Meta employees are expressing discontent with Mark Zuckerberg and his metaverse strategy on anonymous jobs forums such as Blind and Glassdoor.
One review on Blind likened a recent round of layoffs to the “hunger games” while another stated that Zuckerberg’s metaverse bet would “single-handedly kill” the company.
In reality, Meta is facing numerous challenges including tough macroeconomic conditions and a decline in advertising revenue forced upon them by Apple.
Meta has some immediate problems
Meta has had its problems as the company under Mark Zuckerberg’s direction has pursued its metaverse strategy. Zuckerberg may have a metaverse vision for the longer term, but investors eye falling stock prices with concern.
Since the start of the year Meta stock has plummeted by 65%, leading to a round of 11,000 job cuts in November.
Not all of the outgoing staff have been kind to the man they call ‘Zuck,’ believing that the redundancies are the direct product of his meta dream.
One post by a senior software developer is particularly withering.
“The Metaverse will be our slow death,” said the senior employee, as reported by Business Insider. “Mark Zuckerberg will single-handedly kill a company with the meta-verse.”
Another said, “Zuck is leading this company in the wrong direction”
It is understandable that outgoing staff feel less than positive about the company, but not all the feedback has been entirely negative.
Not everyone feels so aggrieved
One outgoing employee on Glassdoor said that Meta acted with “compassion,” during its recent round of cuts.
“Meta gave us a very good severance package, they let us use email for the day to say goodbye to our co-workers, and they are allowing our managers to give us good references,” said one employee on Glassdoor.
“Layoffs are always hard (I’ve been through them before), but this one was well handled.”
The employee added that employees had received 16 weeks of severance in the redundancy round plus 2 additional weeks for every year of service. The company also promised to continue paying health insurance for redundant workers (and their families) for the next 6 months.
The metaverse takes the blame
The metaverse may be the whipping boy of the moment, but Meta’s current woes run a little deeper for those who care to look. Some of those problems are of Meta’s own making, while other problems are caused by factors outside of their control.
Of the former variety, Meta hired heavily during the Covid pandemic while internet use was at its peak, and as that trend reversed found its staffing costs too high.
Of the latter, a change to Apple’s iOS and privacy features reduced the amount of customer data available to Meta and its apps, leading to a fall in advertising revenues.
Taken in this context, as well as that of the wider macroeconomic conditions, judging the failure or success of Zuck’s metaverse gambit appears premature.