Social media giant Meta, which owns WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and other companies, has announced a massive round of layoffs. Meta will fire 11,000 employees this year. This is the biggest cut in Facebook history, and Mark Zuckerberg wrote a long letter to employees as he announced it. Here’s the full message Mark Zuckerberg sent to employees working at Meta companies.
Today I’m sharing some of the toughest changes we’ve made in Meta history. I’ve decided to reduce our team size by about 13% and let over 11,000 of our talented employees go. We are also taking a number of additional steps to become a more agile and efficient company by reducing discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze into the first quarter.
I want to take responsibility for these decisions and how we got here. I know this is difficult for everyone, and I am especially sorry for those affected.
How did we get here?
At the start of Covid, the world moved quickly online and the e-commerce boom led to huge revenue growth. Many people expected this to be a permanent acceleration that would continue even after the pandemic was over. I did too, so I made the decision to significantly increase our investment. Unfortunately, this did not happen the way I expected. Not only has online commerce returned to previous trends, but the overall economic downturn, increased competition and loss of advertising signal caused our revenue to be much lower than I had anticipated. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.
In this new environment, we need to become more capital efficient. We’ve shifted more of our resources into a smaller number of high-priority growth areas – such as the AI discovery engine, our advertising and business platforms, and our long-term vision for metaverse. We have reduced costs across our business, including reducing budgets, reducing perks, and reducing our real estate footprint. We are restructuring teams to increase our efficiency. But those actions alone aren’t going to keep our expenses in line with our revenue growth, so I’ve also made the tough decision to let people go.
How will this work?
There is no good way to lay off workers, but we hope to get all relevant information as soon as possible and then do our best to support you through it.
Everyone will receive an email shortly letting you know what this layoff means to you. Then, each affected employee will have the opportunity to speak with someone to answer their questions and join the information sessions.
Some of the details in the US include:
to cut. We will pay 16 weeks of base salary plus an additional two weeks for each year of service, with no cap.
PTO. We will pay for all remaining time in the PTO.
RSU entitlement. Each affected person will receive their entitlement on November 15, 2022.
health insurance. We will cover the cost of healthcare for individuals and their families for six months.
professional services. We will provide three months of career support with an external supplier, including early access to unpublished job opportunities.
Immigration support. I know this is especially difficult if you are here on a visa. There is a notice period before termination and some visa grace periods, which means everyone will have time to make plans and work through their immigration status. We have dedicated immigration professionals to help guide you based on what you and your family need.
Outside the US, support will be similar, and we will soon follow up with separate measures that take into account local employment laws.
We have made the decision to remove access to most identification systems for people who are leaving today due to the amount of access to sensitive information. But we keep our email addresses active all day so everyone can say goodbye.
As we make cuts at every organization across both the Apps family and Reality Labs, some teams will be affected more than others. Recruitment will be disproportionately affected as we plan to hire fewer people next year. We are also fundamentally restructuring our teams. This is not a reflection of the great work these groups have done, but what we need to do moving forward. The leaders of each group will set a time to discuss what this means for your team over the next two days.
The teammates who will leave us are talented and passionate, and have made an important impact on our company and our community. Each of you helped make Meta a success, and I’m grateful for that. I’m sure you’ll continue to do a great job elsewhere.
What other changes are we making?
I consider layoffs a last resort, so we decided to rein in other sources of cost before letting our colleagues go. Overall, this will add to a meaningful cultural shift in how we operate. For example, as our real estate footprint is shrinking, we are turning to desk sharing for people who already spend most of their time outside the office. We’ll roll out more cost-cutting changes like this in the coming months.
We are also extending the hiring freeze period into the first quarter of the year with a few exceptions. I will monitor our business performance, our operational efficiency, and other macroeconomic factors to determine if and how much we should resume hiring at that point. This will give us the ability to control the cost structure in the event the economic downturn continues. It will also put us on a path to achieving a more efficient cost structure than we have recently identified for investors.
I’m currently in the middle of a comprehensive review of our infrastructure spending. As we build the AI infrastructure, we focus on becoming more efficient with our ability. Our infrastructure will continue to be an important feature for Meta, and I believe we can achieve that with less spending.
Basically, we’re making all of these changes for two reasons: Our revenue expectations are lower than we expected at the beginning of this year, and we want to make sure we’re operating efficiently across both the Apps family and Reality Labs.
How can we proceed?
This is a sad moment, and it is inevitable. To those who are leaving, I want to thank you once again for all that you have put into this place. We wouldn’t be where we are today without your hard work, and I am grateful for your contributions.
For those who will stay, I know this is a tough time for you too. Not only do we say goodbye to the people we’ve worked closely with, but many of you also feel uncertain about the future. I want you to know that we are making these decisions to make sure our future is strong.
I think we are very underrated as a company today. Billions of people use our services to connect, and our communities continue to grow. Our core business is among the most profitable ever with huge potential for the future. We are leading the development of technology to define the future of social connectivity and the next computing platform. We are doing historically important work. I am confident that if we act efficiently, we will emerge from this downturn stronger and more resilient than ever before.
We’ll share more about how we as a streamlined organization are working to achieve our priorities in the coming weeks. For now, I will say again how grateful I am to those of you who depart for all you have done to advance our mission.
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