Meta plans to cut its workforce by another 10,000 people and withdraw around 5,000 open roles that it had yet to fill, company co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday, confirming recent rumors that another round of layoffs was imminent.
Zuckerberg also said that the company will cancel “lower priority projects,” adding that he “underestimated the indirect costs” associated with these initiatives.
The announcement comes just four months after Meta revealed that it was eliminating about 11,000 roles as the social networking giant pushes ahead with what it’s calling a “year of efficiency.” Combined, this means that Meta has effectively laid off — or plans to lay-off — roughly one-quarter of its workforce since the tail-end of last year.
Facebook’s parent firm said it expects the latest restructuring efforts to start in its tech groups in April, followed by its business groups in May.
“In a small number of cases, it may take through the end of the year to complete these changes,” Zuckerberg wrote in a memo to staff that was subsequently published to the public. “Our timelines for international teams will also look different, and local leaders will follow up with more details. This will be tough and there’s no way around that.”
In a separate SEC filing, Meta said that it expects its full-year 2023 expenses to be in the $86 billion to $92 billion range, a figure that it lowered from a previous estimate that ran up to around $95 billion. Much of this is down to “cost-reduction measures” associated with the restructuring, including severance payouts.
Zuckerberg added that after the latest restructuring efforts are complete, the company will lift its hiring freeze across its various groups.
Additionally, Zuckerberg also pointed to some early internal analysis that indicates engineers who initially joined Meta in an in-person capacity perform better than those who joined on a remote basis, an early sign — perhaps — of what could be a toughening stance against remote work.
While Zuckerberg didn’t go much into the specifics around what types of roles or “lower priority projects” will be eliminated, Meta did reveal yesterday that it was winding down support for NFTs on Instagram and Facebook to focus on other monetization initiatives. In his memo today, Zuckerberg also talked about “flattening” the various organizations and divisions that constitute Meta Platforms Inc. corporation, which will mean removing some of the management layers.
“It’s well-understood that every layer of a hierarchy adds latency and risk aversion in information flow and decision-making,” he wrote. “Every manager typically reviews work and polishes off some rough edges before sending it further up the chain. In our Year of Efficiency, we will make our organization flatter by removing multiple layers of management. As part of this, we will ask many managers to become individual contributors. We’ll also have individual contributors report into almost every level — not just the bottom — so information flow between people doing the work and management will be faster.”
Similar to the messaging around its previously announced round of layoffs in November, Zuckerberg was quick to stress that it was building for the long-term, with a continued focus on AI and the metaverse. Indeed, while its pivot to the metaverse back in 2021 has largely been viewed as a massive mis-step by many, one that is nowhere near ready go generate the kinds of rewards its shareholders might like, there is little to indicate that Zuckerberg’s unwavering metaverse conviction will change any time soon.
“Our single largest investment is in advancing AI and building it into every one of our products,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We have the infrastructure to do this at unprecedented scale and I think the experiences it enables will be amazing. Our leading work building the metaverse and shaping the next generation of computing platforms also remains central to defining the future of social connection.”