Meta abandons part of new European HQ in Dublin after sweeping job cuts

meta - Brian Lawless/PA Wire
meta - Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Meta is abandoning part of its new European headquarters in Dublin as the Facebook owner reels from the impact of 11,000 redundancies.

Meta had planned to expand its Dublin HQ by adding a fifth building to its existing campus in the Ballsbridge area of the Irish capital and signed a 25-year lease on a building in Fibonacci Square in 2018.
However, that building will now be rented out rather than occupied by Meta, the Irish Times reported.
The company is renting out all of the 375,000 square foot building after the first round of redundancies in its history earlier this year, which saw its headcount shrink by 13pc.

The WhatsApp and Instagram owner is also closing its Grand Canal Dock offices as it shrinks its Dublin footprint amid falling profits and shrinking sales.

Meta is reducing its office space in London too, and reportedly plans to rent out the whole of a new office in Regent’s Place at Triton Square.

Other London offices, including Facebook’s main UK base in King’s Cross, are not thought to be affected by the downsizing plans.

A Meta spokesman said: “We remain firmly committed to the UK and Ireland. In early 2023, employees based in our Grand Canal office will move to our existing campus in Ballsbridge, Dublin, which will be the primary location of our International HQ.

“As part of the ongoing review of our sites globally, we have decided to sublet the Triton Square office and the final phase of the Ballsbridge campus.”

Metaverse - REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
Metaverse - REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

The social media company’s profits halved in the three months to September as chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s ongoing fixation with his metaverse project saw sales drop to $27.7bn (£22.6m), a fall of 4pc on the previous year’s trading period.

When he announced in November that 13pc of Meta staff would be made redundant as a result of the poor financial results, Mr Zuckerberg said: “I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here”.

The metaverse is the Meta chief executive’s grand plan to build a virtual world where businesses and consumers work, live and play. The idea is for consumers to wear virtual reality headsets and communicate in a large online world.

Critics have said the metaverse project lacks clarity. Around 40pc of Britons have no understanding of the metaverse at all, according to a survey conducted by London law firm Gowling WLG.

Gowling partner Davey Brennan said: “When asked how they feel about the idea of spending time in the metaverse, half of UK consumers are yet to make up their mind."

Other tech companies are also cutting staff numbers and reducing their office footprints. Twitter, which has lost around 5,000 employees since Elon Musk bought it in October, has reportedly closed down all but one of its offices in San Francisco.

Reports suggest Mr Musk might move the company’s HQ to Texas amid a brewing row with San Francisco’s city council over planning restrictions. Some of Twitter’s offices have had bedrooms installed, which officials say is a breach of change-of-use rules.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s London office has remained empty since November. The company no longer has a PR department and did not respond to a request for comment.