Rumors have swirled this week, and now it’s confirmed: Meta, the owner of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus VR, is sacking 13 percent of its workforce, a total of around 11,000 employees out of work. This comes in the wake of the company having spent an extraordinary $15 billion on its so-called “metaverse” project.
Confirmed in a post to Meta’s site today, Zuckerberg messaged his employees in a contrite tone. “Today I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history,” the billionaire CEO began, continuing, “I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13% and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go.”
Explaining why he believes this needs to happen, Zuckerberg lays the blame at a convenient universal gimme, Covid. Except this time, that Covid was too good for them as a company. Citing “outsized revenue growth,” as a result of people spending more time (and money) online during lockdowns, the boss (who is not taking a pay cut) adds, “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,” Zuckerberg says, this didn’t happen. He then references the “macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss,” saying these have all led to much lower revenue than expected. Then, crucially, he adds, “I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.”