Facebook parent Meta cuts 11,000 jobs, 13% of workforce

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Facebook parent Meta is laying off 11,000 people, about 13% of its workforce, as it contends with faltering revenue and broader tech industry woes, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a letter to employees Wednesday.

The job cuts come just a week after widespread layoffs at Twitter under its new owner, billionaire Elon Musk. There have been numerous job cuts at other tech companies that hired rapidly during the pandemic.

Zuckerberg as well said that he had made the decision to hire aggressively, anticipating rapid growth even after the pandemic ended.

“Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected,” Zuckerberg said in a prepared statement. “Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.”

Meta, like other social media companies, enjoyed a financial boost during the pandemic lockdown era because more people stayed home and scrolled on their phones and computers. But as the lockdowns ended and people started going outside again, revenue growth began to falter.

Of particular concern to investors, Meta poured over $10 billion a year into the “metaverse” as it shifts its focus away from social media. Zuckerberg predicts the metaverse, an immersive digital universe, will eventually replace smartphones as the primary way people use technology.

Spooked investors have sent company shares tumbling more than 71% since the beginning of the year and the stock now trades at levels last seen in 2015.

An economic slowdown and a grim outlook for online advertising — by far Meta’s biggest revenue source — have contributed to Meta's woes as well. This summer, Meta posted its first quarterly revenue decline in history, followed by another, bigger decline in the fall.

Some of the pain is company-specific, while some is tied to broader economic and technological forces.

Last week, Twitter laid off about half of its 7,500 employees, part of a chaotic overhaul as Musk took the helm. He tweeted that there was no choice but to cut the jobs “when the company is losing over $4M/day," though did not provide details about the losses.

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