By Chinenye Anuforo, Lagos

Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms, has sacked 11,000 employees, nearly 13% of its staff globally.

The company is also likely to extend the freeze it has imposed on new hiring.

This is the first major round of layoffs at Meta, and is being considered as the most drastic one since Facebook began in 2004, and reflects a sharp slowdown in the digital advertising market.

“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,” Meta chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg said.

In his message to employees, Zuckerberg said that they are taking additional steps to become a leaner organisation by cutting discretionary spending as well as extending its hiring freeze till the end of Q1. Meta follows the calendar year globally for its results, and therefore the hiring freeze is likely to be in place till March 2023, with a small number of exceptions.

Zuckerberg’s statement said that while workforce reductions will be across the board, divisions such as recruiting will be disproportionately affected and business teams to are being restructured. The access of employees being laid off has also been revoked.

The first round of redundancies in the company’s history comes after its workforce peaked this year at 87,314 people. In the note, Zuckerberg said that the company had overinvested at the start of Covid, banking that the increase in online activity would continue and accelerate even after the pandemic ended.

“Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected,” he said. “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. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.”

Meta layoffs come a few days after Elon Musk-led Twitter sacked around 50 per cent of its employees globally in an effort to reduce costs.

In July, Meta posted its first quarterly revenue decline in history, followed by another, bigger decline in October.

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Source: news