Meta to cut thousands of jobs this week

Meta headquarters - Tony Avelar /AP
Meta headquarters - Tony Avelar /AP

Meta is planning to begin mass sackings that will affect thousands of workers from this week, adding to the mounting job losses across Silicon Valley.

The Facebook owner could begin the layoffs as early as Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported. It has already told employees to cancel non-essential travel from this week.

In September, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg outlined plans to reorganise teams and reduce headcount for the first time following a sharp slowdown in growth. He said Meta will likely be smaller in 2023 than it was this year.

It comes after Twitter last week cut almost 3,700 jobs as Elon Musk wields the axe following his $44bn (£38bn) takeover of the social media company.

Meta is struggling with ballooning losses as it invests heavily in its metaverse push. Its shares have lost almost three-quarters of their value this year.

Some $66bn (£57bn) was wiped off the valuation of Meta last month after profits more than halved amid a slowdown in tech stocks.

Sales of $27.7bn (£23.8bn) were down 4pc on the company’s performance last year, while profits of $4.4bn were halved compared with a year ago.

The company is battling a broad slowdown in advertising spend as inflation and recession fears weigh. This is taking its toll on its Facebook and Instagram brands in particular.

Mark Zuckerberg avatar - Michael Nagle /Bloomberg
Mark Zuckerberg avatar - Michael Nagle /Bloomberg

Altimeter Capital Management, a Meta shareholder, has written an open letter to Mr Zuckerberg saying he needs to cut jobs and capital expenditure to streamline the company or risk losing investors' confidence.

Meta faces increased competition from China’s TikTok, as well as advertising-related challenges from Apple because of recent changes to the iPhone’s operating system that limit how much data advertisers can extract.

But Meta is also facing shareholder unrest over its plans to pump billions of dollars into its experimental metaverse division, dubbed Reality Labs.

The metaverse is a personal project of Mr Zuckerberg, who has seen around $100bn wiped off his wealth in the last year.