TECH-XIT | 

Meta expected to axe almost 400 jobs in Ireland with 11,000 cuts worldwide

"The number of redundancies at Meta Ireland will be similar to the global figure although we won’t be in a position to confirm the final number of redundancies until the collective consultation process is completed”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leaving The Merrion Hotel in Dublin in 2019 with its head of global policy and communications Nick Clegg. Photo: Niall Carson/PA© PA

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg

A view of Facebook parent company Meta's headquarters in Dublin as company layoffs are expected to be announced today. Picture date: Wednesday November 9, 2022.© PA

Adrian Weckler, Eoghan Moloney and Ciara O'LoughlinReuters

Meta has confirmed it is cutting 11,000 jobs across its 87,000-person strong global operation, but has not provided a figure for the number of Irish roles affected.

The company – formerly Facebook Inc – announced it would cut 13pc of its worldwide staff, but has not yet specified how many jobs will go in Ireland.

However, a spokesperson told sundayworld.com that the figure will "track” with the percentage globally.

It employs 3,000 staff in Ireland, which would equate to 390 jobs cut.

"The number of redundancies at Meta Ireland will be similar to the global figure although we won’t be in a position to confirm the final number of redundancies until the collective consultation process is completed. This announcement impacts Meta employees (3,000 in Ireland). It doesn’t affect contractors,” the spokesperson said.

Meta employees in Dublin were anxiously waiting for news about their jobs on Wednesday morning.

A view of Facebook parent company Meta's headquarters in Dublin as company layoffs are expected to be announced today. Picture date: Wednesday November 9, 2022.© PA

Some of the 3,000 Irish staff will be affected but not those employed by contractors.

Meta has informed the Department of the Taoiseach, the IDA and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

It said the move will not affect contract workers employed by third-parties, numbered up to 6,000.

“As the location of our international HQ, Ireland is an integral part of our company and our operations,” a spokesperson said.

“Today’s announcement and the process does not have any impact on Ireland’s status, or on our long-term investment plans in Ireland.”

Meta employees 3,000 full-time employees in Ireland and a further 6,000 contractors work directly with the company in various capacities across the country.

The company said the timeline and process in Ireland will be defined by Irish Government guidelines which will see impacted employees entering collective consultation.

The IDA has told the Government that the extent and number of job losses in the Irish office won’t be clear for a number of weeks.

“Today I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history,” said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg

“I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13pc and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go.

"We are also taking a number of additional steps to become a leaner and more efficient company by cutting discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through Q1.”

Meta’s boss called the layoffs “necessary”.

“At the start of Covid, the world rapidly moved online and the surge of e-commerce led to outsized revenue growth,” he said.

“Many people predicted this would be a permanent acceleration that would continue even after the pandemic ended. I did too, so I made the decision to significantly increase our investments. Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected. 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.”

Mr Zuckerberg said the company was also currently "shrinking" its real estate footprint, as it finalises moves to relocate its staff into its new Ballsbridge headquarters.

He also gave further guidance on which parts of the business would be hit hardest.

“While we’re making reductions in every organisation across both Family of Apps and Reality Labs, some teams will be affected more than others,” he said. “Recruiting will be disproportionately affected since we’re planning to hire fewer people next year. We’re also restructuring our business teams more substantially.”

Mr Zuckerberg told executives on Tuesday layoffs would begin at the company this morning.

Any employees affected by the mass layoffs would receive four months’ pay as part of their severance package, Meta's head of human resources, Lori Goler, said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Mr Zuckerberg was apparently downcast in Tuesday’s meeting and said he was accountable for the company's missteps and his over-optimism about growth had led to overstaffing, the report added, citing people familiar with the matter.

He described broad cuts and specifically mentioned the recruiting and business teams as among those facing layoffs.

The specific employees losing their jobs will be informed over the course of the morning, the report said.

The company’s Irish operations include its international headquarters, its Clonee data centre, both in Dublin, and its Reality Lab in Cork.

It has already moved hundreds of staff into its new larger headquarters in Ballsbridge, in south Dublin. Independent.ie understands all employees following the layoffs will move to the Ballsbridge office in the next six months.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is considered to be one of the four most important, large-scale tech multinationals in Ireland, alongside Google, Apple and Intel.

Mr Zuckerberg had previously warned that the company might downsize, telling staff during the summer: “Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here.

“If I had to bet, I’d say that this might be one of the worst downturns we’ve seen in recent history.”

The latest worrying job news follows Twitter’s decision last Friday to axe half its global workforce. Meanwhile payments firm Stripe – considered Ireland’s most important ever tech export to Silicon Valley – is letting go 14pc, or 1,000 workers, across its company.

However, it is feared that the move by Meta could be the largest in the recent spate of tech job cuts.

Irish Meta workers were said in recent days to have been braced for an announcement.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Meta is planning large-scale layoffs, expected to affect many thousands of the company’s 87,000-strong global workforce.

Sources said company officials had already told employees to cancel non-essential travel beginning this week.

The company’s Irish operations include its international headquarters, its Clonee data centre, both in Dublin, and its ‘Reality Lab’ in Cork.

It has already moved hundreds of staff into its new larger headquarters in Ballsbridge in Dublin 4.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is considered to be one of the four most important, large-scale tech multinationals in Ireland, alongside Google, Apple and Intel.

Mr Zuckerberg had previously warned that the company might downsize, telling staff during the summer: “Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here.

“If I had to bet, I’d say that this might be one of the worst downturns we’ve seen in recent history.”

Having lost significant market share to TikTok, the company is currently trying to build products and services for the Metaverse, a virtual reality platform that Mr Zuckerberg claims will have over one billion people visiting regularly within a few years.

The jobs news comes exactly one year since Facebook changed its name to Meta. In that time, the company’s market value has declined by €624bn, or three quarters.


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