Meta Begins Its Next Round of Mass Layoffs

Meta Begins Its Next Round of Mass Layoffs

Meta is continuing with cuts this week, lopping off approximately 6,000 more of its workers in yet another round of mass layoffs. Most of these newest job losses are expected to impact people on the business side of Meta’s operations — including staff in ad sales, marketing, and partnerships — according to multiple reports and an earlier company statement outlining plans.

Newly axed employees began posting about their layoffs on LinkedIn and Twitter on Wednesday. The company sent out an internal memo on Tuesday afternoon announcing the intended downsize and exact timeline to staff, according to a report from The Washington Post. Wednesday would be “another difficult day,” Meta’s human resources exec Lori Goler, wrote to employees.

These new cutbacks are just the latest in a series of reductions at Meta, and come as part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s so-called “year of efficiency.” The focus on the business side this time around aligns with the Zuck’s previously stated desire to return “to a more optimal ratio of engineers to other roles.”

In March, Zuckerberg announced plans to layoff 10,000 employees — immediately following, part of the recruiting team was let go. Then the first big wave of that downsize came in April, with nearly 4,000 technical positions scrapped across Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and the company’s Reality Labs (i.e. metaverse) division. Now, Meta intends to round it out with 6,000 more axed staff.

Even before these cuts, the company had already downsized significantly just months prior. The tech giant scrapped 11,000 workers beginning last November, and framed the move as an attempt to right-size after over hiring during the early pandemic years. “I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that,” he wrote in a blog post at the time.

And from those first cuts, which were Meta’s first mass layoffs, the company seemed to develop a taste for the blade. “Since we reduced our workforce last year, one surprising result is that many things have gone faster. In retrospect, I underestimated the indirect costs of lower priority projects,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Meta’s continued layoffs follow a turbulent time for the company and the tech industry overall. Layoffs have been rampant industry-wide. Advertisers have been hesitant to spend big on social media spots, and oft-cited economic uncertainty. Investors have seemingly come to expect significant cost-cutting measures.

So far, it seems Meta’s move to scrap staff has paid off in the short term — if likely not in long term innovation and growth. In April, the tech giant reported its first sales increase in nearly a year of declines and stagnation. Though it’s possible that has to do with other factors, like the company’s shift in priorities away from its ill-conceived and poorly executed money pit of a metaverse and towards the buzzier AI realm.

Meta has announced multiple generative AI-features in recent months. The company put out its own large language model in February. Then, it announced that it would be shoehorning artificial intelligence into its numerous platforms — including Messenger and WhatsApp. Meta has also released an AI-powered photo segmentation tool.

But Meta isn’t just an AI company. It still has some massive social media sites to manage. This new round of cuts, that includes legal staff and others responsible for managing company policies and relationships, has left some concerned that Meta won’t be equipped to monitor misinformation and hate speech across its sites, according to The Washington Post.

Gizmodo reached out to Meta for comment on this newest round of layoffs. A spokesperson declined to respond, and directed Gizmodo to the previous, March blog post.

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