New Meta Layoffs ‘Could Match Those of Last Year’

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Upcoming layoffs at Meta could reportedly cut same proportion of staff as those announced last November, as company reins in spending

The next round of layoffs at Facebook and Instagram parent Meta could be announced as early as this week, and could affect a similar proportion of staff to the mass cuts announced late last year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The paper cited unnamed sources as saying Meta was planning multiple rounds of layoffs in the coming months, starting as soon as this week.

Last November Meta cut about 13 percent of its employees, or roughly 11,000 jobs, and the multiple rounds of planned cuts are expected to amount to about the same proportion of the firm’s remaining staff, according to the Journal report.

The layoffs are reportedly expected to hit non-engineering roles especially hard, with some projects and teams planned to be shut down, including some wearable devices being developed at VR, metaverse and hardware unit Reality Labs.

Image credit: Meta
Image credit: Meta

Spending retreat

The cuts are Reality Labs are a signal that Meta is retreating in the near term from its expenditures on the metaverse, which it has previously billed as the future of social media and the internet.

Bloomberg had reported last week that Meta was planning further layoffs.

Meta’s November layoffs were its first major restructuring and came after it nearly doubled its headcount to more than 87,000 worldwide from the end of 2019 through last September.

In October Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg said the company was not planning to relent in its expenditures and would end 2023 with roughly as many employees as it had at that time.

‘Year of efficiency’

Investors criticised the strategy and the job cuts that began the following month were a sign that it had changed its plans, with Zuckerberg subsequently promising 2023 would be a “year of efficiency” at Meta and saying some projects would be shut down.

The “efficiency” message continued at the Morgan Stanley 2023 Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, where Meta chief financial officer Susan Li said Meta was continuing to “look across the company” and to evaluate whether it was “deploying our resources toward the highest leverage opportunities”.

“This is going to result in us making some tough decisions to wind down projects in some places, to shift resources away from some teams,” she added.