Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp’s parent company, Meta, announced that they would fire more than 11,000 employees to cut down the company’s 13 percent workforce. The announcement also said that Meta is set to extend its freeze on new hiring. This is said to be the biggest round of layoffs at the tech giant and has been considered since Facebook began in 2004.
“Today I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history. I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13% and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go,” Meta’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post on Wednesday.
“We are also taking a number of additional steps to become a leaner and more efficient company by cutting discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through Q1,” Zuckerberg further added.
The move came at a time when other major tech companies including Elon Musk-owned Twitter and Microsoft Corp are laying off thousands of people. Just a few days ago, Twitter laid off some half of its 7,500 workforces.
At present, Meta’s current workforce equates to around 87,000 globally. According to the announcement, each U.S.-based employee will receive 16 weeks of severance pay, plus two extra weeks for each year of service. In addition to that, Meta said that employees will also be paid for all remaining unused time off and receive stock-based compensation that was vesting through November 15, along with health insurance for employees and their families for six months.
Taking responsibility for the decisions, Mark Zuckerberg apologised to Meta employees. “I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here. I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry to those impacted,” he said.
Zuckerberg said he anticipated that the surge in e-commerce and web traffic during the Covid lockdown would be part of a permanent acceleration. “But the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than expected. I got this wrong.”