Meta conducted its second round of mass layoffs in the past six months on Wednesday, ahead of another set of layoffs planned for May.
The layoffs are a major cause for concern among Meta’s remaining staff, who are supposed to hear directly from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a company Q&A scheduled for Thursday at 11 am PT.
“You’ve shattered the morale and confidence in leadership of many high performers who work with intensity. Why should we stay at Meta?” reads one of the most popular employee questions submitted on the company’s internal message board earlier today. Vox viewed a list of questions and spoke to several Meta employees who described ongoing dread about more layoffs to come.
As of Wednesday morning, other popular questions on the message board included, “Will there be more layoffs?” and “Did we ‘cut deep’ this time?”
The layoffs started early Wednesday morning and impacted a wide range of technical teams including those working on Facebook, Instagram, Reality Labs, and WhatsApp, according to an internal memo posted to an employee message board on Tuesday evening. A Meta spokesperson confirmed the memo sent on Tuesday night announcing the layoffs but declined to comment further. The cuts could be in the range of 4,000 jobs, one source said.
“This will be a difficult time as we say goodbye to friends and colleagues who have contributed so much to Meta,” Lori Goler, Meta’s head of people, said in the memo.
Meta employees in North America were to be notified by email between 4 am and 5 am PT Wednesday morning, according to Goler’s note. Outside of North America, the timelines will vary country to country, and some countries will not be impacted.
Meta is also asking employees in North America, whose jobs allow it, to work from home on Wednesday to give people “space to process the news.”
The layoffs come after Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in March that the company would cut 10,000 more jobs in the coming months, after already cutting 11,000 in November. Zuckerberg previously said that cuts in April would impact tech departments, while another planned round of cuts in May will impact the business side of the company. At the end of last year, Meta, which is the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, had around 86,000 employees.
Sources spoke with Vox on the condition of anonymity because of concern about professional repercussions.
Meta’s continued layoffs are part of Zuckerberg’s plans for a “year of efficiency” in 2023. The layoffs are a reminder that after nearly two decades of almost uninterrupted growth, major tech companies like Meta are now undergoing an intense period of cutbacks and belt-tightening measures. Silicon Valley as a whole has been going through an economic downturn that has drastically changed what was once considered a free-spending work culture. Long gone are the days of unlimited perks, travel, and nonstop hiring. And in the past year, almost every major tech company has had rounds of layoffs. Meta’s have been particularly painful, with the company issuing the cuts in waves.
“This will be tough and there’s no way around that,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post last month. “Over the next couple of months, org leaders will announce restructuring plans focused on flattening our orgs, canceling lower priority projects, and reducing our hiring rates.”
While the stock market responded well to Meta’s layoffs last year, employee morale has suffered. Vox reported in January that internal employee sentiment surveys about optimism and confidence in leadership at the company were the lowest they had been in recent memory. Several sources described working in a state of limbo for the past few months and that it’s hard to get any work done.
“I think people are getting tired of all this and are just ignoring this now,” said one Meta employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. They added that it’s “too stressful to keep worrying when you can’t do anything about it”
Meta’s next round of cuts shows that this isn’t the end of tech layoffs — it’s only the beginning of the next wave.
Update, April 19, 6:20 pm ET: This story was originally published on April 18 and has been updated multiple times, most recently with further details about employee reactions to the layoffs.