Meta's 'Year of Efficiency' Is Just Full of Layoffs

Meta's 'Year of Efficiency' Is Just Full of Layoffs

News by Roberto OrosaRoberto Orosa
Published: April 20, 2023

Zuckerberg has dubbed 2023 Meta’s “Year of Efficiency,” but it comes at a cost – the livelihood of its own workers.  

Key Insights: 

  • Meta is pushing through with another round of layoffs following its announcement last March. 
  • Employees have voiced their disappointment and concerns with the company’s decision through social media and Meta’s own town halls. 
  • Meta shares have gone up despite its internal company rifts, but its growth remains an open question as it continues to develop its metaverse.  

Last month, Zuckerberg announced a new set of layoffs projected to affect 10,000 of its workers starting April. 

Now, the time has come.  

The company announced in a memo on Wednesday that it would push through with the layoffs, affecting employees working on user experience, software engineering, graphics programming, among others.  

Product-facing teams have also taken a hit, with finances, legal, tech and HR teams to follow come May, one employee told CNBC.  

In the announcement, the tech giant also asked its employees residing in North America to work from home to have “space to process.” 

“This will be a difficult time as we say goodbye to friends and colleagues who have contributed so much to Meta,” the company’s head of people Lori Goler wrote in the memo. 

The layoff aftermath 

Several workers hit by the layoffs have taken their grievances to social media following the decision.  

In LinkedIn, former Facebook business program manager Teresa Jimenez shared the news to her colleagues. “I woke up this morning to the unfortunate news that I was one of the many laid-off from Meta today. While I am certainly disappointed, I'm also feeling extremely #grateful for the opportunity to have worked alongside some of the most talented individuals for almost 3 years,” she shared.  

Even Meta’s current employees are disappointed with the decision. 

In a Meta Q&A scheduled for Thursday, 11 am PT, workers asked questions directed at the CEO through the company’s internal message board. 

“You’ve shattered the morale and confidence in leadership of many high performers who work with intensity. Why should we stay at Meta,” one wrote.  

“Did we ‘cut deep’ this time,” another said. 

Others have also asked about the possibility of more layoffs in the future, with growing concerns over their job security.  

This is not the first time Zuckerberg has been pressed on the matter. 

Following his initial announcement of the job cuts last March, the CEO was directly confronted by his employees in a town hall.  

One asked Zuckerberg how Meta’s employees are expected to trust the company’s leadership following the two rounds of layoffs, to which he responded: “I would guess that the way people would evaluate whether you trust me and want to work at this company is whether we are succeeding in making progress toward the overall stated goals... Whether you think you basically get good context for me on what we're trying to do and that I'm being honest and giving you my best expectation that I can of things." 

Another brought up the concern of the psychological consequences of the layoffs to current and former employees. The CEO then admitted there is uncertainty in how disclosing layoff intentions will be perceived, but “it’s not like we can just pause working while we are figuring this out.”

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A timeline on Meta’s Year of Efficiency 

After a slump in ad revenue and a drastic drop in stock prices, Meta made the decision to lay off 11,000, or 13% of its workers last November. Tech giants like Google, Amazon, Twitter among others have joined suit, with more than 140,000 U.S. workers losing jobs by the end of 2022.  

Fast-forward to February, Zuckerberg attended an earnings call where he told investors 2023 would be Meta’s “Year of Efficiency.” 

Since then, the company has committed to restructuring the company, making an active effort to reduce costs, increase productivity, and multiply its streams of revenue. 

To the surprise of Meta’s employees, this would come at the cost of their jobs.  

“As I’ve talked about efficiency this year, I’ve said that part of our work will involve removing jobs — and that will be in service of both building a leaner, more technical company and improving our business performance to enable our long-term vision,” the CEO explained in an update last March. 

Zuckerberg’s other plans include removing layers from the management hierarchy and cancelling lower priority projects.  

In the Spotlight: Meta’s unpredictable growth 

Despite internal concerns and a growing rift between management and employees, Wall Street has praised Meta for its downsizing efforts. 

The company’s shares have also gone up 81% this year, a stark difference from its valuation dropping to two-thirds in 2022.  

In the past, Meta had predicted that its sales would be in the $26 billion to $28.5 billion range. If the company manages to reach the upper limit of this range, it still has a high chance of breaking its trend of declining revenue.  

However, its risky business choices make it hard to predict the trajectory of its growth. With billions spent investing in metaverse ventures, Meta is banking hard on bringing its breakthrough technology into the mainstream. 

Still, some predict an e-Commerce boom for the Meta-exclusive tech. A study made by Brainy Insights at the start of this year indicates that the metaverse is expected to rise from $39.25 billion in 2021 to $993.86 billion by 2030. A UK service also believes it will take 15 years for the new tech to penetrate the mainstream.  

Whether Meta will strike gold remains an open question. But if one thing’s for sure, its employees are hoping for the latest wave of layoffs to become its last.  



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