Mark Zuckerberg-led social media giant Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has announced another round of mass layoffs in which 10,000 people will be affected. In November last year, the company laid off 11,000 employees in the largest layoff in its 18-year history after a dramatic slowdown in revenue in 2022.
In a memo shared via Facebook, Zuckerberg said over the next couple of months, the company leaders will announce restructuring plans focused on flattening the organisation, cancelling lower-priority projects, and reducing hiring rates. As of November 8, 2022, the company had 87,000 employees globally.
"Overall, we expect to reduce our team size by around 10,000 people and to close around 5,000 additional open roles that we haven't yet hired."
According to Zuckerberg, it'll be tough and there's no way around that. "It will mean saying goodbye to talented and passionate colleagues who have been part of our success. We will support people in the same ways we have before and treat everyone with the gratitude they deserve."
It's not clear to what extent the current round of layoffs will affect Meta's Indian unit. However, Mark asserted Meta's timelines for "international teams will also look different", and that local leaders will follow up with more details.
After restructuring, Meta plans to lift hiring and transfer freezes in each group, and the company targets this summer to complete the “analysis”.
For most of Meta's history, it saw rapid revenue growth year after year and had the resources to invest in many new products, says Zuckerberg. "But last year was a humbling wake-up call (in 2022)," the Meta CEO told employees, adding that as the world economy changed, competitive pressures grew, and its growth slowed considerably.
"We scaled back budgets, shrunk our real estate footprint, and made the difficult decision to lay off 13% of our workforce," he said.
Notably, despite the company recording a 4% year-on-year decline in revenue for the quarter ending December 2022, Meta’s annual profit stood at $23 billion.
Zuckerberg thinks "this new economic reality" will continue for many years. "Higher interest rates lead to the economy running leaner, more geopolitical instability leads to more volatility, and increased regulation leads to slower growth and increased costs of innovation."
In November 2022, the social media company fired 13% of its workforce (11,000 employees) amid weak earnings and a competitive advertising market.
The year 2022 and the first three months of 2023 have witnessed massive layoffs across companies all over the world. The tech sector, especially, has been the most affected as companies grapple with cost-cutting measures amid dwindling revenues.
Google recently sacked around 12,000 roles in one of the highest headcount reductions in the past year. Pichai said despite periods of dramatic growth, the company was now faced with a "different economic reality", forcing it to launch massive job cuts.
Jeff Bezos-led Amazon also laid off over 18,000 workers, starting January 18, 2023. Microblogging platform Twitter sacked 50% of its workforce and is planning to slash its workforce further. Snap, the parent company of the social media platform Snapchat, sacked 20% of its staff. There are dozens of other tech and non-tech companies that have resorted to brutal layoffs amid the global downturn.