Almost half of Meta’s job cuts were in technology roles

Overall, 54% of the layoffs were in commercial positions and the rest in technology positions, said Meta HR director Lori Goler.

Facebook owner Meta Platforms told employees on Friday that it was halting development of smart displays and smartwatches and that nearly half of the 11,000 jobs it shed this week in an unprecedented cost-cutting move were in technology roles.

During a staff townhall meeting heard by Reuters, Meta executives also said they are reorganizing parts of the company, combining a voice and video call unit with other messaging teams and creating a new division, Family Foundations, to focus on difficult technical problems focused.

Executives said the first mass layoff in the social media company’s 18-year history affected employees at all levels and on every team, including those with high performance ratings.

Overall, 54% of the layoffs were in commercial positions and the rest in technology positions, said Meta HR director Lori Goler. Meta’s recruiting team was nearly cut in half, she said.

Executives said no more rounds of job cuts are expected. However, other spending needs to be cut, they said, noting that reviews are currently underway on contractors, real estate, computer infrastructure and various products.

SMART DEVICES CUT

Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth, who heads the Metaverse-focused Reality Labs division, told employees Meta will end its work on Portal smart display devices and on its smartwatches.

Meta decided earlier this year to stop marketing portal devices, known for their video-calling capabilities, to consumers and instead focus on business sales, Bosworth said.

More recently, as the economy slowed, leaders decided to make “bigger changes,” he said.

“It would just take so long and require so much investment to get into the corporate segment that it felt like the wrong way to invest time and money,” Bosworth said.

The portal was not a major source of revenue and raised privacy concerns from potential users. Meta hadn’t introduced any smartwatches yet.

Bosworth said the smartwatch unit would focus on augmented reality glasses instead. More than half of the total investment in Reality Labs went into augmented reality, he added.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg on Friday repeated his Wednesday apology that he had to cut 13% of the workforce and told employees he failed to predict Meta’s first revenue decline.

Meta has been aggressively phased out during the pandemic amid an increase in social media usage by stuck consumers. But business suffered this year as advertisers and consumers pulled the plug on spending amid rising costs and soaring interest rates.

The company also faced increasing competition from TikTok and lost access to valuable user data that powered its ad-targeting systems after Apple made privacy-focused changes to its operating system.

‚ÄúSales trends are much lower than I predicted. Here, too, I was wrong. It was a major planning error for the company. I take responsibility for that,” Zuckerberg said.

Going forward, he added, he doesn’t plan to “massively” increase the workforce at the Reality Labs unit.

Meta shares closed up 1% at $113.02.

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