Shares of Meta are up 2% over the last 12 months but have jumped a whopping 59% since the start of the year after cost-cutting measures were put into place. (Source: NASDAQ)

‘Year of Efficiency’ for Meta Translates into Fewer Employees, More In-Person Work

Generative AI has surpassed expectations and GPT4 is making the tech landscape more unsettled than ever. Take Meta, (formerly Facebook), for instance. While Meta continues to pump billions into the owner’s vision for the Metaverse, cuts are expected in other departments.

During Meta’s last earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasized the company’s need to cut costs and announced 2023 would be a “year of efficiency.” A story on says the company cut 11,000 employees in November and is laying off another 10,000 employees in 2023. It also will not fill 5,000 employee job openings.

Zuckerberg listed a couple of reasons for belt-tightening at Meta, including the heavy hiring at the company over several years. Recruiters were among the first to be let go. The number of employees at Meta doubled in size from 2019 to 2022.

In its latest annual report, Meta had 86,428 employees, but that number included the majority of the first 11,000 jobs the company planned to cut. With the latest layoffs, Meta has reversed much of the hiring it did throughout 2022 and 2021, bringing staffing levels down to approximately 65,000 workers.

Zuckerberg also pointed to the rise in interest rates.

“At this point, I think we should prepare ourselves for the possibility that this new economic reality will continue for many years,” Zuckerberg said. “Higher interest rates lead to the economy running leaner, more geopolitical instability leads to more volatility, and increased regulation leads to slower growth and increased costs of innovation. Given this outlook, we’ll need to operate more efficiently than our previous headcount reduction to ensure success.”

The CEO said he wants managers to take on up to 10 employees as their direct reports and is calling on workers to meet in person more.

Meta, which changed its name from Facebook in 2021, has been stung by declines in digital ad spending, Apple’s (AAPL) privacy changes, and the complications of its expensive pivot to the metaverse. Meta’s cost-cutting is in step with lots of other tech companies’ recent layoffs as corporations attempt to return to pre-pandemic financial status.

Several companies announced a broader use of ChatGPT and Bing algorithms to answer phones or take orders over the phone. These chatbots as so good and without a doubt are replacing certain humans at their jobs.

You can read Zuckerberg’s announcement to employees here.