Mark Zuckerberg will begin mass job cuts of Meta’s 87,000-strong workforce on Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter, in a drastic cost-cutting cull as the social media company grapples with falling revenues and rising competition.
Meta is expected to slash thousands of jobs, several people said. The decision comes as tough macroeconomic conditions have prompted advertisers, its main source of revenue, to curb their spending on the platform.
Employees at Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, will be notified of their employment status via email from 6am Eastern Time on Wednesday onwards, two people said.
On a call with directors and vice-presidents on Tuesday, Zuckerberg, Meta’s chief executive, said he took accountability for past decisions to boost headcount, admitting the company had grown too quickly, one person said.
Wednesday’s shake-up is expected to be the biggest retrenchment in the company’s history.
An economic slowdown including rising inflation and cost of capital has hammered Big Tech groups this year. Investors wiped more than $89bn from the company’s market capitalisation in late October after Meta posted declining revenues, and Zuckerberg failed to convince investors that his costly bet on building a digital avatar-filled metaverse, which is not expected to be profitable for many years, was paying off.
The restructuring will come just days after the new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, fired half of the social media site’s 7,500-strong workforce in his attempt to overhaul the company’s business model, while a growing number of advertisers have pulled their spending from the platform entirely over concerns around his plans to relax content moderation.
Meanwhile, smaller rival Snap has also laid off about a fifth of its workforce, after posting its slowest growth.
In September, Zuckerberg announced internally he was implementing a hiring freeze for most roles across the company and intended to minimise costs. Since then, directors had been asked to draft lists of 15 per cent of their team members to be put on performance review, meaning they would have to find alternative roles or leave within 30 days, three people said.
Ahead of the job cuts, staffers described the mood internally as bleak. One said employees were fearful. Another said: “Everyone is in the dark and twisting in the wind.”
Meta declined to comment.