Meta makes another round of layoffs

Meta makes another round of layoffs

Picture credits: Bloomberg/Contributor/Getty Images

Meta is carrying out its latest round of layoffs on Wednesday, expected to affect around 6,000 people. These cuts are part of the company’s so-called “Year of Efficiency,” in which Meta is massively restructured to save money and flatten the organizational structure.

The employees knew the layoffs were coming. Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a blog post in March that he would cut 10,000 jobs in two rounds of layoffs in late April and late May, even though Meta already cut 11,000 positions in November. This week’s layoffs were primarily aimed at sales roles, while April’s layoffs impacted technical teams. Meta has also stopped recruiting for around 5,000 vacancies. In total, around 21,000 people have lost their jobs at Meta, cutting the company’s global workforce by around a quarter since November, when the company formerly known as Facebook had around 87,000 employees.

“Since we downsized last year, a surprising result is that a lot of things have moved faster,” Zuckerberg wrote in his March blog post. “In retrospect, I underestimated the indirect costs of lower priority projects.”

With thousands of team members leaving the company, morale is understandably low at Meta. Employees have waited anxiously for months to determine whether or not they will lose their jobs — and if being laid off isn’t stressful enough, for some employees it could mean losing health care or a work visa.

Meanwhile, Meta spent $13.7 billion last year on Reality Labs, the arm of its metaverse developments. Investors were skeptical of Zuckerberg’s insistence that VR and mixed reality will power the next frontier of social connection, but he doubled down.

“A narrative has developed that we’re sort of moving away from the focus on the metaverse vision, so I just want to say up front that’s not accurate,” Zuckerberg said on a quarterly call. on results last month. “We have been focused on AI and the metaverse, and we will continue to do so.”

AI is indeed rooted in Meta’s AR and VR research. AI also supports content moderation, algorithmic social feeds, and other key aspects of Meta’s technology. But as AI continues to reign as Silicon Valley’s favorite buzzword, the company is integrating this technology more into established parts of its business.

In the past month alone, Meta has unveiled its own generative AI coding tool, as well as a tool for advertisers called AI Sandbox. Longer term, Meta is working on its own custom chips and a supercomputer to support large-scale AI research. The move could help Meta compete with companies like Microsoft and Google that 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, I hope that remains true for some time.

Meta did not respond to request for comment.

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