Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will 'steadily reduce' the number of employees it hires and 'shrink' some teams over the next year


Mark Zuckerberg plans to reduce hiring over the next year, saying he expects Facebook to "get more done" with less.

Facebook will "steadily reduce head-count growth over the next year," and "many teams" already in place at the company "will shrink so we can shift energy to other areas inside the company," Zuckerberg said on Wednesday during Facebook's second-quarter earnings call. The company, which changed its corporate name to Meta Platforms last year, reported its first-ever revenue decline, of 1%, compared with the same time a year prior. 

Insider this week reported significant cuts to headcount were in the works at the company, with a reduction of as much as 10% of overall headcount possible this year, one employee said. Zuckerberg said that while the company went on a hiring spree earlier this year, he expected the overall growth of workers to "decline over time."

"This is a period that demands more intensity, and I expect us to get more done with fewer resources," Zuckerberg said. "I think we'll come through this period as a stronger and more disciplined company."

Asked on the call explicitly about the number of employees at the company set to leave next year, David Wehner, Meta's chief financial officer, said only that he would give more specific guidance at a later date.

Shares of Facebook fell 4.5% in after-hours trading. The next quarter could see another round of revenue decline, with Facebook expecting flat growth on the high end of the guidance offered in its quarterly report.

Facebook has been attempting to dial back spending and has drastically slowed hiring after about two years of hypergrowth amid the pandemic.

It has dealt with various roadblocks lately. It's seeing waning use of its core Facebook app while facing massive competition with the growth of TikTok. On top of that, it's rebuilding its ad infrastructure in the wake of Apple allowing its users to opt-out of online tracking.

As of this week, it was looking at a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission over acquiring Within. The acquisition was part of Meta's plan to build the "metaverse," an immersive digital world Zuckerberg sees as the future of the internet and his company. But it's a long way off from making money. The segment just lost another $2.8 billion, and Zuckerberg has said repeatedly the metaverse likely won't make money until the end of the decade, at the earliest.

Still, the company has hope for Reels, a product that competes with TikTok. Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, who is set to step down from the company in the coming months, said of Reels in her last earnings call: "We see significant potential for growth in the future."

"Meta has shown time and time again we're a company of incredible resilience," Sandberg added.

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