For First Time, Zuckerberg Readies Mass Layoffs

Meta, parent of Facebook, will reportedly lay off thousands of people this week
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2022 6:23 AM CST
For Zuckerberg, an Unwanted First: Mass Layoffs
Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University in 2019.   (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

Twitter employees aren't the only tech staffers facing a bleak November: Facebook parent company Meta is expected to announce its biggest wave of layoffs since Mark Zuckerberg founded it in 2004, reports the New York Times. The numbers are unclear, but Wall Street Journal predicts "many thousands" of Meta's 87,000-strong workforce will be gone. The stories, and another at Gizmodo, tick off the reasons, some of which are specific to Meta and some of which are part of a larger tech slump. Like many companies in the sector, Meta surged during the pandemic, adding more than 40,000 employees since 2020. This year, however, Meta's stock has fallen more than 70%, notes the Journal.

One factor in the Meta trouble is that Zuckerberg has poured $15 billion into his vision for a virtual reality metaverse since the start of 2021, but the resulting Horizon Worlds platform has struggled. In short, it "has not been well executed," per Gizmodo, and most who visit don't return. Last month, Zuckerberg acknowledged the poor reception but said he remained committed to the vision. "People are going to look back on decades from now and talk about the importance of the work that was done here," he said.

He also warned at the time that most Meta "teams will stay flat or shrink over the next year," adding that "we expect to end 2023 as either roughly the same size, or even a slightly smaller organization than we are today.” It's not clear if the new layoffs will change that prediction. Perhaps more ominous for Meta employees is what Zuckerberg said in June: “Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here." (More Meta stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.