Meta denies report Mark Zuckerberg is standing down as Facebook CEO

Meta has denied a widespread report that Mark Zuckerberg is standing down as its chief executive.

On Tuesday, a report spread across the internet that Mr Zuckerberg would be stepping down from his role as the head of the company in 2023. It was first reported in The Leaka relatively new online publication.

But Andy Stone, perhaps Meta’s most outspoken communications officials, flatly denied the report on Twitter.

“This is false,” he tweeted, giving no more clarification or context to the denial.

Mr Zuckerberg has been hit by especially vociferous criticism in recent weeks after Meta fired large numbers of its staff. Earlier in November, it said that it would be losing 13 per cent of its employees, with more than 11,000 people being fired.

He said that he took “accountability for these decisions and how we got here”, in a message shared with employees. he said that he had mistakenly assumed that the growth the company saw during the pandemic was likely to continue—but that in recent months it had slowed, and that an economic downturn looked set to make that even worse.

But at the same time Mr Zuckerberg has been continuing the company’s investment into the metaverse, despite questions over whether Meta’s work on virtual reality and other technologies is ever likely to pay off. Mr Zuckerberg has indicated that he sees that mission as being central to the future of his company.

Meta’s latest results, released at the end of October, showed that the company’s “Reality Labs” division tasked with making VR headsets and other metaverse products lost almost $10 billion this year so far. It also indicated that those losses were likely to “grow significantly” in 2023.

But the chief executive has defended that strategy, even as analysts suggest that the company is taking too many “experimental bets”.

“Look, I get that a lot of people might disagree with this investment, but from what I can tell, I think this is going to be a very important thing,” Mr Zuckerberg said during his call with investors. “People will look back a decade from now and talk about the importance of the work being done here.”

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