Meta Platforms Inc. have decided to reduce its target of hiring engineers from 10,000 to around 6,000-7,000, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the company told  employees on Thursday, warning them to prepare for economic downturn.

Zuckerberg told workers that this might turn out to be one of the “worst downturns we’ve seen in recent history,” according to a Reuters report. The company is looking to cut hiring of engineers by at least 30%. 

Last month, the company had confirmed that it was going to pause hiring but had not reported by exactly how much. As part of the reduced hiring, Zuckerberg said that he’d be leaving some positions open at the company to “turn up the heat” on their performance managers to get rid of employees who can’t meet the companies new “aggressive goals.”

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The social media and metaverse company is prepping for a hard second half to the year as its bottom line has been hit by data privacy legislation that is stymying its ad business and an uncertain economy. Meta’s move comes at a time when Silicon Valley is scaling back operations, fearing a possible recession. 

In a memo to employees that appeared on the company’s internal messaging forum, Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer wrote that the the company had to “operate leaner, meaner, better executing teams.”

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The company is facing challenges when it comes to earnings. Earlier this year, Facebook lost half of its market value after Meta reported that its daily active users had experienced a quarterly decline for the first time ever. 

Meta is busy making crucial strategic moves at this time, one is a long-term bet which involves augmented and virtual reality technology. The other, is aimed at repositioning their social media products like Instagram and Facebook to become more discovery focused, much like its prime competitor, TikTok does.