“This will add up to a meaningful cultural shift in how we operate,” he said. The company will focus on a smaller number of “high priority” areas, he said, including artificial intelligence, advertising and the metaverse.
On Tuesday, Mr. Zuckerberg met with executives to discuss the layoffs, two people who took part in the meeting said. One person who was present said the chief executive took responsibility for the cuts, saying his company had scaled up too quickly. Meta had also canceled travel plans for employees to ensure they were available to meet with managers, should their team be affected by layoffs, three other people said. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported Mr. Zuckerberg’s meeting with executives on Tuesday.
For those who have lost their job in the United States, Meta said it would pay severance of 16 weeks of an employee’s base pay, along with two additional weeks for every year a person worked at the company. Each laid off worker and their family will have health care paid for six months.
After the layoff announcement, Meta’s stock price rose 5 percent in premarket trading.
Meta joins other tech companies, such as Snap, which have laid off employees as economic conditions have grown more challenging. While many of these companies boomed during the coronavirus pandemic, some of the largest ones have reported financial results in recent weeks that showed they are feeling the fallout of global economic jitters. Last week, Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, laid off roughly half of the company’s 7,500 employees, saying that the social media service was losing $4 million a day.
“These cycles of boom and bust are incredibly destructive within organizations because people employed there feel like they don’t know where they stand,” said Sandra J. Sucher, a management professor at Harvard. By rapidly hiring across all departments during the pandemic, Mr. Zuckerberg had set up his company to need reductions in staff, she said.
Mr. Zuckerberg has been telegraphing that Meta would have to clamp down on costs, starting with cutting back on many of the lavish perks that employees once enjoyed. In March, he announced the company was trimming or eliminating free services like laundry and dry cleaning. He also scaled back the company’s free dinner offerings, making it harder for employees to take home dinner for themselves and their families.
In July, Mr. Zuckerberg warned employees that the company was experiencing “one of the worst downturns that we’ve seen in recent history” and, in September announced a hiring freeze.