Facebook owner fires 11,000 staff, extends hiring freeze

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg meta

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. FILE PHOTO | AFP

Facebook owner Meta on Monday laid off over 11,000 employees, in a bid to reduce headcount by about 13 percent as the social media giant struggles with declining revenues.   

Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a notice to the employees that the changes were necessary due to declining advertising revenues after the Covid-19 tech boom. 

"Today I'm sharing some of the most difficult changes we've made in Meta's history. I've decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13% and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go," he said. 

Mr Zuckerberg has also extended the hiring freeze and cut discretionary spending. The job cuts follow layoffs at other major tech companies including Elon Musk-owned Twitter and Microsoft.

“I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here. I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry to those impacted,” he said.

Mr Zuckerberg said that the surge in revenue recorded during the pandemic that led to outsized investments by the company cannot be sustained with the current economic downturn and increased competition.

"In this new environment, we need to become more capital efficient. We've shifted more of our resources onto a smaller number of high-priority growth areas - like our AI discovery engine, our ads and business platforms, and our long-term vision for the metaverse," he added.

The company announced that the employees will get 16 weeks of base pay and two weeks for every year of service as severance. They will also receive health insurance for six months.

The layoffs come at a time when Big Tech firms have slowed down, cutting down costs and staff numbers while rolling back huge investments. 

Elon Musk last week sent home over half of the company's workforce while Snap which owns Snapchat fired a fifth of its staff. 

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