Meta, the parent company of the social media site Facebook, has announced a 13-percent personnel rollback that will cost some 11,000 Facebook employees their jobs.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted the news in a blog, taking the blame and saying he’d been “overoptimistic” about the company’s future based on a pandemic surge.
“At the start of Covid, the world rapidly moved online and the surge of e-commerce led to outsized revenue growth,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Many people predicted this would be a permanent acceleration that would continue even after the pandemic ended. I did too, so I made the decision to significantly increase our investments. Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected.”
Zuckerberg said the company would now become “leaner and more efficient” by cutting spending and staff, and shift more resources to “a smaller number of high priority growth areas,” including ads, AI, and the metaverse.
Zuckerberg said that the company’s recruiting team would be particularly “disproportionately affected” by the cuts. Meta reported some 87,000 employees in September, with today’s layoffs making the first broad cuts since the firm’s founding in 2004.
In the blog post, Zuckeberg said laid-off employees in the US would receive 16 weeks of base pay plus two additional weeks for each year of service, health insurance coverage for six months, and support for finding a new career and navigating immigration issues. Zuckerberg said the company would be instituting a hiring freeze through the first quarter of 2023 “with a small number of exceptions.”