In a memo to employees Wednesday (Nov. 9), the Facebook founder took responsibility for the moves that brought the company to this point. He said many people predicted that the increase in eCommerce shopping that began with COVID-19 would continue beyond the pandemic.
“I did too, so I made the decision to significantly increase our investments,” Zuckerberg wrote, one day after officially announcing the first wide-ranging layoffs in the company’s history.
“Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected. Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.”
Zuckerberg said Meta was making reductions in every organization “across both Family of Apps and Reality Labs,” but said some teams would be more affected than others. For example, the company’s recruiting office would be “disproportionately” impacted as Meta plans to hire fewer employees next year.
In addition to slowing hiring and job cuts, Zuckerberg said Meta would shift resources to a smaller group of high-priority growth areas, including its AI discovery engine, ads, and business platforms. The company will also shrink its real estate footprint and reduce employee perks.
The layoffs follow a dismal earnings report last month, showing Meta’s net income had fallen 52% while spending had increased by 19%. However, Zuckerberg had foreshadowed the move weeks earlier, saying the company planned to cut budgets for most of its teams.
“I had hoped the economy would have more clearly stabilized by now,” Zuckerberg said during an employee meeting in September. “But from what we’re seeing, it doesn’t yet seem like it has, so we want to plan somewhat conservatively.”
The job cuts represent the largest layoffs at a Big Tech company, almost tripling the 3,700 people let go by Twitter recently following Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media platform.
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