Mark Zuckerberg Freezes Hiring at Facebook-Parent Meta

Friday - 30/09/2022 06:50
Company tells employees in memo that budgets for next year would be ‘very tight’
Meta and other tech giants have been adjusting their staffing after a period in which payrolls swelled. PHOTO: ARND WIEGMANN/REUTERS
Meta and other tech giants have been adjusting their staffing after a period in which payrolls swelled. PHOTO: ARND WIEGMANN/REUTERS

Facebook META -3.67%▼ parent Meta Platforms Inc. has told employees that it will be implementing a hiring freeze and will be taking more steps to reduce the company’s costs, according to people familiar with the matter.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg notified employees of the hiring freeze on Thursday during his weekly all-hands meeting. The announcement comes after The Wall Street Journal last week reported that Meta was planning to cut expenses by at least 10% in the coming months, including by trimming ranks.

In a follow-up internal message to employees viewed by the Journal, Meta’s head of people, Lori Goler, said the company’s 2023 budget would be “very tight” across all teams as Meta tries to minimize costs. The pause in recruiting would allow teams to focus on prioritizing important projects, she added. In the post, Ms. Goler said that Meta wouldn’t automatically fill vacated roles and that the company was also pausing internal transfers to avoid bringing people into roles that could shift.

The social-media giant had already begun quietly nudging out a significant number of rank-and-file employees by reorganizing departments and giving affected employees a limited window to apply for other roles within the company.

Tech companies more broadly have been adjusting staffing after a period during which payrolls swelled. Snap Inc. SNAP -5.30%▼ last month said it would slash about 20% of its staff after growing its head count by around 65% since the end of 2020. Microsoft Corp. MSFT -1.48%▼ has said it is cutting a small percentage of its staff, and Twitter Inc. TWTR -1.18%▼ also has slimmed its workforce.
 


Amid a record hiring streak in the U.S., economists are watching for signs of a possible wave turn. WSJ’s Anna Hirtenstein looks at how rising interest rates, high inflation, market selloffs and recession risks challenge the growth of America’s workforce. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP
 

Meta has been adjusting its staffing plans for months after announcing in May that ad-tracking changes introduced by Apple Inc. AAPL -4.91%▼ last year would cost it some $10 billion this year. Meta is also facing challenges as a result of increased competition for users from rivals, particularly TikTok.

A spokesman for the Meta referred to comments made by Mr. Zuckerberg during Meta’s second-quarter earnings in July in which he said that the social-media company would “steadily reduce headcount growth over the next year.”

Mr. Zuckerberg, at the time, said “many teams are going to shrink so we can shift energy to other areas, and I wanted to give our leaders the ability to decide within their teams where to double down, where to backfill attrition, and where to restructure teams while minimizing thrash to the long term initiatives.”

Ms. Goler, in her post, said that Meta still plans to hire “thousands of people” in 2023.

Meta’s shares closed down 3.7% Thursday. The stock is off more than 59% this year, and the company’s market value has dropped more than $710 billion since its peak in September 2021.

Tech rival Google parent Alphabet Inc. has also slowed hiring and cut back on some projects. The company on Thursday said it is shutting down videogame project Stadia, which launched in 2019, because of a lack of users.

Write to Salvador Rodriguez at salvador.rodriguez@wsj.com and Berber Jin at berber.jin@wsj.com

Appeared in the September 30, 2022, print edition as 'Meta to Freeze Hiring as Part of Cost-Cutting Push'.

Author: Editors Desk

 Keywords: Facebook

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