Technology

Meta layoffs affected some Canadian employees

Meta said it would suspend hiring in the first quarter. (Photo: Canadian Press)

Toronto — Meta laid off a number of Canadian workers as the tech giant, the parent company of social media companies Facebook and Instagram, announced plans on Wednesday to cut 13% of its workforce to become “more agile and efficient.” .

Canadian employees of Creative Partnerships, Accounts and Human Resources announced their layoffs on LinkedIn.

“I have no idea what’s coming next, but this has been a four year gift that I’m grateful for and thank you so many of you for being a part of it,” wrote Neil Mohan, creative partnerships manager for Toronto, in a LinkedIn post announcing the dismissal of him and other members of the Canadian team he worked with.

Read also: Meta, parent company of Facebook, cuts 11,000 jobs

Meta spokesman Alex Kucharsky did not say how many Canadians were affected by the layoffs, but sent The Canadian Press a letter from founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in which he said about 11,000 workers in total would be laid off.

The cuts are due to a miscalculation regarding the growth of e-commerce, which Mr. Zuckerberg considered permanent, but which shows a pullback from the peak of the pandemic, he explained in the letter.

After seeing the initial surge and similar predictions by others, he made the decision to drastically increase the Meta’s investment.

“Unfortunately, things didn’t go the way I expected,” Zuckerberg wrote.

“Not only has online commerce returned to previous trends, but the slowdown in macroeconomic growth, increased competition and the loss of advertising signal have resulted in our revenues being lower than I expected.”

“I was wrong and I take responsibility for it.”

Entire sector affected

His rating comes after months of spending cuts and layoffs in the global tech sector as investor enthusiasm wanes and valuations have soared during the pandemic.

The cuts have already taken place at Netflix, Microsoft, Oracle and Intel, as well as dozens of international startups and other high-profile companies.

Canadian companies Shopify, Clearco, Hootsuite and Wealthsimple also laid off employees.

Zuckerberg’s letter was in line with a July message from Shopify CEO Toby Lutke, in which he announced that 10% of employees — about 1,000 people — would be leaving the Ottawa-based e-commerce company.

Like Mr. Zuckerberg, Mr. Lütke noted that the pandemic has led to an increase in demand for Shopify software as consumers shop more online.

“At the time, we couldn’t know for sure, but we knew that if there was any chance that this was true, we needed to grow the business accordingly,” Lütke said at the time.

“It is now clear that this bet did not pay off.”

As these big companies cut staff and seek to cut discretionary spending, analysts are watching closely to see if growth plans are cut.

Meta, for example, indicated that it would suspend hiring in the first quarter.

The company announced plans to add more than 2,500 office and remote employees to its Canadian contingent over the next five years, and to house many of them at an engineering center in Toronto. The company also had to move from its MaRS Discovery District office to an unspecified new location.

Asked if these plans would be revised or canceled, Kuchaski said: “Our expansion into Canada has always been a long-term one, planned over several years. We remain committed to Canada and look forward to many years of innovation in Toronto.”

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