• Instagram's CEO is planning to relocate to the U.S., as per a report
  • A spokesperson confirmed to CNBC that layoffs started Wednesday
  • Among the technical teams reportedly affected are software engineering and graphics programming

Instagram parent company Meta may either cut or relocate the photo-sharing app's London-based employees, a new report has revealed. The social media giant is going through another round of layoffs that is expected to affect thousands of staff in technical teams across Instagram, Facebook, Reality Labs and WhatsApp.

A person with knowledge of the situation who asked for anonymity, as the decision has not been made public yet, told Bloomberg that the Instagram team in London, which is made up of about 100 employees, may either be cut altogether or relocated.

The person added that Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri, who moved to the U.K. last year, was planning to relocate to the U.S. with employees who won't be affected by the layoffs.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed to CNBC that Meta started another round of layoffs Wednesday. The outlet further reported that the layoffs affected employees with technical backgrounds such as those working on graphics programming and software engineering.

An employee affected by the layoffs who requested for anonymity told CNBC that Meta suggested some technical teams who were retained Wednesday may be included in May's layoffs round.

The Verge's Jay Peters said he found LinkedIn posts from affected workers in roles that cover a wide range of technical positions such as data scientist, gameplay programmer, user experience researcher and senior engineering manager.

News of the impending plans at Instagram's London office comes as Meta pushes through with a layoff round that Vox said would affect about 4,000 employees in technical teams starting Wednesday.

"This will be a difficult time as we say goodbye to friends and colleagues who have contributed so much to Meta," Lori Goler, Meta's head of people, said in a memo sent to employees Tuesday, as reported by Vox. A Meta spokesperson confirmed to the outlet that the memo was sent to employees but reportedly declined to comment further on the matter.

"You've shattered the morale and confidence in leadership of many high performers who work with intensity. Why should we stay at Meta?" one of the questions submitted to the company's internal message board read, as per Vox.

Another question posted on Meta's message board asked whether the company "cut deep" in this week's layoffs that started early Wednesday morning, the outlet also noted.

In mid-March, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company was expecting to further reduce its workforce "by around 10,000 people and close around 5,000 additional open roles that we haven't hired yet."

At the time, Zuckerberg revealed that the plan was to "announce restructurings and layoffs in our tech groups in late April, and then our business groups in late May." On the same day Zuckerberg provided an update regarding April and May layoffs, Meta reduced its recruiting team.

The tech mogul also said Meta was looking to "make our organization flatter by removing multiple layers of management." He added that since the workforce was reduced in November, "many things have gone faster."

Meanwhile, Meta employees are reportedly experiencing a "morale crisis" as some workers are reportedly complaining about Zuckerberg and other senior executives working remotely or have relocated amid layoffs, the New York Times reported last week.

The lack of presence from Meta executives has reportedly resulted in "devastated employee morale," as even top leaders joined weekly meetings remotely. A Meta spokesman told the New York Times that executives made regular trips to the headquarters.

Erin Sumner, who was among the Meta employees that got laid off in November, told the outlet that many current employees "feel like they're in limbo," with some reportedly saying "it's 'Hunger Games' meets 'Lord of the Flies,' where everyone is trying to prove their worth to management."

Meta joined other tech companies in reducing the workforce in November, cutting 11,000 jobs or about 13% of its workforce.

At the time, Zuckerberg said in a letter to employees obtained by CNBC that the company needed to be "become leaner and more efficient" and that there's "no way around" the situation but to reduce the workforce.

Before the November layoffs, Meta reported that it had about 87,000 employees as of September 2022.

Illustration shows Instagram logo
Instagram is just one of Meta's apps that will be affected by this week's layoffs. Reuters