Meta is in the hot seat once again, with the social media giant having cut more than one-quarter of its workforce since 2022. In March, Meta started the rollout of making 10,000 people redundant.
That rollout won’t be finished until the end of May, and it comes as a shock that before it’s even complete, Meta has announced another round of lay-offs.
Silicon Valley, we’ve got a problem.
Lay Off Culture at Meta
It’s not news that tech companies have been going through the wringer in recent months, with 2023’s looming recession and a lot of scale-back now that the pandemic is over and people can go outside and look at each other without a webcam.
Meta is one of the worst hit, though, with its Reality Labs arm losing $3.99 billion in Q1, and in 2022 year-end, the loss was a truly shocking $13.72 billion, according to reporting by CNBC.
The way to tackle those losses, it seems, is to claw it back via salary.
Meta president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said in a company call that the layoffs (as of yet, an unknown number) will follow the standard procedure followed in April.
The company, which operates Instagram, Facebook, the Metaverse (remember that?) and WhatsApp, has even asked employees who can work from home that day, supposedly for sensitivity reasons.
The company’s Head of People will notify the departments impacted first, then the individual employees who are being let go, and lastly, those who aren’t. It seems a sensitive way to handle things, although being employed during a major cost-of-living crisis and a looming recession isn’t likely to be assuaged by how it’s dealt with.
Are the Meta Redundancies Entirely Necessary?
That is something that only those on the inside can know, but what is known are publicly available salary information.
Mark Zuckerburg, according to various reports, received no bonuses in 2021 and 2022. However, his other benefits (including private jet use and security detail) amounted to $27 million last year.
Nick Clegg, President of Global Affairs of Facebook, reportedly nabbed a $10 million bonus in 2022 – which would probably come in handy when trying to keep people employed.
The other blow for the once-mighty social media conglomerate is that it has reportedly been hiring foreign workers – both on US and foreign soil – to replace the axed American jobs: most certainly not a move that will be viewed favorably.
Investigative journalist Lee Fang has reported that companies such as Amazon, Meta, Google, Salesforce and more, had all filed dozens of applications to hire low-paid H1B (highly skilled or specialty visa) workers to be employed as engineers, software developers, analysts, and more.
While it’s not certain if Meta will actually be using those visas, or wants them in case of a surge in business activity, it certainly isn’t a good look, as thousands of American workers do the classic movie montage of packing their plants and family photos away and being led out of the building by security.
Still, it beats how Elon Musk fired plenty of his staff, so there’s always a silver lining.