Startups

Meta mass layoffs hit Canada less than a year after major expansion plans


Meta’s Canadian offices were not insulated from the layoffs that hit the parent company of social network site Facebook this week.

Meta’s broad reductions affected every organization within the corporation, spanning Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. The cuts also affected Meta’s Canadian employees as multiple LinkedIn posts have indicated.

“I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.”
– Mark Zuckerberg, Meta CEO

Toronto-based creative partnerships lead at Meta, Neil Mohan, posted on LinkedIn that his “Canadian Agency Team” was part of the 11,000 people cut from Meta today.

Other Canadian employees made similar posts on LinkedIn about being laid off, noting teams, like client relations and human resources, were impacted. Meta Canada has an approximate workforce of over 1,800 people, according to the company’s LinkedIn page. Meta has offices in Toronto and Montréal.

It is currently unclear how many Canadian Meta employees are impacted by the mass cuts at this time.

The layoffs come eight months after Meta made a commitment to hire up to 2,500 people across Canada over the next five years as part of a new Canadian engineering hub. The social network giant said at the time that the hires would include the establishment of the first Canadian WhatsApp, Messenger, and Remote Presence engineering teams, as well as larger Canadian Reality Labs and AI Research teams.

By May, Meta announced a slowdown in hiring after it posted its slowest revenue growth since going public in 2012. This affected its Canadian hiring plans.

When BetaKit reached out for comment, a spokesperson for the company referred to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s published letter about the reductions. Regarding Meta’s Canadian expansion plans, the spokesperson said: “Our expansion in Canada was always a long term one planned over a number of years. We remain committed to Canada and look forward to many years of innovation ahead in Toronto.”

Zuckerberg confirmed the layoffs on Wednesday after the Wall Street Journal initially reported about plans for a company-wide reduction on Tuesday.

In his statement, Zuckerberg said that Meta’s team has been reduced by 13 percent, affecting more than 11,000 people. He added that the company will be taking additional steps to become “leaner and more efficient” by cutting discretionary spending and extending its hiring freeze through Q1 2023.

Meta’s mass layoffs are the second this week from a major tech company after Twitter’s own downsizing earlier this week, prompted by its recent acquisition by Elon Musk.

RELATED: Twitter’s mass layoffs hit Canadian office

Twitter’s cuts hit the top levels of its Canadian team, including managing director Paul Burns as well as Michele Austin, who served as Twitter’s director of public policy for Canada and the United States.

Zuckerburg attributed Meta’s low revenue to the macroeconomic downturn caused by the changing consumer trends throughout and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that,” Zuckerberg wrote.

To cut costs across Meta, Zuckerburg noted that it scaled back budgets, reduced perks, and shrunk its real estate footprint.

Every employee that was impacted by the Meta downsizing is expected to receive at least 16 weeks of base pay, continued health insurance for six months, career support services, and immigration support.

Featured image courtesy Facebook.





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