Amid worsening economic conditions, the tech lay-offs continue, with Meta to cull another 10,000 roles over the coming months as it continues to work towards ‘improving organizational efficiency’, and reducing costs.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced the new round of lay-offs, which come after the company cut 11,000 roles – or 13% of its workforce – back in November.
As per Zuckerberg:
“Over the next couple of months, org leaders will announce restructuring plans focused on flattening our orgs, canceling lower priority projects, and reducing our hiring rates. With less hiring, I’ve made the difficult decision to further reduce the size of our recruiting team. We expect to announce restructurings and layoffs in our tech groups in late April, and then our business groups in late May.”
The total shift will see Meta cut 10,000 jobs, and cancel 5,000 positions that have not yet been filled in the organization.
It’s a significant reduction, which, as Zuckerberg notes, will impact various projects within the company. Already, the company has canceled its eCommerce push, in line with weaker demand post-pandemic, while it’s also shut down development of its Portal smart speaker device, ended its various partnerships with news organizations, canceled its NFT display project, delayed its initial smart watch roll-out and more.
The changes are part of Meta’s ‘Year of Efficiency’ push, which Zuckerberg outlined as part of Meta’s Q4 update last month. Within that, Zuckerberg also outlined the company’s key areas of focus:
- Improving its AI discovery tools to maximize engagement in its apps
- Adding new business messaging features to monetize the user shift towards messaging, and away from social apps
- Re-building its ad tools to reduce reliance on user data
- Continued development of AR, VR and the metaverse, with a focus on the future
Meta’s now making AI a bigger focus, given the broader hype around the emerging technology, while the Metaverse, which is still costing billions in development each year, remains the company’s north star, and future priority.
That means that anything outside of these key areas is likely up for review, and Meta will continue to evaluate its projects to ensure it’s able to maximize cost benefit.
“Higher interest rates lead to the economy running leaner, more geopolitical instability leads to more volatility, and increased regulation leads to slower growth and increased costs of innovation. Given this outlook, we’ll need to operate more efficiently than our previous headcount reduction to ensure success.”
Zuckerberg says that, after restructuring, Meta will eventually look to resume hiring later in the year, in a more focused and effective way.
It’s a difficult time to be working in the tech sector, amid broader cost rationalization and major shifts in advertiser spending. Twitter has also culled thousands of jobs under new chief Elon Musk, while most of the other tech giants are also reviewing their hiring processes, and either cutting roles or scaling back significantly.
The ongoing impact of the war in Ukraine, along with broader uncertainty in financial markets, has squeezed the industry like never before, which will make innovation increasingly difficult, and could lead to a prolonged period of delayed change.
But with so many former big tech staff now re-assessing their future pans, it could also spark new opportunities for competitor apps, and maybe, this will end up being the inflection point that leads to the next stage of digital connection.
Right now, however, it’s another dark day in the tech market, as 10,000 more people are faced with unemployment, and the uncertainty that comes with it.