Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the company’s employees to boost morale after a series of layoffs that have significantly reduced the headcount.
Zuckerberg expressed his desire for a future with greater stability and less bureaucracy in a companywide meeting.
He emphasized that the goal was not to return to the exact previous state but rather to create a more agile and efficient organization.
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The layoffs, which affected over 10,000 roles, primarily targeted Meta’s business division, including advertising, human resources, and policy teams.
These cuts came as Meta faces challenges to its business model from competitors like TikTok, privacy rules from Apple, and slower growth in the e-commerce market.
Additionally, Meta’s ambitious plans for the metaverse have yet to show significant returns.
Zuckerberg declared 2023 as “the year of efficiency” and highlighted the need to transform Meta into a stronger tech company capable of developing better products at a faster pace.
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The company aims to reduce management layers and focus on core projects to achieve this.
Zuckerberg said future growth would be slower, potentially leading to smaller layoffs when projects are discontinued in favor of new ones.
He believes that a smaller workforce will help reduce bureaucracy and improve productivity.
He acknowledged the disproportionality of the cuts, which hit business teams more than tech.
He also appreciated their work and explained that the company’s restructuring was necessary for its “scrappier future” as he called it.
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The layoffs have created a morale crisis within Meta, with employees questioning the decision-making of senior leadership and expressing concerns about the company’s direction.
Some criticized the gradual nature of the layoffs, as it prolonged the uncertainty and hindered productivity.
Trust and safety teams were particularly worried about the impact on the company’s ability to address misinformation and regulatory challenges.
Looking ahead, Zuckerberg plans to establish new guidelines for employees’ work arrangements now that pandemic concerns have subsided.
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He envisions a critical mass of employees working together in the office a few days a week to enhance performance and foster a positive culture.
Meta also intends to revive internal culture by shifting the focus from efficiency and layoffs to discussing future innovations, including investments in artificial intelligence.
He said: “We really invested in building the AI capacity because now we can bring online all these different AI agents [while] the rest of the industry does this mad scramble to get capacity.”
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