Mark Zuckerberg Announces Meta Will Lay Off 11,000 Employees


Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Meta will lay off 11,000 of its employees — an estimated 13% of its workforce — as well as “take some extra steps to become a leaner and more efficient company.”

In a post shared with meta contributors Wednesday morning, Zuckerberg said he made “some of the hardest changes we’ve made in Meta’s history.”

“We are also taking some additional steps to become a leaner and more efficient company by cutting back on discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through the first quarter,” said Zuckerberg. “I want to take responsibility for these decisions and for how we got here. I know this is difficult for everyone, and I am especially sorry for those affected.”

Zuckerberg said Meta will now shift its resources to a “smaller number of high-priority growth areas” — including Meta’s AI discovery engine, its advertising and business platforms, and Zuckerberg’s much-discussed long-term vision for developing the Metaverse.

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“We’ve cut costs across our business, including scaling back budgets, reducing benefits and reducing our real estate footprint,” continued Zuckerberg. “We are restructuring teams to increase our efficiency. But these measures alone will not align our spending with our revenue growth, so I have also made the difficult decision to let people go.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies during a remote video hearing by US House of Representatives subcommittees on March 25, 2021.

Handout via Reuters

Shares of Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, climbed about 4% on the news in premarket trading on Wednesday.

The stock has been battered this year, trading below $100 a share this week, more than 70% below its January high of $353.83 a share.

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Zuckerberg took the opportunity to explain in his company-wide post what brought Meta to this point and why the decision was made.

“At the onset of Covid, the world went online quickly and the wave of e-commerce led to excessive revenue growth. Many people predicted that this would be a permanent acceleration that would continue even after the pandemic ended. Me too, so me made the decision to significantly increase our investments,” said Zuckerberg. “Unfortunately, this didn’t turn out the way I expected. Not only has online trading bounced back to previous trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition and loss of advertising signals have left our earnings much lower than I expected. I misunderstood this and I take responsibility for that.”

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Meta has removed access to most of their internal systems for people fired on Wednesday, but will keep the email addresses active through Wednesday and functioning “so everyone can say goodbye.”

“The teammates who will leave us are talented and passionate, and have had a significant impact on our company and our community. Each of you helped make Meta a success, and I am grateful for it. I am sure that you will.” go do great work in other places,” said Zuckerberg. “This is a sad moment, and there’s no getting around it. To those who are leaving, I want to thank you again for everything you have put into this place. We wouldn’t be where we are today without your hard work, and I’m grateful for your contributions.”

This is a story in development. Come back for updates.