By Sarah Frier, Ed Ludlow and Kurt Wagner, Bloomberg
Meta Platforms Inc., the owner of Facebook and Instagram, is planning a fresh round of layoffs and will cut thousands of employees as soon as this week, according to people familiar with the matter.
The world’s largest social networking company is eliminating more jobs, on top of a 13% reduction in November, in a bid to become a more efficient organization. In its earlier round of cuts, Meta slashed 11,000 workers in what was its first-ever major layoff. The company has also been working to flatten its organization, giving buyout packages to managers and cutting whole teams it deems nonessential, Bloomberg News reported in February, a move that is still being finalized and could affect thousands of staffers.
Shares gained 2.3% to $189.21 as trading got underway in New York on Tuesday. The stock has risen 54% since the start of the year as of Monday’s close.
The imminent round of cuts is being driven by financial targets and is separate from the “flattening,” said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. Meta, which has seen a slowdown in advertising revenue and has shifted focus to a virtual-reality platform called the metaverse, has been asking directors and vice presidents to make lists of employees that can be let go, the people said.
A Meta spokesperson declined to comment on the plans on Monday.
This phase of layoffs could be finalized in the next week, according to the people. Those working on the plan are hoping to have it ready before Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg goes on parental leave for his third child, which may be imminent, one person said.
Read more: Tech layoffs are bad news for MBAs
The November cuts were a surprise, but another round of firings has been widely anticipated by the Meta workforce. Zuckerberg has dubbed 2023 Meta’s “year of efficiency,” and the company has been communicating that theme to employees during performance reviews, which were completed last week, the people said.
Workers at the Menlo Park, California-based company described heightened anxiety and low morale among colleagues lately. Some employees expressed worry about whether they’d receive their bonuses, which are set to be distributed this month, if they lose their jobs beforehand, the people said.
Read more: Meta Spurred by Lackluster Demand to Cut Price of VR Headset
In February, Meta said it was launching a subscription service called Meta Verified that will include a handful of additional perks and features, including Facebook and Instagram account verification badges for those who pay. It will cost $11.99 per month — $14.99 if purchased through the iOS app — and is primarily targeted toward content creators.
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