Mark Zuckerberg confirms broad layoffs to begin at Meta – report

Parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram is among others in the tech industry to suffer a severe slowdown

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed to executives that the company will begin laying off employees on Wednesday morning, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Zuckerberg addressed hundreds of executives at the company on Tuesday morning, foreshadowing large cuts. He mentioned recruiting and business teams as groups that would see layoffs, according to the WSJ, adding an internal announcement of the company’s layoff plans is expected around 6am eastern time on Wednesday.

Zuckerberg said he was accountable for the company’s downturn, people familiar with the meeting told the newspaper, with overoptimism about growth leading to overstaffing.

Meta’s head of human resources, Lori Goler, said employees who lose their jobs will be provided with at least four months of salary as severance, the WSJ reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, reported more than 87,000 employees at the end of September.

The tech industry has been suffering through a severe slowdown in recent months, following a spike of success as the world moved indoors during the pandemic. A global economic downturn, rising interest rates and regulatory struggles have moved tech companies including Alphabet and Amazon to slow or stop hiring. In late August, Snap laid off 1,300 staff and cut investments. Microsoft laid off around 1,000 employees across several divisions in October, according to an Axios report. Twitter last week laid off half its workforce following Elon Musk’s $44bn takeover of the company.

Meta has seen confusion over the company’s future in recent months, as its flagship platform Facebook loses young users and it faces revenue challenges due to changes in Apple’s privacy policies. Meanwhile, investors appear still unconvinced by the company’s pivot to the metaverse.

Last month, investors wiped $80bn (£69bn) off the company’s market value after it reported profits had halved during the third quarter. It was one of the most dramatic devaluations Wall Street has seen since the start of the year.

Meta’s third quarter results were the latest in a series of disappointing earnings reports. It lost $230bn in market value in February in the biggest one-day loss in history for a US company.

Meta had hinted job cuts were coming, after first announcing a staff hiring freeze and potential restructuring in September.

Guardian staff and agencies

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