The Reason for Meta’s Laying Off of More Than 11,000 Employees


Photo Courtesy of TIME

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, will be laying off 11,000 employees—13% of the company’s workforce. This news came in a message on Wednesday, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg told his employees, “I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here,” Zuckerberg told employees. “I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry for those impacted.”  

Meta’s massive layoff will also impact other companies in the family, including Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger. Zuckerberg believed that e-commerce would continue to grow and bring in more revenue post-pandemic for the company, which turned out to be false. Instead, e-commerce returned to previous trends and a combination of factors has caused the company’s revenues to be much lower than expected. 

The reason for the job cut extends beyond this reason, though. Former employees stated that many of the losses originated before the pandemic and the start of Meta. “The sheer range of risky and failed experiments the Facebook, WhatsApp, and the Instagram parent company has conducted over the years” is what has harmed the company and is a major reason for the significant layoff. For example, Meta’s previous plans such as entering the cryptocurrency market, competing with Tiktok, creating a smartwatch, and more all failed. The amount of different projects drives Meta to hire employees rapidly. And when these projects fail, the workers assigned to them float around the company. 

Meta’s current system causes overhiring and a lack of progression in the company’s numerous projects. Bill George, a senior fellow at Harvard Business School, says “Mark Zuckerberg right now is not clear about what he wants from his company.” He points to the rebranding of Facebook to Meta as a clear example of this. There is uncertainty around the future of the company as Zuckerberg attempts to move away from his current apps and into the metaverse. 

Zuckerberg’s efforts to move in a new direction have not paid off yet, and the massive layoff is a bleak sign for the future of the company. Many question Zuckerberg’s investments in the metaverse, but only time will tell if his investments will pay off.