Meta has announced another round of worldwide job cuts in addition to the 11,000 it announced in November.
The owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp will reduce its headcount by a further 10,000 and 5,000 open vacancies will be frozen, as the tech giant tries to improve its financial performance in “a difficult environment”.
In an email to staff today, Meta’s founder, chairman and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg provided an update on Meta’s “Year of Efficiency”, saying: “I’ve tried to be open about all the work that’s underway, and while I know many of you are energised by this, I also recognise that the idea of upcoming org changes creates uncertainty and stress.
“My hope is to make these org changes as soon as possible in the year so we can get past this period of uncertainty and focus on the critical work ahead.”
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He added: “Over the next couple of months, org leaders will announce restructuring plans focused on flattening our orgs, cancelling lower-priority projects, and reducing our hiring rates.
“With less hiring, I’ve made the difficult decision to further reduce the size of our recruiting team. We will let recruiting team members know tomorrow whether they’re impacted. We expect to announce restructurings and layoffs in our tech groups in late April, and then our business groups in late May.”
Before Meta’s job cuts were announced in November, it employed more than 5,000 people in the UK. Layoffs.fyi estimates that some 128,000 job cuts have been made globally in the tech sector so far in 2023, on top of some 161,000 last year. Almost all employers in the tech sector have announced job cuts and restructuring exercises in the past six months.
In a section of Zuckerberg’s announcement titled “Flatter is faster” he said: “It’s well-understood that every layer of a hierarchy adds latency and risk aversion in information flow and decision-making. Every manager typically reviews work and polishes off some rough edges before sending it further up the chain.
“In our Year of Efficiency, we will make our organisation flatter by removing multiple layers of management. As part of this, we will ask many managers to become individual contributors. We’ll also have individual contributors report into almost every level — not just the bottom — so information flow between people doing the work and management will be faster.”
Laura Baldwin, president at learning company O’Reilly, said: “It’s easy to get caught up in the news of the day, especially with so much coverage over tech layoffs recently. I believe tech companies are downsizing right now because their pace of hiring was too fast in the last few years and in order to hire during a very tight labour market, they overpaid for talent. The annualised cost of those decisions becomes very apparent and unsustainable, forcing those companies to reset.
“Meta, Salesforce, Tesla, Robinhood, Amazon and many more have all recently announced layoffs. When there aren’t as many new jobs to jump to, employees tend to want to stay in their current positions. But that doesn’t mean you can stop re-recruiting and investing in your people. Quite the opposite.”
Zuckerberg added: “For most of our history, we saw rapid revenue growth year after year and had the resources to invest in many new products. But last year was a humbling wake-up call. The world economy changed, competitive pressures grew, and our growth slowed considerably. We scaled back budgets, shrunk our real estate footprint, and made the difficult decision to lay off 13% of our workforce.
“At this point, I think we should prepare ourselves for the possibility that this new economic reality will continue for many years.”
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