News: Meta plans to cut thousands of jobs in fresh round of layoffs


Meta plans to cut thousands of jobs in fresh round of layoffs

The majority of the job cuts will be announced in April and May, with some extending until the end of the year.
Meta plans to cut thousands of jobs in fresh round of layoffs

The tech industry is staring at a contagion effect amid the ups and downs of a market wobble as Facebook parent Meta finalised a plan to cut 10,000 jobs this year.

The drastic move made Meta the first Big Tech company to announce a second round of mass layoffs.

In November 2022, Meta announced a cutback of more than 11,000 jobs, or 13 per cent of its workforce after a steady hiring spree.

As part of its restructuring plan, the company will be eliminating 5,000 planned job openings, discontinuing lower-priority projects, and streamlining middle management levels to create a more horizontal organisational structure.

While some job cuts will extend until the year-end, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has stated that the majority of them will be announced in April and May.

“For most of our history, we saw rapid revenue growth year after year and had the resources to invest in many new products. But last year was a humbling wake-up call,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I think we should prepare ourselves for the possibility that this new economic reality will continue for many years.”

Zuckerberg said he planned to further reduce the size of the recruiting team, which was especially hard-hit by the fall layoffs. Restructurings in the tech group would be announced in late April and cuts to business groups would come in May.

The first of those cuts appeared to come last week. On Friday, the company said it was exploring “strategic alternatives” for Kustomer, a customer service company it acquired last year.

It also disbanded its skunkworks New Product Experimentation team and reassigned leader Ime Archibong to work on a product for Messenger, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters. Both changes were initially reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The move may assuage investors who have grown wary of Zuckerberg’s prolific spending as revenue growth from Meta’s main businesses petered out amid high inflation and a digital ads pullback from the pandemic-era e-commerce boom.

Worries of an economic downturn due to rising interest rates have also sparked a series of mass job cuts across corporate America: from Wall Street banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to Big Tech firms including and Microsoft.

Meta, which is pouring billions of dollars to build a futuristic metaverse, has also struggled with adaptations to privacy changes led by tech rival Apple and competition for young users from the short video app TikTok.

The ongoing cuts indicate “how desperate the company is to get costs under control as its revenues have fallen amid declining marketing budgets,” said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter.

“Virtual reality is an expensive business to be in, so while (Meta) maps out a path through an uncertain landscape, it needs to find efficiencies elsewhere,” she added.

In response, Zuckerberg has promised to turn 2023 into the “Year of Efficiency”.

Wall Street has been rewarding Meta steadily since the fall restructuring, after its share price fell more than 70 per cent earlier in 2022. The stock received another boost in February when Meta announced new cost controls and a $40-billion share buyback.

With the latest move, Meta expects expenses in 2023 to come in between $86 billion and $92 billion, lower than the $89 billion to $95 billion forecast previously.

Zuckerberg said Meta will remove multiple layers of management, ask managers to become individual contributors and give them less than 10 direct reports, which would in turn make the organisation “flatter”.

“We don’t expect to grow headcount as quickly, it makes more sense to fully utilise each manager's capacity and defragment layers as much as possible,” he said.

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Topics: Technology, #Layoffs

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