July 13, 2024

Meta lays off more than 11,000 employees

Meta lays off more than 11,000 employees

*Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s chief executive, met with executives on Tuesday about the layoffs. Credit...Pete Marovich for The New York Times

The parent of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp reduced its workforce by 13 per cent and extended a hiring freeze through the first quarter of next year.

Since Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2004, the Silicon Valley company has steadily hired more employees. At the end of September, it had amassed its largest-ever number of workers, totalling 87,314 people.

But on Wednesday, the company — now renamed Meta — began cutting jobs, and deeply.

Meta said it was laying off more than 11,000, or about 13 per cent of its workforce, in what amounted to the company’s most significant job cuts. The layoffs were made across departments and regions, though some areas, like recruiting and business teams, were affected more than others.

“I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here,” Mr Zuckerberg wrote in a letter to employees. “I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry for those impacted.”

The scale of the cuts — nearly triples what Twitter announced last week — represents a stunning reversal of fortune for a once high-flying company whose ambition and room for growth had seemed limitless.

It grew rapidly and spent lavishly over the years, accumulating users, buying companies such as Instagram and WhatsApp, and showering its employees with envious perks.

Not even scrutiny over its data privacy practices and the toxic content on its apps could dent its financial performance, as its stock continued climbing and its revenues soared. At one point last year, Meta was valued at $1 trillion.

But the company has struggled financially this year as it has tried to move into a new business — the immersive world of the so-called metaverse — while also grappling with a global economic slowdown and a decline in digital advertising, the main source of its revenue.

New competitors like TikTok emerged to capture a younger audience while Meta’s services lost their sheen.

Last month, Meta posted a 50 per cent slide in quarterly profits and its second straight sales decline. Its stock has dropped roughly 70 per cent this year.

New York Times

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