According to Bloomberg, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently outlined plans to reduce the company’s headcount, restructure teams and reduce expenses heading into 2023.
Bloomberg reports that Zuckerberg spoke of these changes during one of the company’s weekly Q&A sessions, citing a person in attendance. Zuckerberg reportedly indicated to employees that Meta will freeze hiring and restructure select teams, with the aim of cutting expenses and realigning priorities. This will result in the company being “somewhat smaller” by the end of 2023, according to Zuckerberg.
According to Bloomberg, this would mark the first time that Meta has ever reduced its headcount since the company’s inception as Facebook in 2004.
Zuckerberg also reportedly indicated that budget cuts would take effect across all most teams, even those seeing growth, such as the Reality Labs department.
This news comes a few months after Meta decided to slow hiring for some positions and cut back on select Reality Labs projects. In June, reports from The Information and The Verge indicated that Meta scrapped its plans to release a pair of consumer AR glasses in 2024.
Back in May, a Meta spokesperson told UploadVR that the company wasn’t currently planning lay-offs. According to Bloomberg’s new report, individual teams at Meta may now leave departed employees’ roles unfilled, shift employees across teams or “manage out people who aren’t succeeding.”
“I had hoped the economy would have more clearly stabilized by now,” said Zuckerberg, according to Bloomberg. “But from what we’re seeing it doesn’t yet seem like it has, so we want to plan somewhat conservatively.” UploadVR reached out to Meta for comment – we will update the story if we receive a response.
According to a report from The Verge, Meta’s Reality Labs division comprised of over 17,000 people in May – more than a fifth of the company’s total headcount. The company is currently “laser-focused” on the launch of Project Cambria – otherwise known as Quest Pro – later this month, alongside its annual Meta Connect conference set to take place next week.
Meanwhile, Meta’s competitors are preparing to launch new products of their own – Pico 4 promises competition for Quest 2 and ships October 18, while Sony’s PSVR 2 and Apple’s unannounced mixed reality headset look set to arrive in 2023.