Meta is laying off 13% of its staff, or more than 11,000 employees, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a letter to employees on Wednesday.
“Today I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history,” Zuckerberg said in the letter. “I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13% and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go. We are also taking a number of additional steps to become a leaner and more efficient company by cutting discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through Q1.
Shares of Meta were up about 4% in premarket trading.
According to CNBC, investors have been concerned about Meta’s rising costs and expenses, which jumped 19% year over year in the third quarter to $22.1 billion. Meta’s overall sales declined 4% year over year to $27.71 billion in the third quarter while its operating income dropped 46% from the previous year to $5.66 billion.
Zuckerberg said Meta is making reductions in every organization but that recruiting will be disproportionately affected since the company plans to hire fewer people in 2023. The company extended its hiring freeze through the first quarter with a few exceptions, Zuckerberg said.
“This is a sad moment, and there’s no way around that. To those who are leaving, I want to thank you again for everything you’ve put into this place,” he added.
Impacted employees will receive 16 weeks of pay plus two additional weeks for every year of service, Zuckerberg said. Meta will cover health insurance for six months.
Meta is heavily investing in the metaverse, which generally refers to a yet-to-be developed digital world that can be accessed by virtual reality and augmented reality headsets. This hefty bet has cost Meta $9.4 billion so far in 2022, and the company anticipates that losses “will grow significantly year-over-year.”
Zuckerberg said during a call with analysts as part of its third-quarter earnings report that Meta plans to
“focus our investments on a small number of high priority growth areas” during the next year.
“That means some teams will grow meaningfully, but most other teams will stay flat or shrink over the next year,” 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 counts over 87,000 employees as of the end of September.