Facebook parent Meta set for large-scale lay-offs this week

Silicon Valley giant has already told employees to cancel non-essential travel, report says

Meta will become the latest Silicon Valley company to lay off thousands of employees, a report says. AP.
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Meta is planning to begin large-scale lay-offs this week, which will affect thousands of employees, a report says.

The job cuts could come as early as Wednesday and the company has already told employees to cancel non-essential travel from this week, The Wall Street Journal said.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in September outlined plans to reorganise teams and reduce employee numbers for the first time, after a sharp slowdown in growth at the parent of Facebook and Instagram.

The lay-offs come as Meta struggles with growing losses while investing heavily in developing its metaverse business. Its shares have fallen 73 per cent this year.

Meta is contending with slowing global economic growth, competition from TikTok, privacy changes from Apple, concerns about massive spending on the metaverse and the ever-present threat of regulation.

Mr Zuckerberg has said he expects the metaverse investments to take about a decade to bear fruit. In the meantime, he has had to freeze hiring, close down projects and reorganise teams to trim costs.

"In 2023, we're going to focus our investments on a small number of high priority growth areas," he said on the last earnings call, in late October.

"So that means some teams will grow meaningfully but most other teams will stay flat or shrink over the next year.

"In aggregate, we expect to end 2023 as either roughly the same size, or even a slightly smaller organisation than we are today."

The social media company had in June cut plans to hire engineers by at least 30 per cent, with Mr Zuckerberg warning employees to brace for an economic downturn.

Meta's shareholder Altimeter Capital Management in an open letter to Mr Zuckerberg had said the company needed to streamline by cutting jobs and capital expenditure.

It said Meta had lost investor confidence as it increased spending and turned to the metaverse.

The cuts will add to already mounting job losses in Silicon Valley. Twitter last week cut nearly 3,700 positions after Elon Musk completed his $44 billion takeover of the social media platform.

Other companies that have also reduced their workforce, or announced plans to, include Lyft and hard drive maker Seagate.

Updated: November 07, 2022, 6:04 AM