Is Meta preparing for a fresh burst of layoffs?
“I don’t think you want a management structure that’s just managers managing managers, managing managers, managing managers, managing the people who are doing the work,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently told employees during an all-hands meeting, according to the Command Line newsletter.
Whether that translates into another significant reduction in the company’s headcount remains to be seen. In November, Meta laid off 11,000 employees, or roughly 13 percent of the company’s workforce. “At the start of Covid, the world rapidly moved online and the surge of e-commerce led to outsized revenue growth,” Zuckerberg wrote in a letter to employees at the time. “Many people predicted this would be a permanent acceleration that would continue even after the pandemic ended. I did too, so I made the decision to significantly increase our investments. Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected.”
Zuckerberg has also pressed his company to accelerate development and generally do more with less. “I think some of you might decide that this place isn’t for you, and that self-selection is OK with me,” Zuckerberg reportedly told employees in summer 2022. “Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here.”
In the months since Meta’s initial layoffs, other tech giants have likewise slashed staff. Earlier in January, for example, Google announced plans to lay off 12,000 employees, or roughly 6 percent of its total workforce. Salesforce, Microsoft, Twitter, Amazon, and numerous startups have also announced employee cutbacks in recent months. Many of these companies have blamed the layoffs on excessive hiring during the pandemic, followed by the need to tighten budgets in the face of new economic uncertainty.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for tech occupations dipped to 1.8 percent in December, according to the latest analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data by CompTIA. Even as the biggest tech companies streamline, organizations across the economy still need tech professionals for a variety of tasks, from web development to upgrading tech stacks.