Facebook parent Meta is set to conduct major layoffs this week impacting thousands of employees as it grapples with a significant downturn in its business, according to a report Monday.
Mark Zuckerberg’s social-networking giant is planning to start notifying impacted workers of their fates this week, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. The job cuts could be announced as soon as Wednesday.
The report said the pink slips could number in the “many thousands” and potentially comprise the “largest round” of cuts conducted by any major tech firm during a recent wave of layoffs.
Meta had more than 87,000 employees globally as of the end of its last quarter in September.
The looming bloodbath could also constitute the most extensive reduction of head count in Meta’s history, according to the report.
The layoffs are expected during one of the worst slumps in Meta’s history. Shares of the company are down more than 70% since January as Meta pours billions of dollars into building a poorly received metaverse platform. Meanwhile, ad revenue has plummeted and the user base of Meta’s core social media platforms has stagnated.
A Meta spokesperson declined the Wall Street Journal’s request for comment and pointed to recent remarks by Zuckerberg, who said the company would “focus our investments on a small number of high priority growth areas.”
“So that means some teams will grow meaningfully, but most other teams will stay flat or shrink over the next year,” Zuckerberg said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call last month. “In aggregate, we expect to end 2023 as either roughly the same size, or even a slightly smaller organization than we are today.”
Meta shares were up more than 5% in early trading Monday.
The Post has reached out to Meta for further comment.
Zuckerberg has reportedly infuriated some major Meta shareholders who are alarmed at rampant spending on the metaverse. Last month, Meta said losses for its Reality Labs division, which is building the metaverse, would “grow significantly” next year, while capital spending increase to as much as $39 billion.
One such shareholder Altimeter Capital Management, recently described the company’s spending on the metaverse as “terrifying, even by Silicon Valley standards.” The firm penned an open letter urging Meta to conduct layoffs and trim spending to improve its balance sheet.
Meanwhile, Zuckerberg has indicated for months that he planned to force out some Meta employees due to deteriorating economic conditions.
“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” Zuckerberg said during a meeting in June.
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