Facebook extends its broad hiring freeze indefinitely amid mass layoffs and a new wave of frugality

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's first conference dedicated to messaging
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.Facebook/Meta
  • Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has again extended a hiring freeze that's been in place for months.

  • The freeze is set to be stretched yet again next year if there is still an economic downturn.

  • Facebook is broadly looking to reduce spending for 2023 after conducting mass layoffs Wednesday.

There is no set end to Meta's hiring freeze as the company looks to cut costs.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of the Facebook parent company, said in his Wednesday-morning note to employees regarding layoffs that a hiring freeze at Facebook would extend through March, at least. The freeze is taking place amid layoffs that affect more than 11,000 employees, or 13% of Meta's workforce.

Zuckerberg said he would "watch our business performance, operational efficiency, and other macroeconomic factors to determine whether and how much we should resume hiring at that point." He did not say the company would lift the freeze.

"This will give us the ability to control our cost structure in the event of a continued economic downturn," Zuckerberg added in the note.

The first broad freeze in hiring at Meta, which was called Facebook until last year, came in early May, when it stopped hiring nearly all levels of engineers, Insider reported. The company hired aggressively for almost two years prior and suddenly saw for the first time a slowdown of user and revenue growth.

The freeze was extended in September, as the company said it did not see growth trends improve. It started to impose a work mandate of "increased intensity" should employees wish to keep their jobs amid a new focus on performance and worker reviews, Insider reported.

Now, the company is looking to cut costs even beyond a hiring freeze and layoffs, especially after a disappointing third quarter, which sent shares plummeting to a seven-year low. In a call with employees after the results, Zuckerberg told his staff "investors are demanding more action" from the company, without specifying what that action was.

In his note Wednesday, Zuckerberg said he wanted to put Facebook "on a path to achieve a more efficient cost structure than we outlined to investors recently." The company is looking at infrastructure costs, closing offices, and even moving to a "desk sharing" model for employees, Zuckerberg said.

In a separate filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook said it was reducing its expense outlook to a range of $94 billion to $100 billion for the whole of 2023, down from a previous plan of $96 billion to $101 billion. Most of that reduction will come from cuts to capital expenditures, the company added, with the 2023 spending outlook there reduced to $34 billion to $37 billion, down from $34 billion to $39 billion.

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Read the original article on Business Insider