Meta to Lay Off 11,000 Employees as Zuckerberg Drops the Axe

“I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history,” Zuckerberg wrote in a company-wide email

Massive layoffs are coming for Meta Inc.-owned companies like Facebook and Instagram—to the tune of 11,000 workers, or 13 percent of its total workforce, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Meta’s currently has roughly 87,000 employees, pre-bloodbath.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg disclosed the moves in an all-staff email Wednesday morning.

“Today I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history,” Zuckerberg wrote. “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.”

The totally human executive went on to explain why he had to make the cuts, which THR paraphrased as “a misreading of COVID-induced digital trends, macroeconomic concerns, and Apple’s move to cut off user data from third parties.”

Aside from layoffs, Zuckerberg also promoted corporate belt-tightening throughout the company to become “leaner and more efficient” with such novel ideas as slashing unnecessary spending, and keeping the company’s hiring freeze in place through Q1.

One sector that won’t suffer cuts? Meta’s Reality Labs division, home of the metaverse—remember that? According to a filing, that division will “grow significantly” next year.

Laid-off employees will receive 16 weeks of pay plus two additional weeks for every year of service, Zuckerberg said, with Meta covering health insurance for six months, according to CNBC. There will be access to career services and immigration support for those on a visa.

Shares of Meta were up about 7.7 percent Wednesday morning.

Zuck-watchers probably saw this coming, though probably not on this scale. In a Q&A with employees back in July, Zuckerberg was already predicting the recession. “I’d say that this might be one of the worst downturns that we’ve seen in recent history,” he told his worker-bees.

And he pointed the finger straight at his employees.

“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” Zuckerberg said. So how would he deal with that? At the time, it seemed like his plan was an unpleasant version of “managing out.”

As he explained to employees, “Part of my hope by raising expectations and having more aggressive goals, and just kind of turning up the heat a little bit, is that I think some of you might decide that this place isn’t for you, and that self-selection is OK with me.”

Meta’s pending layoff’s are just the latest in tech sector job massacres. Elon Musk laid off nearly half of Twitter’s workforce last Friday, days after his takeover deal went through. Snap cut 20 percent of its staff in late August.

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