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Mark Zuckerberg fires 11,000 Meta employees after telling staff ‘I got this wrong’

Mark Zuckerberg fires 11,000 Meta employees after telling staff ‘I got this wrong’

Mark Zuckerberg is to fire over 11,000 Meta employees as part of a widespread restructuring to cut costs at the social media giant.

In a letter to Meta employees the billionaire said: “Today I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history. I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13% and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go.

“We are also taking a number of additional steps to become a leaner and more efficient company by cutting discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through Q1.”

He added: “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. This is a sad moment, and there’s no way around that. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility.”

Shares in Meta have fallen 72% since the start of the year as the firm reported a downturn in advertising revenue and investor optimism over Zuckerberg’s ‘metaverse’ ambitions began to dwindle.

Meta did not confirm how many employees in the UK were being let go as part of the move. Almost 700 of Meta’s 5,148 UK staff could be let go if the social media firm proceeds with a 13% workforce cut.

Facebook’s UK employee headcount swelled 37% in 2021, filings with Companies House show, while its employee costs jumped to £1.4 billion, an average of £262,317 per worker and a 6% rise on the previous year.

Affected employees were locked out of Meta systems, but were allowed access to their email accounts “so everyone can say farewell,” the firm said.

Employees are set to receive 16 weeks’ severance pay, plus an extra week’s pay for each year of service at the company.

It comes just days after Elon Musk fired thousands of Twitter employees saying the company is losing more than $4 million (£3.5 million) a day.

He said in a tweet: “Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day.

“Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required.”