Meta is following up the 11,000 layoffs it made in November last year with another 10,000 job cuts.
In a letter penned by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, shared on the company website, the long-serving chief exec said Meta still intends to build "the future of human connection," but in order to do that it looks like the company will need to sever its connections with actual humans.
Zuckerberg said 2023 will be a "year of efficiency" for Meta that will help improve its financial performance in a "difficult environment" and execute its long term vision of building the metaverse.
What does that mean in reality? In short, Meta expects to reduce its headcount by around 10,000 people, and will also be closing around 5,000 additional open roles that haven't been filled.
As a result of that hiring freeze, Meta's recruiting team will be downsized, while the layoffs are also expected to impact the company's other business and tech groups. More details about how specific departments will be impacted should be provided in April and May.
"In a small number of cases, it may take through the end of the year to complete these changes. Our timelines for international teams will also look different, and local leaders will follow up with more details," wrote Zuckerberg.
"This will be tough and there’s no way around that. It will mean saying goodbye to talented and passionate colleagues who have been part of our success. They’ve dedicated themselves to our mission and I’m personally grateful for all their efforts. We will support people in the same ways we have before and treat everyone with the gratitude they deserve."
What is going on with Meta's financials?
Zuckerberg described Meta's financial performance last year as a "humbling wake-up call," pointing to the fact the company already chose to lay off 13 percent of its workforce before the latest round of job cuts.
For context, Meta's fiscal results for the full-year ended December 31, 2022, show the company's Reality Labs division—which includes its augmented and virtual reality related consumer hardware, software, and content—delivered an operating loss of $13.7 billion. That was significantly more than the $10.1 billion loss the division recorded the year prior.
With Meta chasing profitability amid what it's framing as an onslaught of fiscal uncertainty, Zuckerberg said everyone should prepare themselves for the possibility that the "new economic reality" will continue for many years.
"Given this outlook, we’ll need to operate more efficiently than our previous headcount reduction to ensure success," added Zuckerberg.
"In the face of this new reality, most companies will scale back their long term vision and investments. But we have the opportunity to be bolder and make decisions that other companies can’t. So we put together a financial plan that enables us to invest heavily in the future while also delivering sustainable results as long as we run every team more efficiently. The changes we’re making will enable us to meet this financial plan."