The company that owns Facebook, Meta Platforms, informed its staff on Friday that it would stop creating smart watches and displays and that over half of the 11,000 positions it slashed this week in an unprecedented cost-cutting measure were in the technology sector.

A voice and video calling unit would be combined with other messaging teams, and a new business called Family Foundations would be created to tackle challenging engineering issues, according to Meta officials speaking at a town hall meeting attended by Reuters.

The social media company’s executives claimed that employees at every level and on every team, including those with high-performance ratings, were impacted by the first mass layoff in its 18-year history.

According to Meta’s head of human resources, Lori Goler, 54% of those let go worked in business-related positions, with the remainder in technology-related parts. She said that Meta’s hiring staff had been reduced by almost half.

The executives said they did not anticipate any additional rounds of layoffs. They noted reviews being conducted on contractors, real estate, computing infrastructure, and various products, but they also stated that other expenses would need to be reduced.

Cut Smart Devices

Bosworth said that the smartwatch component would instead emphasize augmented reality goggles. He noted that augmented reality received more than half of Reality Labs’ overall spending.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized again for laying off 13 percent of the workforce on Friday, telling staff members he had miscalculated Meta’s initial revenue decline.

During the pandemic, Meta aggressively hired staff as consumers stuck at home increased their use of social media. However, business suffered this year due to advertisers and consumers cutting back on purchases in response to skyrocketing prices and quickly rising interest rates.

After Apple made privacy-focused improvements to its operating system, the business not only saw an increase in competition from TikTok but also lost access to critical user data that fueled its ad targeting systems.

“Put, revenue trends are worse than I anticipated. Once more, I was mistaken. The company’s planning was seriously flawed. I acknowledge my responsibility, “said Zuckerberg.

He continued by saying that he had no immediate plans to “massively” increase the headcount at Reality Labs.

© Thomson Reuters

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