Last November, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, undertook its largest-ever downsizing, laying off more than 11,000 employees. It appears, however, that other staff will soon be given the pink slip.
The Financial Times reported on Saturday that Meta Platforms has put off finalizing the budgets of numerous teams as the company contemplates a new round of layoffs.
Meta Feeling The Pinch Of Rising Expenses
The impending terminations are part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s strategy to reduce expenses. According to three current and former employees of Meta who requested anonymity, layoffs are anticipated to occur in March, as the firm is now conducting employee performance appraisals.
Earlier this month, the firm said that it expects its 2023 spending to range between $89 billion and $95 billion, a “year of efficiency” that has caused “disruption” at the social media company, as described by Zuckerberg.
In the last few weeks, there was a lack of clarity on budgets and future headcount, the Financial Times disclosed, citing two Meta employees familiar with the matter.
Before November, Zuckerberg informed analysts that the business might be “somewhat smaller” by the end of 2023.
The November employment cuts primarily hit Instagram, Whatsapp, and Facebook, while Metaverse positions were mainly spared. The company also announced a hiring freeze for the first three months of 2023 at the time.
A source said that “severance and other employees” accounted for $975 million on Meta’s balance sheet, or an average of $88,000 per terminated employee. For the company, layoffs have been a pricey endeavor.
Mark Zuckerberg. Image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
“Honestly, it’s still a mess,” FT quoted one Meta employee as saying. “The year of ‘efficiency’ is kicking off with a bunch of people getting paid to do nothing.”
‘Flattening’ The Organizational Structure
During a recent earnings call, Zuckerberg addressed the difficult decision to reduce the workforce further:
“I said clearly that this was the beginning of our focus on efficiency and not the end,” Zuckerberg said, citing middle management as the next target.
Zuckerberg also stated in his Facebook post that they are working on “flattening” their organizational structure and stripping away some components of middle management in order to make decisions more quickly.
Internally dubbed “the flattening,” some employees are afraid that individuals who switch roles are essentially being demoted, according to a source.
“As part of this, we’re going to be more proactive about cutting projects that aren’t performing or may no longer be as crucial,” Zuckerberg said. The plan includes deploying Artificial Intelligence tools to help Meta engineers be more productive, he added.
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The metaverse, a largely unfulfilled virtual environment that has disappointed users and could take years to become lucrative – if it ever does – is one of Meta’s current objectives.
In 2022, the metaverse part of the business, Reality Labs, posted a loss of $13.7 billion, up from a loss of $10.2 billion from the previous year.
-Featured image from Listverse