Facebook parent entity Meta is reportedly planning to lay off thousands more employees in a second round of cuts, possibly happening as soon as this week.
As Bloomberg first reported late Monday, Meta is gearing up for a new round of layoffs this week, further dwindling a workforce that had grown considerably during the pandemic. Sources familiar with the company's plans told Bloomberg that "thousands" more jobs are going to be cut in this round, following layoffs in November that totaled around 11,000 lost jobs.
In an earnings call last month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg called 2023 "the year of efficiency" for Meta, and he said "we’re going to be more proactive about cutting projects that aren't performing or may no longer be as crucial."
"We closed last year with some difficult layoffs and restructuring some teams," Zuckerberg said. "When we did this, I said clearly that this was the beginning of our focus on efficiency and not the end... Next, we're working on flattening our org structure and removing some layers of middle management to make decisions faster, as well as deploying AI tools to help our engineers be more productive."
Meta's stock price, which peaked in September 2021 at around $379 per share, plummeted over the ensuing year, hitting a low last November of around $90 — essentially slashing more than three quarters of the company's value in just fourteen months. The stock has since recovered a bit, but remains half the price it was at its peak, sitting at $181.51 per share as of this writing.
The previous round of cuts effected about 13% of the company's workforce, but as previously reported, the company grew by nearly 50% in terms of headcount between 2020 and 2022 — from around 58,600 employees in 2020 to 87,000 before the November layoffs.
Influential investor Brad Gerstner of Altimeter Capital penned an open letter to Zuckerberg just a couple weeks before those layoffs calling for a 20% reduction in total headcount by early 2023.
In discussing the hiring spree the company went on during the pandemic, and Meta's rapid expansion into a metaverse project that is unlikely to produce dividends in the near future, Zuckerberg said in November, "I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that."
Zuckerberg told investors last month that the company's main priorities continue to be its "AI discovery engine" — which it is developing for Reels to help Instagram compete better with TikTok — and the metaverse.
As CNBC notes, Meta's sales went down 4% last year while its costs and expenses jumped 22%, and the company continues to face competition in the online advertising space as well as a depressed ad market overall.
The November layoff round only impacted 362 employees based in San Francisco, likely at the Instagram offices in 181 Fremont. We learned last month that Meta is trying to offload its entire lease at that downtown office tower, where it took out a lease of 50 floors in 2017.
This latest large and high-profile layoff in Silicon Valley follows others at Google, Lyft, Salesforce, Stripe, DocuSign, and elsewhere.
Related: Meta Looking to Offload All Of Its Office Space at 181 Fremont
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