On Wednesday, Meta will lay off about 6,000 people. Meta’s “Year of Efficiency” is reorganizing to save money and flatten the organization, which includes these cuts.
Employees expected layoffs. Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a March blog post that he would lay off 10,000 workers in late April and late May, even though Meta had laid off 11,000 in November. This week’s layoffs targeted business roles, while April’s affected tech teams. Meta halted hiring for 5,000 positions. Since November, Meta has lost 21,000 jobs, cutting its global headcount by 25%.
“Since we reduced our workforce last year, one surprising result is that many things have gone faster,” Zuckerberg wrote in his March blog post. “I underestimated lower-priority project indirect costs.”
Morale is understandably low after thousands of employees left. For months, employees have worried about being laid off, which could mean losing healthcare or a work visa.
Meta’s metaverse department, Reality Labs, spent $13.7 billion last year. Zuckerberg has doubled down on his belief that VR and mixed reality will power the next social frontier, despite investor skepticism.
“A narrative has developed that we’re somehow moving away from focusing on the metaverse vision, so I just want to say up front that that’s not accurate,” Zuckerberg said in a quarterly earnings call last month. “We’ll keep focusing on AI and the metaverse.”
Meta’s AR/VR research incorporates AI. AI powers content moderation, algorithmic social feeds, and other meta features. The company is integrating AI into its core business as Silicon Valley’s buzzword.
Meta launched its generative AI coding tool and AI Sandbox for advertisers in the past month. Meta is developing a supercomputer and custom chips for large-scale AI research. This initiative could help Meta compete with Microsoft and Google, which have similar supercompute