Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is planning to lay off 13 percent of its staff – or more than 11,000 employees – in what could be the biggest round of layoffs in tech history, just as Twitter axes its entire staff in Africa just days after opening offices in Ghana.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the news in a letter sent to employees on Wednesday, calling it “some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history.”
Zuckerberg Calls Terminations “Some Of The Most Difficult Changes We’ve Made In Meta History”
“Today I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history,” Zuckerberg said in the letter. “I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13 percent and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go. 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.”
As of Wednesday morning, shares of Meta had increased about 7.7 percent, according to CBNC.
The news comes amidst a rough stretch for Facebook’s parent company Meta, who scared investors after reporting its upcoming fourth-quarter earnings in late October, causing shares to drop nearly 20 percent.
Probably one of the biggest layoffs in the tech history.
— Arpit Tripathi🇮🇳 (@arpitripathi_) November 9, 2022
Investors are concerned about Meta’s rising costs and expenses, which jumped 19 percent year over year in the third quarter to $22.1 billion. Their sales have also declined four percent to $27.71 billion in the quarter with operating income seeing a steep 46 percent drop from the previous year to $5.66 billion.
“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 said.
Twitter Experiences Similar Cuts, With Offices In Africa Shuttered After Musk Buyout
Meanwhile at Twitter, things aren’t faring much better, where the entire African headquarters was unceremoniously let go.
CNN’s Larry Madowo reports that it obtained the termination notice sent to staff at Twitter’s only office in Africa, located in Accra. The office just opened several days ago.
The outlet reports that “unlike in the U.S., (the termination letter) doesn’t offer next steps or severance.”
SCOOP – CNN has obtained the termination notice sent to staff at Twitter's only office in Africa – in Accra 🇬🇭
It was sent to their personal emails but didn't mention any of them by name. Unlike in the US, it doesn't offer next steps or severance pic.twitter.com/R868moImlh
— Larry Madowo (@LarryMadowo) November 8, 2022
Musk had previously done away with much of middle management at the company’s San Francisco headquarters, preferring to have more developers and less managers in his words.
In the United States, Twitter employees have already filed a class-action lawsuit amid allegations that Twitter violated federal and Californian laws by failing to allow sufficient notice prior to the firings, which have affected around half the company’s workforce, CNBC reports.
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On Tuesday, he also axed the offices in Japan, according to The Japan Times.
Japan happens to be the tech giant’s second biggest market, with the platform being used in an official capacity by government bodies to relay messages to the public during natural disasters, and have done so since the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
Musk’s $4.4 billion purchase of the social media platform and his desire to charge money for a Twitter Blue subscription service has rattled its user base with many balking at the idea of an $8 surcharge to tweet.