By Tom Ozimek
Facebook parent Meta has announced that it’s slashing another 10,000 jobs and won’t fill 5,000 open position, as the beleaguered social media giant struggles to cut costs amid profit pressure.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg broke the bad news to staff in a statement on Tuesday, in which he gave an update on the company’s “Year of Efficiency” efforts to slash costs.
“As I’ve talked about efficiency this year, I’ve said that part of our work will involve removing jobs—and that will be in service of both building a leaner, more technical company,” Zuckerberg said.
The widely anticipated job cuts are part of a broader restructuring at Meta that includes canceling lower-priority projects, flattening layers of middle management, and “dramatically” boosting developer productivity.
“This will 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,” Zuckerberg said.
The Facebook founder said U.S.-based tech workers will start seeing pink slips in late April, while in late May staff in the company’s business units can expect to be let go.
“With less hiring, I’ve made the difficult decision to further reduce the size of our recruiting team,” Zuckerberg continued, adding that recruiting team members will be notified over the next few days whether they still have jobs.
In a small number of cases, it could take until the end of the year to complete the terminations, Zuckerberg said, while job cut timelines for Meta’s international staff members will differ.
Shares of Meta jumped 6 percent on the news.
‘New Economic Reality’
Meta said in February that its profits were declining as it announced its third consecutive quarter of falling revenue. At the time, Zuckerberg said Meta would be laying off 11,000 workers, or around 13 percent of its workforce.
He blamed those job cuts on aggressive hiring during the pandemic, when business was booming as people spent more time on social media while locked down in their homes. But as lockdowns became a thing of the past and normal life resumed, the company’s revenue growth began to fade.
“Last year was a humbling wake-up call. The world economy changed, competitive pressures grew, and our growth slowed considerably,” Zuckerberg said in Tuesday’s message.
Meta responded to the changing market dynamics by scaling back budgets, getting rid of some office space, and cutting staff—with more on the way.
“I think we should prepare ourselves for the possibility that this new economic reality will continue for many years,” Zuckerberg said, pointing to factors like high interest rates putting an end to the easy money era that flooded businesses—tech companies in particular—with cash.
Heightened geopolitical instability means more volatility and a less predictable operating environment, he said, while blaming increased regulation for slower growth and higher innovation costs.
“Given this outlook, we’ll need to operate more efficiently than our previous headcount reduction to ensure success,” Zuckerberg said.
The Menlo Park, California, company has invested billions of dollars to realign its focus on its virtual reality “metaverse” and is looking to move aggressively into artificial intelligence.
“This work is incredibly important and the stakes are high,” Zuckerberg said, adding that Meta’s top investment priority is in artificial intelligence and building it into every single one of its products.
Tech Layoffs Soar
Roughly 128,000 technology industry employees from 483 companies have been laid off since the start of the year, according to the industry employment tracking website Layoffs.Fyi.
At the current pace of around 51,200 job losses per month, about 614,000 tech employees could lose their current jobs through the end of the year. That would represent around a 280 percent increase from 2022, when 160,997 people got pink slips, according to Layoffs.Fyi.
In January, Google began layoffs of 12,000 workers, or about 6 percent of its workforce, while Microsoft also started cutting about 10,000 jobs that same month.
In February, the computer maker Dell announced plans to cut about 6,650 employees in a plan to reduce its workforce by about 5 percent.
“Market conditions continue to erode with an uncertain future,” Dell co-chief operating officer Jeff Clarke said as he announced the job cuts. Clarke said the steps the company had taken to that point to stay ahead of the economic downturn were “no longer enough.”
Amazon also announced plans to cut 8,000 jobs, on top of the roughly 10,000 it slashed at the end of last year.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk, too, slashed around half of the social media platform’s workforce.