Meta, targeting an overall reduction in expenses of at least 10% in the coming months, has begun “quietly nudging out” a significant number of staff through department reorganizations, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Current and former Meta managers said that, rather than announce layoffs, employees in reorganized departments are being given limited times (generally 30 days) to apply for different jobs in the company.
More workforce reductions, along with cuts in overhead and consulting budgets, are expected as part of deeper cuts in the months ahead, according to the report.
Thanks in large part to an advertising growth slump resulting from competition from TikTok and the Apple iOS privacy changes that have undermined ad targeting capabilities on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram (along with all other non-Apple platforms), Meta suffered the first revenue decline in its decade-long history as a public company in its fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2022.
In response, Meta has taken a variety of steps, including reducing operating expenses, slowing the pace of its investments in the metaverse — the foundation of its plan for the future — and seeking to become more competitive by repositioning Facebook to put greater emphasis on third-party creator videos/entertainment content as opposed to its traditional focus on connecting friends and family.
Meta’s share price is down nearly 57% year-to-date, and as of Tuesday, its market value was down by $685 billion since its September 2021 peak, per WSJ.
Founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Meta executives have made public statements acknowledging the need for hiring freezes, trimming nonproductive staff and prioritizing resources, but have not to date ordered actual layoffs.
Rival tech giants have also been hit by economic and other factors. As the report notes, Google, whose share price is down 27% in the past year, is slowing hiring and pushing for heightened productivity, while Snap Inc. last week announced that it will cut its workforce by 20%.