‘The next AOL?’: Meta’s mass layoffs raise questions about Zuckerberg’s strategy as company morale sinks

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“A challenging period.”

For example, Mark Zuckerberg described in a memo what the near future will look like for Meta employees after announcing that the once impenetrable social media firm will cut another 10,000 jobs in the coming months.

Zuckerberg, who has been conducting an evaluation of the company as it strives to execute its so-called “year of efficiency,” outlined the key changes that will be made across the organization. Most importantly, from a structural point of view, Zuckerberg said he wants to flatten the company “by removing multiple layers of management.”

“This will be tough and there’s no escaping it,” Zuckerberg said in his memo, alluding to the pain and raw emotion that will soon envelop the organization as it cuts its workforce again.

The cuts at the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp come after it laid off about 11,000 employees in November, marking the company’s first-ever headcount cut at the time. Combined with the new cuts, Meta will have cut about 24% of its workforce in about six months, or one in four employees.

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Meta in particular has faced some of the toughest headwinds in Silicon Valley. The company has faced an increasingly weak digital advertising industry amid wider economic turmoil, Apple’s relentless new privacy policies, the meteoric rise of artificial intelligence technologies, and the seemingly unstoppable rise of TikTok.

Nevertheless, the layoff announcements have naturally plummeted the morale of the Menlo Park-headquartered company. The latest announcement, in particular, has left already anxious employees feeling upset and wondering if they might be on the chopping block in the near future.

But Zuckerberg indicated that the sweeping changes are necessary to survive in what he characterized as a deteriorating economy that won’t heal anytime soon.

“At this point, I think we need to prepare for the possibility that this new economic reality will continue for many years to come,” Zuckerberg bluntly warned, adding that the gloomy outlook had necessitated additional budget cuts “to operate more efficiently than our previous headcount cuts.” to ensure success.”

A former tech CEO, who asked to remain anonymous to speak candidly, said on Tuesday that companies like Meta, Google, Amazon and Twitter have hired “stupid amounts of people” to work on “science projects” in recent years. Speaking specifically about Meta, the director said, “You wonder what these 100,000 people are doing? The app doesn’t change much.”

“These companies are becoming hugely profitable and the CEOs think there are all these other areas that they can expand into as part of their plan for world domination,” the executive noted. “And then the economy takes a turn for the worse and everyone starts to worry about profitability and growth.”

Nightcap‘s” Jon Sarlin that the current state of Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse is “turmoil” with some Meta employees skeptical about Zuckerberg’s vision for the company. For more, watch the full Nightcap episode here.” data-duration=”01:13″ data-source-html=” – Source:
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All is not well in Zuckerberg’s Metaverse (2022)

As a result, the technical director said, “It’s surprisingly not difficult for these big tech companies to cut large numbers of people without impacting the underlying revenue engine.”

For now, employees at Meta will have to wait a while to learn how they and their teams will be affected. Zuckerberg indicated that the job cuts will not be complete until the end of May.

“In terms of how we should operate during this period, I encourage all of you to focus on what you can control,” Zuckerberg advised. “That is, do a great job and support your teammates. Our municipality is exceptionally resilient.”

“Change is never easy,” he added, “but I know we will get through this and emerge as an even stronger company that can build better products faster and empower you to do the best work of your career.”

The bigger question going forward is whether Meta can indeed exit this painful phase as a stronger company – or will instead continue in a slow decline as its primary products mature as Zuckerberg chases hopes that his big bet on the metaverse at will become reality one day.

“You can cut your way to short-term profitability,” said the former tech CEO. “But you can’t cut your way to growth. At some point it’s like this is the next AOL? And I don’t know when that will be.”

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