson for Meta declined to comment, referring to Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s recent statement that the company will “focus our investment on a small area of growth that is very important.”
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“So that means some groups will grow well, but many other groups will remain flat or decline over the next year,” he said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call on Oct. 26.
“Overall, we expect to end 2023 as roughly the same size or a much smaller organization than we are today,” he added. Meta stock is down more than 70 percent this year.
The company highlighted deteriorating macroeconomic trends, but investors were also distracted by its spending and threats to the company’s core telecommunications business, the WSJ reported.
That business’s growth in many markets has stalled amid stiff competition from TikTok, and Apple Inc. that users opt-in to tracking their device reduces the ability of social networks to understand ads.