Meta Platforms Inc. plans to begin major layoffs this week as part of recent tech job cuts due to rapid growth in the industry during the pandemic, reports The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The layoffs are expected to affect several thousand workers, and an announcement is expected as early as Wednesday, according to people familiar with the situation.
At the end of September, Metal had more than 87,000 employees. According to sources, company officials have already instructed employees to cancel unnecessary trips starting this week.
The planned layoffs would be the first significant personnel reductions in the company’s 18-year history. According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of Meta employees out of a job could be the largest ever for a major tech company in a year of contraction in the tech industry.
The Wall Street Journal reported in September that Meta planned to cut expenses by at least 10% in the coming months, mainly through layoffs.
After several months of more targeted staff cuts, where employees were moved out or their roles were eliminated, the cuts are being announced this week.
“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people in the company who shouldn’t be here,” Mark Zuckerberg told employees at a company-wide meeting in late June.
During the pandemic, Meta, like other tech scammers, started recruiting as life and business moved more online. It hired more than 27,000 people in 2020 and 2021 combined, and another 15,344 in the first nine months of this year — about a quarter of that in the last quarter.
A Meta spokesperson declined to comment, citing CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent announcement that the company is “focusing our investment on a small number of key growth areas.”
“This means some teams will grow significantly over the next year, but most other teams will remain flat or shrink,” he said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call on Oct. 26.
“Overall, we expect to end 2023 at about the same size or even slightly smaller than now,” he added.
This year, Meta’s stock has fallen by more than 70%. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company has highlighted deteriorating macroeconomic trends, but investors are also concerned about its spending and threats to the company’s core social media business.
Growth in that business has stalled in many markets due to stiff competition from TikTok, and Apple Inc.’s requirement that users opt-in to tracking their devices has limited the social media platforms’ ability to target ads.