Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently held a virtual meeting with employees of group firm Facebook, where he appeared annoyed over a question about vacation days, according to a report in The Verge. The meeting was held on June 30, around the same time Mr Zuckerberg announced plans to slash hiring of engineers by at least 30 per cent and warned them to brace for a deep economic downturn. He told employees that he’s anticipating one of the worst downturns in recent history.
But at the Q&A session, identified as Gary by the news outlet, asked: Would Meta Days – extra days off introduced during the pandemic – continue in 2023?
The Verge said Mr Zuckerberg appeared visibly frustrated and said “Um … all right,” after hearing the pre-recorded question. “Given my tone in the rest of the Q&A, you can probably imagine what my reaction to this is,” he further said, according to the outlet.
After this year, Meta Days were cancelled, the report further said.
In the same meeting, the Meta boss also said that the company would be implementing higher standards for its employees and asking those who were unable to meet the new standards to leave.
“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” Mr Zuckerberg said in the June 30 call, according to a recording obtained by The Verge. “And part of my hope by raising expectations and having more aggressive goals, and just kind of turning up the heat a little bit, is that I think some of you might just say that this place isn’t for you. And that self-selection is okay with me.”
The Verge said that the interaction led to a barrage of comments on Workplace, the company’s internal took for employees. “This is war-time, we need a war-time CEO,” one wrote. “Beast mode activated,” a second employee posted.
Others were, however, shocked to hear that some employees will be asked to go. “Who hired them?” asked one of them, according to the report.
News agency Reuters had reported earlier this month that Meta has reduced its target for hiring engineers in 2022 to around 6,000-7,000, down from an initial plan to hire about 10,000 new engineers.
In addition to reducing hiring, Mr Zuckerberg had also announced leaving certain positions unfilled in response to attrition and “turning up the heat” on performance management to weed out staffers unable to meet more aggressive goals.
Tech companies across the board have scaled back their ambitions in anticipation of a possible US recession, although the slide in stock price at Meta has been more severe than at competitors Apple and Google.
The world’s biggest social media company lost about half its market value this year, after Meta reported that daily active users on its flagship Facebook app had experienced a quarterly decline for the first time.