Meta is rolling out its latest round of layoffs on Wednesday, which it estimates will affect about 6,000 people. These cuts are part of the company’s so-called “Efficiency Year”, in which Meta is undergoing a massive restructuring to save money and flatten the organization structure.
Employees knew the layoffs were coming. Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a March blog post that he would cut 10,000 jobs in two rounds of layoffs in late April and late May, even though Meta already eliminated 11,000 roles in November Was. This week’s layoffs primarily target business roles, while April’s layoffs affected technical teams. Meta also stopped recruiting for around 5,000 open roles. In total, about 21,000 people have lost their jobs at Meta, a reduction of about a quarter of the company’s global workforce since November, when the company, formerly known as Facebook, had about 87,000 employees. Were.
“In the last year since we downsized our workforce, one surprising result is that many things have moved quickly,” Zuckerberg wrote in his March blog post. “In retrospect, I underestimated the indirect costs of low priority projects.”
With thousands of team members leaving the company, morale at Meta is extremely low. Employees have waited months to determine whether or not they will be out of a job – and if that isn’t stressful enough for some employees, it could mean losing healthcare or work visas.
Meanwhile, Meta spent $13.7 billion last year on Reality Labs, the division for its Metaverse development. Investors have been skeptical of Zuckerberg’s insistence that VR and mixed reality will power the next frontier of social interactions, but he’s doubled down.
“A narrative has developed that we are somehow moving away from focusing on the Metaverse vision, so I just want to say up front that it’s not accurate,” Zuckerberg said in a quarterly earnings call last month. “We’re focused on AI and the metaverse, and we’ll keep at it.”
AI is, in fact, involved in Meta’s AR and VR research. AI also supports content moderation, algorithmic social feeds, and other key aspects of Meta’s technology. But while AI continues to reign as Silicon Valley’s favorite buzzword, companies are integrating the technology into established parts of their businesses.
In just the past month, Meta has unveiled its own generative AI coding tool as well as a tool for advertisers called the AI Sandbox. Meta is working on its own custom chips and a supercomputer to support long-term, large-scale AI research. The initiative could help Meta compete with companies such as Microsoft and Google, which have similar supercomputers of their own.
If Meta sticks to its aforementioned plans, this should be Meta’s last round of mass layoffs for now. For the sake of the company’s remaining employees, let’s hope that holds true for a while.