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JPMorgan swoops in after Meta's massive job cuts

Tech job cuts have been brutal, and Meta has had arguably the hardest cuts of all – in terms of pure numbers, at least with 11,000 axed – after dismal Q4 results.

A big source of pain has been Reality Labs, the successor subsidiary to Oculus, which lost just shy of $10bn in the first nine months of the year and has been a source of ire for investors.

Enter JPMorgan. The bank has been betting big on its AR/VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality) tech, bringing in Blair MacIntyre, a former research scientist at Mozilla, to be global head of augmented and virtual reality research and internet of things technology.

MacIntyre has been consoling those that were let go by Meta, admitting on LinkedIn that “the shine has fallen off "the Metaverse" a bit lately”. He also opened the door for applications to his team at JPMorgan, saying “there are many companies like ours using AR/VR for real applications.”

JPMorgan’s love affair with the Metaverse has been ongoing for some time. The company announced earlier this year that it predicted the metaverse to be a $1tn revenue opportunity in the future.

Whether finance is a future home for Meta’s engineers is a subject of debate. A top tech and quant headhunter earlier today said that “99% of people at Twitter and Meta are not good enough to go to the top employers in financial services.”

MacIntyre works under Marco Pistoia, JPMorgan’s global head of applied research. Pistoia is a bit of a superstar – quantum computing is his forte (he’s JPMorgan’s head for it), and he was a “master inventor” at IBM before that, presumably a scheme similar to Morgan Stanley’s distinguished engineers.

JPMorgan is currently hiring a number of people in seven different roles in AR and VR, including in areas like "immersive collaboration" and "immersive analytics."

Meta employees, at least, seem to be taking their redundancies with good humor. One software engineer took blame for the company's stock losing $750bn from its peak, confessing his hoarding of the canteen's protein bars.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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