As with many other industries, the tech sector has been feeling the squeeze of the global economic slowdown this year. Meta isn't immune to that. Reports in May suggested that the company would slow down the rate of new hires this year. Now, Bloomberg reports that Meta has put all hiring on hold.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg is also said to have told staff that there's likely more restructuring and downsizing on the way. “I had hoped the economy would have more clearly stabilized by now, but from what we're seeing it doesn't yet seem like it has, so we want to plan somewhat conservatively,” Zuckerberg reportedly told employees.
The company is planning to reduce budgets for most of its teams, according to Bloomberg. Zuckerberg is said to be leaving headcount decisions in the hands of team leaders. Measures may include moving people to other teams and not hiring replacements for folks who leave.
Meta declined to comment on the report. The company directed Engadget to remarks Zuckerberg made during Meta's most recent earnings call in July. “Given the continued trends, this is even more of a focus now than it was last quarter," Zuckerberg said at the time. "Our plan is to steadily reduce headcount growth over the next year. Many teams are going to shrink so we can shift energy to other areas, and I wanted to give our leaders the ability to decide within their teams where to double down, where to backfill attrition, and where to restructure teams while minimizing thrash to the long-term initiatives.”
In an earnings report, Meta disclosed that, in the April-May quarter, its revenue dropped by one percent year-over-year. It's the first time the company has ever reported a fall in revenue.
Word of the hiring freeze ties in with a report from last week, which suggested that Meta has quietly been ushering some workers out the door rather than conducting formal layoffs. In July, it emerged that the company asked team heads to identify "low performers" ahead of possible downsizing. The company is said to have been cutting costs on other fronts, such as by cutting contractors and killing off some projects in its Meta Reality Labs division. Those reportedly included a dual-camera smartwatch.