Meta layoffs: Facebook to cut 10,000 more employees, Mark Zuckerberg says

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Meta will fire another 10,000 people, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has said.

It will also leave 5,000 roles that are currently empty unfilled.

The parent company of Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp already laid off about 11,000 people towards the end of last year.

He admitted that the update may “feel surprising”, but said they were part of a philosophy of “building leaner, more technical company improving our business performance”.

At least some of those staff will be fired from Meta’s recruiting team, he said, and he indicated that the others may be from non-engineering roles. Otherwise, he gave no indication of which staff may be let go and said affected staff would hear about their future in April and May.

Mr Zuckerberg said the layoffs were part of a “restructuring” and Meta’s “year of efficiency”. They may not be finished until the end of 2023, he said.

“This will be tough and there’s no way around that,” he wrote in a memo to staff. “It will mean saying goodbye to talented and passionate colleagues who have been part of our success.”

In the same announcement, Mr Zuckerberg indicated that the company will become “flatter”, with fewer levels of management.

When the restructuring is over, the company will lift its hiring freezes, he said.

Meta is also planning to complete an “analysis” of hybrid work to “refine our distributed work model” by this summer, Mr Zuckerberg said, suggesting that it would increase efficiency. Early work suggested that staff who work from the office perform better than those who do not.

He did not give any indication of what that might mean for staff, many of whom are still working outside the office. But he “encouraged” staff to “find more opportunities to work with your colleagues in person”.

Mr Zuckerberg noted that, for many years, Meta had grown consistently and generated enough money to continue investing in its products. But last year had been a “humbling wake-up call”, he said, in which the economy and competitive pressures had slowed growth and put Meta in a weaker position.

He made little reference to the company’s significant spending on the metaverse, around which he had re-oriented the company and spent vast sums of money. He said only that it “remains central to defining the future of social connection”, alongside other technologies, including artificial intelligence.

It was in the wake of those difficulties that Meta opted to fire 13 per cent of its work force, as well as scaling back budgets and shrinking the amount of properties it owns. But Meta is now expecting those difficulties to continue, and had required it to make even more cutbacks, Mr Zuckerberg said.

The company was also announcing the layoffs early because of feedback during the previous round of cuts that people wanted more transparency, Mr Zuckerberg said.