Comment on this story
Facebook parent company Meta will announce details on Wednesday about cutting new jobs, part of a months-long downsizing and restructuring that will cut 10,000 employees amid multiple layoffs.
In an internal memo obtained by The Washington Post, Meta’s head of human resources, Lori Goler, wrote Tuesday night that the company will begin notifying employees on its tech teams whose jobs are being cut. Meta is also about to announce newly reorganized teams and management hierarchies as the social media giant looks to become leaner and more efficient.
Divisions that will be affected include teams working on Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram and the virtual reality division Reality Labs, according to Goler. She advised some employees not to go to the office if it was not critical to their role, the memo said. Layoff decisions were made by senior leaders as part of the broader restructuring effort, Goler added.
I’m deeply, really sorry: how tech CEOs talk when they fire employees
“This is going to be a difficult time as we say goodbye to friends and colleagues who have contributed so much to Meta,” she wrote. “It will take time for everyone – those who leave and those who stay – to process tomorrow’s news, and I know teams will show up for each other with compassion, support and care.”
Within an hour, thousands of employees responded to Goler’s comment on an internal forum Tuesday night. According to people familiar with the matter, many employees posted emojis with a smiling face and a crying face.
The company is expected to lay off thousands of highly skilled workers, such as engineers and other technical staff, who help build the company’s products, according to people familiar with the matter. The cuts are a rare moment of vulnerability for engineers at Meta, who have long enjoyed job security, high salaries, autonomy and freedom to work on their desired projects amid fierce competition for talent in Silicon Valley.
Meta paid VR developers salaries up to $1 million. The owner of Facebook is now in financial trouble.
Meta spokesman Dave Arnold confirmed the memo had been sent, but declined to comment.
Workers affected will be notified Wednesday morning, Goler wrote, though she added that the process may differ for workers outside of North America. Meta leaders are also expected to reveal on Wednesday how to reorganize their divisions after the layoffs. The company will tell employees if they get a new manager, the memo said.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last month the company would announce layoffs and a restructuring of tech teams at the end of April, followed by cuts to support business functions at the end of May.
In total, Meta expects to cut about 10,000 jobs and will not fill the 5,000 previously expected vacancies. In March, Zuckerberg suggested the cuts would have a disproportionate impact on the company’s support staff, arguing that the reshuffle will create an “optimum ratio of engineers to other functions” to ensure that “our company is first and foremost technologists remains”.
The latest layoffs build on November’s workforce cuts that saw 11,000 jobs, or about 13 percent of Meta’s workforce, cut in the first large-scale layoffs in the company’s history.
Meta plans to lay off 10,000 employees, with cuts starting at HR
The looming job cuts have sparked unrest among Meta’s workforce, leading many to question the company’s leadership and direction in recent months, The Washington Post previously reported. Some of the remaining workers say they are actively looking for new jobs, while others are concerned about how their jobs may change in the future.
Meta faces several business threats, including competition for advertising dollars and users of the short video network TikTok. Apple’s new privacy rules compromise the company’s ability to serve targeted ads. Meanwhile, some digital advertisers have slashed spending due to rising inflation and slowing demand in the e-commerce market.
In light of those challenges, Zuckerberg has said one of the company’s top priorities is to become leaner and more efficient. Top executives and people from human resources, legal and finance departments have been asked to redraw organizational charts of internal organizations at Meta, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak on internal matters. In addition to the cuts, the company is also deflating its corporate hierarchy to reduce the number of layers of management between interns and Zuckerberg, as well as canceling lower-priority projects.
Despite the economic challenges, Meta, which changed its name from Facebook more than a year ago, says it is still innovating. In February, Zuckerberg announced he was creating a new internal working group to boost the company’s investment in generative artificial intelligence. The company is also pushing its short video product, Reels, to compete with TikTok and is exploring building another decentralized social media network that could compete with Twitter.
Meta is considering a new social network as its decentralized model gains momentum
And Meta is still pouring money into its grand bet to build immersive digital empires known as the metaverse. Zuckerberg believes people will want to work, shop, and socialize through augmented and virtual reality-powered devices, which he believes will become the next great computing platform.
But Meta has said it expects operational losses for Reality Labs, the division working on virtual reality offerings. The company has struggled to grow an audience for virtual reality and has said it will take years to build much of the technology needed to power the metaverse.