Facebook parent company Meta is planning to begin large-scale layoffs this week, according to people familiar with the matter.
The decision is the largest round in a recent spate of tech job cuts after the industry’s rapid growth during the pandemic.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, reported more than 87,000 employees at the end of September.
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.
Zuckerberg said he had made a mistake in previously moving to hire aggressively, expecting rapid growth even after the pandemic ended. “Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected,” Zuckerberg said in a prepared statement.
Zuckerberg planned to resort to layoffs after the company’s shares lost 70 percent of their value this year, forcing it to halt hiring.
It comes amid gloomy expectations of poor performance and a significant cost increase next year, which will lead to a collapse in the value of the company’s shares by a volume of $67 billion, adding to the more than half a trillion dollars lost in the value of shares this year.
Tech Giants took similar decisions
Tech firms around the globe are fighting the storm of economic slowdown. The slow consumer spending, higher interest rates by central banks and strong dollars overseas are hinting towards possible recession. As a result, to keep the ship sailing, tech firms including Apple, Meta, and Amazon are cutting jobs or freezing hiring.
Quarter three witnessed a lineup of layoffs in the Silicon valley as well as in the Indian IT industry. A recent tally by Crunchbase, which provides insights on the ongoing business world, reveals that tech firms based in the US have fired more than 45,000 workers as of October 2022. These layoffs include the most recent mass layoff by Twitter that slashed roughly half the company.
The reign came under Elon Musk and the company saw an instant layoff of its top executive including Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde. But on November 4, Elon Musk decided to further cut costs and slashed half of its 7,500 employees. Nearly 3,700 employees were fired across departments.
Microsoft also confirmed layoffs. The company has laid off around 1,000 employees across multiple divisions recently. The company said that it is slashing workforce around the globe in order to set business priorities and “make structural adjustments”. “We will continue to invest in our business and hire in key growth areas in the year ahead,” said the official statement of Microsoft. Notably, this is the third round of layoffs at Microsoft in four months. Earlier in July, the tech giant fired nearly 1 per cent of its 180,000 workforce across offices and product divisions citing “realignment”.
UN Open Letter to Twitter’s Elon Musk
N High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Saturday issued an open letter to Elon Musk, Chief Executive Officer at Twitter, urging him to “ensure human rights are central to the management of Twitter” under Musk’s leadership. The letter follows reports of the sacking of Twitter’s entire human rights team and all but two of the ethical AI team – not “an encouraging start,” said Türk.
“Twitter is part of a global revolution that has transformed how we communicate. But I write with concern and apprehension about our digital public square and Twitter’s role in it,” Türk stated in the letter.
“Like all companies, Twitter needs to understand the harms associated with its platform and take steps to address them. Respect for our shared human rights should set the guardrails for the platform’s use and evolution.”
“In short, I urge you to ensure human rights are central to the management of Twitter under your leadership,” the High Commissioner said.