Meta Platforms Inc. META, led by Mark Zuckerberg, has reportedly been preparing to lay off employees in its metaverse-oriented silicon unit, Reality Labs, with the announcement expected on Wednesday.
What Happened: On Tuesday, employees at Meta’s Reality Labs division were met with unwelcome news as the company informed them of impending layoffs through an internal post on Meta’s Workplace platform.
The post stated that employees would receive notifications regarding their employment status early on Wednesday, reported Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter.
While the restructuring was expected since Spring, the extent of these workforce reductions in the silicon unit, known as the Facebook Agile Silicon Team or FAST, remains uncertain.
Having said that, it has raised concerns about the impact on Meta’s ambitious metaverse projects, particularly the AR glasses, which according to Zuckerberg, will “redefine our relationship with technology.”
FAST, a unit comprising approximately 600 employees, focused on creating custom chips to enhance the efficiency and functionality of Meta’s devices, setting them apart in the emerging AR/VR market.
However, Meta faced challenges in producing competitive in-house chips, leading the company to collaborate with chipmaker Qualcomm QCOM for its current device lineup.
Why It’s Important: Zuckerberg-led company has been working on expanding its product line, including mixed reality headsets like Quest and smart glasses in partnership with Ray Ban maker EssilorLuxottica. New versions of these products were announced at the annual Connect conference last month.
It is worth noting that Meta has reduced its workforce by approximately 21,000 positions since November last year as part of its efforts to address investor concerns about cost control amidst declining revenue growth, elevated inflation, and apprehensions regarding the financial performance of Reality Labs.
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