Meta logo unveiling

Meta axes 11,000 jobs worldwide

Image credit: Rob Longert | Meta

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has said it will cut its global workforce by 13 per cent, letting go of more than 11,000 employees.

In an announcement this morning, Meta confirmed its plans to cut more than 11,000 jobs globally as part of a major restructuring of the tech giant.

Meta founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the cuts were “some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history”.

He added: “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 [2023].

“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.”

Zuckerberg blamed the “macroeconmic downturn, increased competition and ads signal loss” for causing a drop in Meta’s revenue, which has now led to the substantial staff cuts.

In a message to Meta employees, Zuckerberg confirmed around 11,000 of Meta’s 87,000-person global workforce would be cut, adding: “I got this wrong and I take responsibility for that.”

He said departing staff would get 16 weeks of base pay plus two additional weeks for every year of service, saying the support would be “similar” around the world but that 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 their email addresses would be active “throughout the day” so that “everyone can say farewell”.

Meta’s biggest platforms – Facebook and Instagram – have come under increased pressure from competing products such as TikTok while the company has also spent billions developing its vision of the metaverse – a long-term, pseudo personal, project of Zuckerberg.

Meta’s European headquarters is in Dublin, with 3,000 employees based in Ireland. The global announcement will potentially impact all full-time Meta employees in Ireland, but would not affect contract workers employed by third-parties. However, knock-on effects should be anticipated.

It is understood that redundancies in Meta’s Ireland operation will be in line with the global headcount reduction of 13 per cent, meaning that around 400 employees could lose their jobs. Meta has indicated that any redundancies in Ireland will be carried out within the country’s statutory framework, with affected employees entering a consultation period.

Meta has informed the relevant government departments and agencies of its plans, including the Department of the Taoiseach, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the IDA (Industrial Development Agency).

It is also understood that Zuckerberg's announcement will not affect the Dublin hub’s status as Meta’s European headquarters. The company has said it intends to proceed with longer-term investment plans in the country.

Earlier this week, the first rumblings of disquiet regarding social media companies headquartered in Ireland could be heard. The Irish government met with representatives from Twitter, with thousands of jobs also facing the axe there following Elon Musk's takeover and immediate cull of what he perceives as unnecessary roles, in a first cost-saving measure.

Ireland is host to several tech giants’ European headquarters, including Twitter, Google and Facebook. Meta currently employs around 3,000 people at its Dublin office. News of its planned layoffs first began to surface this week.

The Taoiseach said the government would be consulting with any tech giants whose Ireland-based employees are at risk of redundancy. Micheal Martin said there are issues within the digital sector and he is concerned over the potential job losses in the state.

Martin made the comments as Tanaiste Leo Varadkar met officials from the IDA over the job losses at Twitter, after the company told its Ireland-based staff that it will comply with Irish company law requiring it to engage with the Minister for Enterprise about its redundancy plans.

Twitter is expected to enter a 30-day consultation period with staff, during which time they are not required to work or attend the office. A similar process will apply to Meta staff facing redundancy.

Speaking in Egypt at the COP27 conference, Martin said: “We will consult with all the various companies. I have been concerned for some time in terms of the global economic situation because of the war in Ukraine and the implications across Europe and the world, the migration and so on.

“That said, we have bounced back strongly from Covid-19, we do export heavily on what we produce so what happens globally has an impact on Ireland. So our challenge is to make sure that we will engage with the IDA and companies.

“There are issues clearly in the digital area, we are always concerned whether there is potential job losses. But we always tend to look at it with a view of, OK, there are realities out there that we can’t change globally, how do we deal with this domestically and how do we regroup, what new opportunities are out there in these sectors?”

Employees at Twitter received an email on Friday morning last week (4 November 2022) advising them not to go into the office as their badge access was being suspended.

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