Meta fires Accenture contract workers

25 August 2022 2 min. read
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Meta has parted ways with 60 contractors, as the technology giant scales back on spending and recruitment. The outsourced staff were employed via Accenture.

As the sector braces for major economic headwinds, technology firms around the world have been reducing their headcounts. While the pandemic era represented a historic boom time for the technology industry – allowing its largest companies to sweep up new market share amid lockdown – the looming downturn is seen very differently by Silicon Valley.

In the last month, reports in the media have revealed that Apple has laid off about 100 contractors responsible for vetting and hiring new employees – after warning of plans to slow hiring and spending growth in several divisions next year. Alphabet, which owns Google, has echoed this by saying it would slow hiring for the rest of 2022, and Amazon is reportedly thinning the ranks of its hourly employees, while also pausing the construction of six new office buildings in Bellevue and Nashville, US. And Elon Musk announced plans to sever ties with 10% of salaried staff at Tesla.

Meta fires Accenture contract workers by algorithm

Meta is no exception to this trend, either. The company formerly known as Facebook has axed 60 contractors – who worked for the firm via global consultancy Accenture.

Based at Accenture’s office in Austin, Texas, the contractors were reportedly informed via a video conference. Reports from Business Insider quoted sources close to the story, who suggested the meeting saw the contractors told they would not be automatically enrolled in other projects, but could ‘reapply’ for any newly available job in the following two weeks. Their current work would end by early September, and be paid through to early October.

The news comes in a desperate time for Meta. The company posted a $2.8 billion loss on the sector in the second quarter of 2022, as Meta fell short of profit expectations and reported its first revenue decline since going public. This coincided with  CEO Mark Zuckerberg being widely lampooned for his commitment to the company’s much-hyped Metaverse offering, which despite costing in excess of $10 billion, currently features sub-Nintendo Wii graphics, and avatars without legs.  

As a result, Meta looks set to reduce spending in other areas, in the hope of better weathering the coming recession. Meta has previously suggested it could pause hiring, while at a Q&A session, Zuckerberg said he would cut hiring plans for new engineers by 30% - instead of the initial plan to hire 10,000, Meta would hire between 6,000 and 7,000. He also recently suggested he will weed out underperforming employees with 'aggressive performance reviews' as the company braces for a deep economic turndown – though his own performance does not seem to be a matter of debate in this regard.