Facebook owner Meta, which laid of 11,000 staffers back in November, is planning a fresh round of job cuts according to multiple reports. The news comes just weeks after CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that 2023 would be the company’s “year of efficiency” during an earnings call.
The social media giant, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, is said to be delaying the finalization of budgets for each of its teams, causing headaches for staff and operational disruption.
The story came to light after two Meta employees familiar with the situation broke rank to speak to the Financial Times.
A Worried Workforce
According to the Meta whistleblowers, projects and decisions that typically took days to sign off are now languishing on the shelf for up to a month in some cases, including in supposed priority areas such as the metaverse and advertising.
“Honestly, it’s still a mess. The year of efficiency is kicking off with a bunch of people getting paid to do nothing,” complained one Meta staffer.
Internally, the year of efficiency has been rechristened “the flattening,” a reference to remarks made by Zuckerberg during the aforementioned earnings call with analysts earlier this month.
Those comments – that Meta was “working on flattening our org structure and removing some layers in middle management to make decisions faster” – clearly allude to further fat-trimming in Meta’s workforce, which grew from 58,604 in 2020 to 86,482 last year.
According to the FT story, many middle managers have been asked to step down to non-management roles or seek pastures new, while other senior management roles have merged. The company is said to be embarking upon a rigorous round of performance reviews, with many employees likely to be fearing the ax.
It has been a topsy-turvy few months for Meta, which dismissed 11,000 employees in November before its top VR consultant John Carmack left the company in December. At the time, Carmack said Meta had “a ridiculous amount of people and resources, but we constantly self-sabotage and squander effort.”
Carmack added that he believed the organization was “operating at half the effectiveness that would make me happy.”
Despite such troubles, Meta’s fourth-quarter results were positive as its market value rose by $88bn, a consequence of improved sales, guidance for lower expenses, and a new $40bn share buyback.