by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News November 9, 2022
Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook, announced on Wednesday it would cut more than 11,000 workers, or 13% of its staff.
The announcement, which marks the first broad layoffs in the company’s 18-year history, was precipitated by a slumping digital-ad market and the company’s plummeting stock price, analysts say. If also followed unreported criticism by conservative analysts of its massive election operations and its censorship of independent media.
Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the company would cut staff across all of its businesses, with its recruiting and business teams disproportionately affected. The company is also tightening its belt by reducing its office space, moving to desk-sharing for some workers and extending a hiring freeze through the first quarter of 2023, the Wall Street Journal reported.
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“This is a sad moment, and there’s no way around that,” Zuckerberg said, adding that he had been wrong in assuming that an increase in online activity during the pandemic would continue. “I got this wrong and I take responsibility for that.”
Meta’s stock has fallen more than 70% this year. Analysts say investors have been alarmed by Meta’s spending as well as threats to the company’s core social-media business from other apps such as TikTok.
At the end of September, Meta reported it had more than 87,000 employees. Company officials already told employees to cancel non-essential travel beginning this week, the Wall Street Journal previously reported.
Meta’s broader cost cutting will “add up to a meaningful cultural shift in how we operate,” Zuckerberg said on Wednesday, adding that he would monitor business performance and other factors before deciding how quickly to resume hiring.
The tech industry, which went on a hiring spree among significantly heavier traffic during the Covid pandemic, is now facing its biggest retrenchment in years, analysts say.
“Twitter, under new owner Elon Musk, is trying to restructure the company to match his vision, while facing widespread concern from advertisers about its new direction,” the Journal noted.
In August, Snap Inc. said it would cut roughly 20% of staff, or more than 1,000 employees, to prepare for what it said would be an expected period of low sales growth lasting into 2023.
Business software company Salesforce Inc. also started laying off employees this week. “Our sales performance process drives accountability. Unfortunately, that can lead to some leaving the business, and we support them through their transition,” the company said.