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Mark Zuckerberg confirms Meta to lay off thousands of employees

UPDATE 9/11 11:35am BST: Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed the news of mass layoffs at Meta in a blog post.

“I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13% and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go,” he wrote.

The company will also be “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”.

As part of those efficiency measures, Meta will be shrinking its real estate footprint, and shifting to the use of desk sharing for employees who spend most of their time outside the office. There will apparently be more such cost-cutting measures over the coming months

Zuckerberg claims that he takes accountability for these measures, admitting that he “made the decision to significantly increase our investments” off the back of predictions that the surge in e-commerce would continue beyond the pandemic. In reality, he accepts that the combination of a “macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss” have caused the company’s revenue to be much lower than expected.

Original report continues below…

Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apparently confirmed that his company will lay off thousands of employees amidst ongoing financial struggles.

Meta had around 87,000 employees as off the end of September, but that figure looks set to drop precipitously from today.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Zuckerberg told Meta executives on Tuesday that major staff cuts will be made starting Wednesday November 9. The company’s recruiting and business teams are set to be hit particularly hard.

An apparently “downcast” Zuckerberg accepted accountability for his company’s recent underperformance, and admitted that “his over-optimism about growth had led to overstaffing” during the pandemic.

The cull will likely be the largest seen in the tech sector this year. Given that sweeping staff cuts have been the norm among the world’s tech giants (including Microsoft, Arm and Snap) in 2022, that’s quite some claim. Also notable is the fact that this will be the first major staff reduction in the company’s 18-year history.

Meta employees who are released in this latest batch will get at least four months of salary by way of severance, according to Meta’s head of human resources, Lori Goler (and since officially confirmed by Mark Zuckerberg).

This broad lay off comes as Meta stock has fallen a staggering 70%, partly thanks to the bleak global economic outlook, but also due to the company’s all-in approach to the metaverse and VR. The emergence of TikTok as a major rival to its core social media business hasn’t helped either, while Apple’s clampdown on tracking has hit the company where it hurts – right in the ad revenue.

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