Meta Platforms Inc. employees received news Wednesday of the final round of previously announced job cuts, which affected thousands of workers in the company’s business departments. Now, the rest of the staff hope that an uncomfortable limbo in the company can end.
The layoffs complete most of the restructuring CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in March to cut 10,000 jobs. The initial reductions affected the company’s hiring and human resources departments, and by the end of April, jobs in Meta’s technology groups were slashed. Zuckerberg has said further cuts will come only in a “small number of cases” for the rest of the year, giving those people a cold sense of relief.
The company, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, said the layoffs were necessary to improve efficiency, following overhiring during the pandemic. Meta promised faster product development and decision making that have sent its shares up more than 100% year to date. But employees said some important work and planning has stalled. Notably, Meta is still deciding on its product roadmap for the rest of the year as it sifts through resources following cutbacks at the technology group, a person familiar with the matter said.
During the limbo, employees were unsure who to collaborate with, how to shift responsibilities across their teams or who would be cut next, according to current and recently laid-off employees, who asked not to be named for internal reasons. Zuckerberg announced which business units would be affected weeks ago, leaving workers anxious and unmotivated, inventing tasks for themselves or avoiding work until there is clearer direction, others said.
The laid off employees were notified individually by email at 5 a.m. in San Francisco, and Zuckerberg plans to address those now out of work this morning, one of the people said. In some countries, a large part of the local workforce has been affected. In Ireland, Meta said on Wednesday that she expected to cut some 490 positions, across various teams including finance, sales, marketing and engineering. The company also previously removed its entire Instagram presence in London.
A Meta spokesperson declined to comment.
The three rounds of cuts this year follow a 13% reduction in Meta’s workforce in November, the first major layoffs it had made. The company is simultaneously in a hiring freeze for most roles and is going through a process of asking middle managers to become individual contributors, or risk losing their jobs in some cases.
Executives have blamed the hiring spree during the pandemic, when people were stuck at home spending more time online on Meta’s social media platforms and advertising dollars increased. Then last year, annual revenue growth slowed for the first time as the economy looked less certain and Apple Inc.’s changes made digital ads less effective, prompting marketers to cut back. the expense. Facing slumping sales, Meta has faced harsh scrutiny over the billions of dollars it is spending on the virtual reality platform called metaverse, a line of business that can take a decade to make money, and investors slashed Stocks 64% for the worst year on record.
In February, Zuckerberg announced that 2023 would be the “year of efficiency,” raising shares 23% in one day and validating cost-cutting measures. Even as the company is laying off employees, it continues to pour billions of dollars into improving the infrastructure for AI technology and Zuckerberg’s metaverse vision.