Facebook parent Meta plans to lay off thousands of employees, reports say

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Facebook parent Meta plans to begin large-scale layoffs this week in what could be the company's most significant head-count reductions in its history, according to reports.

The job cuts are expected to affect thousands of workers and the announcement could come as early as Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. Meta had more than 87,000 employees as of the end of September, according to a securities filing.

Meta declined to comment on Monday about the reported layoffs.

The news of the wide-scale job cuts came after CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he expected Meta to enter 2023 with roughly the same headcount during the company's third-quarter earnings call on Oct. 26.

"In 2023, we're going to focus our investments on a small number of high priority growth areas," Zuckerberg said. "In aggregate, we expect to end 2023 as either roughly the same size, or even a slightly smaller organization than we are today."

Meta Platforms Inc. reported its revenue declined for a second consecutive quarter last month, raising questions about the company's plan to spend billions building the metaverse, an immersive future online world.

Meta has been struggling financially for months, as the company competes with newer social media platforms like TikTok for digital advertisement and increases its spending.

Zuckerberg warned employees in July about "one of the worst downturns that we've seen in recent history" and announced a hiring freeze in September, according to reports.

Wave of layoffs at tech companies

With the reportedly planned layoffs, Meta joins a number of that have recently announced or hiring freezes after rapid growth during the pandemic, as employers fear the U.S. could enter a recession.

Facebook-rival Twitter last Friday began mass layoffs a week after Elon Musk's takeover that impact half of the company's workforce of more than 7,500 full-time employees. The company reportedly began reaching out to dozens of employees to ask them to return, according to Bloomberg.

E-commerce giant Amazon announced last week it's pausing incremental corporate hiring because the economy is "in an uncertain place."

Lyft, meanwhile, said it will layoff 13% of its employees, or about 700 workers. Payment processing platform Stripe said it's reducing its headcount by around 14%.

"We were much too optimistic about the internet economy's near-term growth in 2022 and 2023 and underestimated both the likelihood and impact of a broader slowdown," Stripe CEO Patrick Collison said in a note to employees.

What is Meta?

Zuckerberg last year announced Facebook (the company, not the social media platform) was changing its name to Meta to reflect the company's focus on the metaverse, which will take years to develop.

Meta owns Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Reality Labs makes the company's augmented and virtual reality products.

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