Mark Zuckerberg apologizes for massive Meta job cuts

"Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected. Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I'd expected," Zuckerberg explained.

Meta, Facebook and Instagram's parent company, is laying off approximately 13 percent of its workforce, over 11,000 people, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a letter to employees early Wednesday morning.

The social media billionaire apologized for the mass terminations, which he says were caused by poor decision-making in an unstable economy, acknowledging that he "got this wrong."

"Today I'm sharing some of the most difficult changes we've made in Meta's history. 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," Zuckerberg's statement began.

"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."

The widespread layoffs at Meta come less than a week after new Twitter owner Elon Musk announced sweeping job cuts soon after acquiring the company. Among the notable firings upon Musk's purchase were CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and Vijaya Gadde, who lead the moderation team that ultimately decided to permanently suspend former president Donald Trump. In all, Twitter laid off approximately half of its 7,500 employees as of last week.

The social media companies' shrinkages are part of a pattern as the tech industry hemorrhages workers in response to the inflated economy.

Last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell announced that the banking system would be hiking its interest rate by another 0.75 percent. This latest increase is the sixth to be dished out by the Fed this year, marking some of the most aggressive actions taken by the Fed since the 1980s, according to USA Today.

Meta, like many other social media companies, saw increased profit during the Covid lockdowns as people were spending more time at home browsing the internet. However, as lockdown restrictions began to lift, they started facing the nasty results of the 40-year record inflation.

According to an Associated Press report, investors jumping ship have sent Meta's shares dropping more than 71 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock is now trading at levels that haven't been seen since 2015.

"At the start of Covid, the world rapidly moved online and the surge of e-commerce led to outsized revenue growth. 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," Zuckerberg's letter continued.

"Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected. Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I'd expected," he explained. 

"I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that."

Former employees will receive 16 weeks of base pay, plus two additional weeks for every year with the company, Zuckerberg said. Health insurance for laid-off employees and their families will continue for six months.

In early October, Meta terminated its prestigious London-based internship program just days after Zuckerberg announced that the company had frozen all hiring in preparation for its first ever downsizing.

The company-wide hiring freeze will be extended through the first quarter of 2023, Zuckerberg said. His company will also downsize in real estate, as many employees are working outside of the office. According to the AP, the company will "transition to desk sharing for those that remain."

More budget slashes will come in the following months, Zuckerberg added.

Meta company shares reportedly leaped almost 5 percent before the New York Stock Exchange opened on Wednesday morning.

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