Mark Zuckerberg blames the pandemic. Not to the metaverse, no. To the pandemic. According to him, the historic dismissal of 11,000 workers around the world has been a consequence of the drop in online commerce and the company’s revenues. Now we know how these layoffs will affect Meta Spain, the company’s subsidiary in our country.
Layoffs from Meta in Spain. As revealed in an exclusive in The Confidential, the company will lay off 18% of its workforce in Spain. This subsidiary has about 200 workers, which means that the layoffs affect between 30 and 35 employees in the commercial, marketing, and engineering departments.
generous conditions. According to the data published by that newspaper, the agreement will cause those affected to receive “generous compensation, three extra months of salary and remuneration in shares.” Despite these conditions —better than those of layoffs, whether silent or not, in the US— those laid off have not hidden their anger. One of those affected explained how many of them left very good jobs when they signed for Meta, and now they get rid of them. “They have deceived us,” said that former employee in El Confidencial.
From the hiring frenzy to this. In March Javier Oliván, vice president of expansion and infrastructure in Meta, announced on the official blog of Meta the company’s plans for Spain. “We are placing Spain at the center of our company’s future, hiring up to 2,000 people in the country over the next five years,” he said. We have gone from the war for talent among the big technology companies to a wave of layoffs in many of them. In Meta, for example, the purge really started months ago.
Workspaces, submarine cables (and metaverse). The company also promised then “the opening of the first space for remote workers”, as well as a new half-petabit transatlantic submarine cable and the 2Africa cable that would join the Marea cable. Of course, there was talk of the metaverse and the launch of a Metaverse Innovation Hub with the collaboration of Telefónica.
stopped plans. According to sources consulted by El Confidencial, these plans are now on hold since those affected were part of the teams responsible for putting them into operation. Nor is it known what future the theoretical data center of Talavera de la Reina, in Toledo, will have, a facility that Oliván assured that would open to the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez.
What does Meta Spain say. From Xataka we have contacted those responsible for Meta in our country. They explain to us that layoffs affect the US and different countries differently, and they do so in accordance with local regulations. Despite the layoffs, in Meta they indicate that the company’s expansion is planned in the long term and will be carried out in several years, and they assure that they remain committed to Spain and to the innovation that can be carried out in our country.
The metaverse is getting very expensive. The layoffs, which affect 13% of the workforce globally, are the great measure to cut expenses, but time is running out for Meta. In the fourth quarter, Meta’s Reality Labs division lost $3.7 billion, bringing losses for all of 2022 to $9.4 billion. The release of the Quest Pro did not change the feelings. Rather the opposite.
Meta will continue to spend (a lot). Despite all this, in Meta they maintain their unique commitment. This was anticipated by Zuckerberg, who in the conversation with investors explained the next:
“Look, I understand that a lot of people don’t agree with this investment, but from what I can tell, I think it’s going to be something very important. A decade from now, people will look back and talk about the importance of the work that was is doing here.”
In Meta they explained how in reality 80% of spending and investment is dedicated to their social networks (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp) and only 20% is dedicated to Reality Labs. That enormous investment will continue to occur, analysts indicateand Zuckerberg expects that in fact the expenses in 2023 will amount to between 96,000 and 101,000 million, when in 2022 they will be between 85,000 and 87,000 million.