Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Meta, has spent months cutting costs at his company to appease investors, fix its flagging stock price and reshape the business. But first, he will have to pay up. On Wednesday, Meta, the owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, reported that it was taking a $4.2 billion restructuring charge for the fourth quarter. The charge included costs for the early termination of some office-space leases, redesigns of some data center projects and severance for employees who were laid off last year. The company expects another $1 billion in restructuring costs in 2023. The company forecast revenue in the current quarter of $26 billion to $28.5 billion, exceeding Wall Street expectations. “Our management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency’ and we’re focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organization,” Mr. Zuckerberg said in a statement.
To make up for the continued spending on the metaverse, the company has spent the past six months trying to trim costs. It has largely cut perks and nonessential travel for employees. It cut 13 percent of its work force in November, eliminating the positions of roughly 11,000 of its employees, especially in the recruiting and business divisions.
Mr. Zuckerberg has said Meta’s best days remain ahead of it. The company has invested in artificial intelligence in hopes of improving its business over time. Better A.I., he has said, will drive better content recommendations across the company’s marquee products — like Reels, the TikTok-like video feature inside of Instagram and Facebook — which in turn will result in people spending more time across its family of apps.