Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Facebook parent Meta plans new layoffs: Report

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Meta Platforms, Facebook’s parent company, is anticipating significant job losses across many rounds in the coming months, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

According to persons familiar with the situation, the new layoffs will be disclosed in various phases over the coming months and will be around the same scale as the 13% cut to its employees last year. The first layoffs are scheduled to be announced next week, with non-engineering positions expected to be particularly hard hit, according to The Wall Street Journal. Some initiatives and teams are also predicted to fail.

Last year, Meta lost over 11,000 positions, or nearly 13% of its workforce. According to the persons, the cutbacks this year are projected to approach the same proportion of those who stay, but the exact figure of the cumulative cuts planned for the second quarter is not yet known.

Several wearable gadgets in the works at Reality Labs, Meta’s hardware and metaverse subsidiary, will be eliminated, according to the sources, implying a near-term retreat from attempts to popularise virtual and augmented reality goods even while longer-term research activities continue, according to the WSJ.

After-hours trading in Meta shares increased by more than 2% after The Wall Street Journal revealed the impending layoffs.

“We’re continuing to look across the company, across both Family of Apps and Reality Labs, and really evaluate are we deploying our resources toward the highest leverage opportunities,” Meta Chief Financial Officer Susan Li said Thursday at the Morgan Stanley 2023 Technology, Media & Telecom Conference.
Meta Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg previously said that 2023 would be a “year of efficiency” at Meta and that some projects would likely shut down at the company.

The continuing cuts are notable given Zuckerberg’s prediction in October that the company would end 2023 with roughly as many employees as it had at that time.

The company sought to encourage further attrition through the performance review process, reported WSJ.

Technology companies including Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and others have cut thousands of jobs this year and last as profits retreat from pandemic-induced highs. Since 2022, layoff tallies have reached nearly 300,000 workers, according to Layoffs.fyi, a site that is tracking job cuts in the industry.

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