For Meta, the company that runs Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, the tough times are here. Or so says its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has seen his wealth go down by almost 50 per cent, in the last several months. In a recent all-hands meeting, Zuckerberg told Meta employees that he was freezing fresh hirings and initiating budget cuts. The company is reportedly taking these drastic steps because of its falling revenue.
The announced big budget cut and the hiring freeze is the company's first such move since it started in 2004.
At the same time, Meta is also starting a process to restructure its teams, a process that may lead to layoffs.
Zuckerberg announced the sweeping plan in a recent internal all-hands meeting. The Meta CEO also warned employees about possible layoffs. At the meeting, Zuckerberg said that the era of rapid growth for the company was over, reported Bloomberg.
"For the first 18 years of the company, we basically grew quickly basically every year, and then more recently our revenue has been flat to slightly down for the first time," Zuckerberg told his employees. Meta will likely be smaller in 2023 than it was this year."
India Today Tech reached out to Meta employees and confirmed that the company was embarking on a hiring freeze and restructuring. After the meeting in which Zuckerberg spoke, Meta employees received a note detailing his comments.
The company in its official notification to employees announced the freeze in hiring, changes in team compositions and the decision to keep the headcount constant for now.
According to reports, the company is also slashing budgets across teams irrespective of their recorded growth. In addition, individual teams will sort out how to handle headcount changes, and "manage out people who aren't succeeding."
"I had hoped the economy would have more clearly stabilized by now, but from what we're seeing it doesn't yet seem like it has, so we want to plan somewhat conservatively," Zuckerberg said in his meeting.
A recent report by Wall Street Journal notes that some Meta employees have been asked to find new roles within the company or they might face downsizing. This report says that a number of employees have been put on something called a "30-day list" and they have to either find a new job outside Meta within this period or a new role within the company. It is possible that people whom Meta managers consider underperforming have been placed on this list.
A few weeks ago, Zuckerberg commented on underperformance. When he was asked about remote working, a miffed Zuckerberg said that some employees aren't even required in the company because their productivity was too low. "Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn't be here," he had said.
Notably, Meta is seeing a decline in its stock since September 2021. Meta stock was trading at $378 in September 2021. It fell to $206 in February 2022. The stock further took a steep fall in the last few months and is now trading around $136.
Earlier, this year Meta slowed down hiring for some management roles. It also postponed the process of offering full-time jobs to its summer interns. Now with the freezing announcement on Thursday, Zuckerberg wants to "make sure we're not adding people to teams where we don't expect to have roles next year."
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