Meta Platforms Inc spokesperson Andy Stone said in a tweet on Tuesday that a report on Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg stepping down next year was false. News website The Leak earlier in the day reported that Zuckerberg was set to resign in 2023, citing an unnamed insider source. The report briefly sent the company’s shares up 1%.
Meta has had a tough year, with a sharp dip in advertising revenue. The company also announced layoffs earlier this month, with 11,000 employees impacted, which was roughly 11 per cent of Meta’s workforce. Zuckerberg had taken responsibility for the job cuts in an open letter after the announcement.
He had blamed the rapid acceleration of post-Covid that did not hold up. “Many people predicted this would be a permanent acceleration that would continue even after the pandemic ended. I did too, so I made the decision to significantly increase our investments. Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected,” he had written.
However, reports have also pointed out that Zuckerberg’s pet project, which is the Metaverse continues to remain a drain on the company’s resources. The company’s Reality Labs unit, which is responsible for the Metaverse project and its related hardware has lost $9.4 billion in 2022 alone till now, according to reports. Revenue in the unit had also dropped by 50 per cent due to lower than expected sales of its Quest 2 headset. And while Meta’s shareholders are not happy with this, Zuckerberg has insisted that they will double down and invest more on the metaverse.
During the third quarter investor call, Meta’s Chief Financial Officer in his statement said that the “company anticipates that Reality Labs operating losses in 2023 will grow significantly year-over-year.”
“Beyond 2023, we expect to pace Reality Labs investments such that we can achieve our goal of growing overall company operating income in the long run,” the statement added.
With inputs from Reuters