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Facebook parent Meta plans new layoffs: Report

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook is planning additional job cuts over several rounds in the next few months, according to media reports, reported The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The additional layoffs will be announced in multiple rounds over the coming months that in total would be roughly the same magnitude as the 13 per cent cut to its workforce last year, according to people familiar with the matter. The first job losses are expected to be announced next week, with non-engineering roles expected to be hit hard, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Some projects and teams are also expected to be shot down.

Meta cut roughly 11,000 jobs, or about 13 per cent of its employees, last year. The reductions this year are expected to reach the same proportion of those who remain, the people said, though the final count of the cumulative cuts expected over the second quarter isn’t yet clear.

Among projects that will be cut are some wearable devices that were in the works at Reality Labs, Meta’s hardware and metaverse division, the people said, suggesting a near-term retreat from efforts to popularize virtual and augmented reality products even as longer-term research efforts continue, reported WSJ.

Meta shares rose by more than 2 per cent in after-hours trading after The Wall Street Journal reported the planned cuts.

“We’re continuing to look across the company, across both Family of Apps and Reality Labs, and really evaluate are we deploying our resources toward the highest leverage opportunities,” Meta Chief Financial Officer Susan Li said Thursday at the Morgan Stanley 2023 Technology, Media & Telecom Conference.

Meta Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg previously said that 2023 would be a “year of efficiency” at Meta and that some projects would likely shut down at the company.

The continuing cuts are notable given Zuckerberg’s prediction in October that the company would end 2023 with roughly as many employees as it had at that time.

The company sought to encourage further attrition through the performance review process, reported WSJ.

Technology companies including Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and others have cut thousands of jobs this year and last as profits retreat from pandemic-induced highs. Since 2022, layoff tallies have reached nearly 300,000 workers, according to Layoffs.fyi, a site that is tracking job cuts in the industry.