Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Reality Labs, is set to announce a significant downsizing on Wednesday as part of an ongoing restructuring effort. The company plans to lay off 10,000 employees, impacting a range of technical teams.
Internal Memo Reveals Decision to Cut Workforce
The news was revealed in an internal memo sent by Meta’s Head of Human Resources, Lori Goler, and obtained by The Washington Post. Goler stated that senior leaders had made the decision to reduce the workforce as part of a broader restructuring plan aimed at making the company leaner and more efficient.
Affected divisions include teams working on Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and the virtual-reality division Reality Labs, among others. Employees affected by the job cuts will be notified today, with different processes in place for workers outside North America.
Anticipated Cuts and Reasons Behind Them
In total, Meta anticipates cutting around 10,000 jobs and not filling 5,000 previously expected job openings. The company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, argues that the rebalance will create an “optimal ratio of engineers to other roles” to ensure the company remains primarily technologists.
The layoffs come on the heels of workforce cuts in November that saw 11,000 jobs, or around 13% of Meta’s workforce, slashed. The company is facing numerous business challenges, including competition for advertising revenue and users from the short-form video platform TikTok.
Meta’s Response to Challenges
In response to these challenges, Zuckerberg has identified a key priority for the company as becoming leaner and more efficient. Senior executives and staff in human resources, legal, and finance departments have been tasked with redrawing internal organizational charts at Meta. This process involves deflating the company’s hierarchy to decrease the number of management layers between interns and Zuckerberg, as well as canceling lower-priority projects.
Despite its financial difficulties, Meta continues to invest in innovative projects. In February, Zuckerberg announced the formation of a new internal working group focused on “turbocharging” the company’s investment in generative artificial intelligence. Additionally, Meta is promoting its short-form video product, Reels, to compete with TikTok and exploring the creation of a new decentralized social media network that would compete with Twitter.
Operating Losses Expected for Reality Labs
While Meta continues to invest in its ambitious metaverse project, the company has acknowledged that operating losses are expected for Reality Labs, the division responsible for virtual reality offerings. The company has struggled to grow an audience for virtual reality and has stated that much of the technology needed to power the metaverse will take years to develop.