Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed employees will start to be laid off this week in what is reported to likely be the largest job cuts to hit the tech sector this year.
New York-based Wall Street Journal exclusively reported on Monday thousands of workers at the social networking giant were expected to be let go, but Meta – parent company of Facebook and Instagram – declined to comment.
The publication has now revealed a “downcast” Zuckerberg informed executives of the lay-offs in a meeting on Tuesday, local time, adding that he was accountable and his overoptimism about growth had led to overstaffing.
It will be the first broad headcount reduction in the company’s history, according to the Journal. It follows job cuts at Twitter in the past week which hit about half of the social networking giant’s staff.
Less than a fortnight ago, Meta reported that its profit more than halved to $US4.4 billion ($A6.9 billion) in the third quarter from $US9.2 billion ($A14.2 billion) a year earlier.
The company’s shares tumbled 25 per cent in its worst one-day drop since February.
Upon announcing the results, Meta said it planned to make “significant changes” to bolster efficiency in a tough economic environment.
The number of employees at the social networking giant tallied 87,314 in September, a 28 per cent increase from a year earlier.
“We are making significant changes across the board to operate more efficiently,” Meta said in its release.
Analysis from Bloomberg found that Mr Zuckerberg endured “the single biggest hit” out of the world’s billionaires in the past 13 months.
On the company’s third-quarter earnings call on October 26, Mr Zuckerberg said he expected Meta to end the year “as either roughly the same size, or even a slightly smaller organisation than we are today”.
In June, Mr Zuckerberg said Meta would be implementing higher standards for its employees and cutting ties with those who were unable to meet the new performance threshold.
“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” he said in a company-wide Q&A meeting on June 30.