Facebook owner Meta has started carrying out the last batch of a three-part round of layoffs as part of a plan announced in March to eliminate 10,000 roles.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar earlier told the Dáil the social media firm was to announce “significant” job losses in Ireland. It has since emerged this will result in the loss of 490 jobs at the firm’s international headquarters in Dublin, representing a 20 per cent reduction to its Irish workforce.
“My thoughts are with the staff who are affected and their families,” Mr Varadakar said.
He added: “I want to assure them that we will engage with the company to ensure that they are given a decent severance or redundancy package, which we would expect all employers to do, and also they’ll receive support from the State in terms of job search, education and training if they need it.”
In March, Meta became the first big technology company to announce a second round of mass layoffs, after showing more than 11,000 employees the door in the autumn. The cuts brought the company’s headcount down to where it stood as of about mid-2021, following a hiring spree that doubled its workforce since 2020.
Some employees took to platforms such as LinkedIn on Wednesday to announce they were laid off in a round that was expected to cut deeply into the ad sales, marketing and partnerships teams.
Meta shares were down 0.4 per cent in premarket trading.
Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg previously said the bulk of the layoffs in the company’s second round would take place in three “moments” over several months, largely finishing in May. Some smaller rounds could continue after that point, he added.
Overall, the cuts hit particularly hit non-engineering roles, reinforcing the primacy of those who write the code at Meta. Zuckerberg had pledged to restructure business teams “substantially” and return to a “more optimal ratio of engineers to other roles” back in March.
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Even among cuts aimed specifically at technology teams, the company eliminated non-engineering roles like content design and user experience research most severely, according to executives speaking at a company town hall afterward.
About 4,000 employees lost their jobs in the April layoffs, Zuckerberg said during the town hall, following a smaller hit to recruiting teams.
Meta’s layoffs followed months of waning revenue growth amid high inflation and a digital ad pullback from the pandemic e-commerce boom.
The company also has been pouring billions of dollars into its metaverse-oriented Reality Labs unit, which lost $13.7 billion in 2022, and a project to whip its infrastructure into shape to support artificial intelligence work.