Meta, the owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has announced plans to cut its workforce by 13% as part of a major restructure.
A total of 11,000 employees of Meta’s 87,000-person global workforce are being laid off as part of a wider shake-up of the business that aims to drastically cut costs.
Meta founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the cuts were “some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history”, adding that the “macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss” had caused a drop in the company’s revenue leading to substantial staff cuts.
In a message to employees, Mr Zuckerberg said: “I got this wrong and I take responsibility for that. 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.
“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.”
Meta’s biggest platforms – Facebook and Instagram – have come under increased pressure from sites such as TikTok, while the company has also spent billions developing the metaverse – a long-term project of Mr Zuckerberg’s which is still just a concept and not yet active in any substantial way.
Departing staff will receive 16 weeks of base pay plus two additional weeks for every year of service.
Mr Zuckerberg said support would be “similar” around the world, but the company would “follow up soon with separate processes that take into account local employment laws”.
He also confirmed access to internal staff systems would be removed for people leaving “given the amount of access to sensitive information”, but said email addresses would be active “throughout the day” so that “everyone can say farewell”.
The Meta founder added: “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.
“We would not be where we are today without your hard work, and I’m grateful for your contributions.
“To those who are staying, I know this is a difficult time for you, too. Not only are we saying goodbye to people we’ve worked closely with, but many of you also feel uncertainty about the future.
“I want you to know that we’re making these decisions to make sure our future is strong.”
The announcement comes just days after Twitter cut its global workforce by 50% following the platform’s takeover by Elon Musk.
Meta’s European headquarters is in Dublin, with 3,000 employees based in Ireland. The global announcement will impact full-time Meta employees in Ireland. It will not affect contract workers employed by third-parties.
It is understood any redundancies in Ireland will be carried out within the country’s statutory framework, with affected employees entering a consultation period.