Meta employees are reportedly being pushed to work twice as hard to protect their jobs at the troubled tech titan as workers brace for sweeping layoffs.
“Zuck’s message was loud and clear: You have three months to prove your worth, put in 200% effort, or you can resign now if you don’t like it,” one unnamed Meta employee told Insider, referring to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The productivity push is unfolding during a sustained downturn in Meta’s stock price as the social media giant struggles to rebrand itself as a metaverse company.
Meta shares plunged more than 20% on Thursday after the company reported a 52% plunge in third-quarter profit.
Meta has reshuffled many of its teams and managers as Zuckerberg urges employees to work with more intensity, Insider reported, citing interviews with three current employees.
One current employee said his manager warned that even the best-performing workers were “not safe.”
“He said he is preparing a backup plan and I should be too,” the employee said, according to the outlet.
Company insiders speculate the number of workers impacted by potential layoffs could be substantial. Meta — the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — reported having 83,500 workers worldwide at the end of the second quarter.
“There is general consensus that we will have 20% fewer people next year,” another Meta employee told Insider. “How that will happen, I’m not sure yet.”
The Post has reached out to Meta for comment.
When reached by Insider, a Meta representative referred to Zuckerberg’s remarks during the company’s second-quarter earnings call on July 27.
During that call, Zuckerberg said Meta planned to “steadily reduce headcount growth over the next year” and warned “many teams are going to shrink so we can shift energy to other areas.”
“This is a period that demands more intensity, and I expect us to get more done with fewer resources,” Zuckerberg said at the time. “We’re currently going through the process of increasing the goals for many of our efforts.”
A few weeks before the earnings call, Zuckerberg told employees he was worried the markets might be headed for “one of the worst downturns that we’ve seen in recent history.” He noted that Meta planned to ramp up pressure on workers to force out under-performers.
“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” Zuckerberg said at an internal meeting at the time, according to Reuters.
“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 decide that this place isn’t for you, and that self-selection is OK with me,” Zuckerberg added.
Meta has faced criticism from investors after investing more than $15 billion in a widely panned foray into metaverse technology. While Zuckerberg has insisted the metaverse will be a transformative effort for the company, the massive investment has yet to yield positive results.
Despite the plunging share price and sagging profits, Meta indicated that losses related to Reality Labs, the division developing the metaverse, would expand next year.
“We do anticipate that Reality Labs losses in 2023 will grow significantly year-over-year,” the company said.
One prominent critic of Zuckerberg’s version of the metaverse is Palmer Luckey, the creator of Meta’s Oculus virtual reality headsets.
Luckey, who was ousted after selling Oculus to Facebook for $3 billion, said Meta’s “Horizon Worlds” metaverse platform is “terrible” and “not currently a good product.”
“It’s like a project car,” Luckey said.