Mark Zuckerberg grilled at Meta town hall after firings


Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended his leadership of the social media giant at a staff meeting Thursday morning, two days after announcing the company would cut 10,000 employees in a months-long restructuring and downsizing.

Zuckerberg was asked about how employees are expected to trust the company’s leadership after two rounds of layoffs. He said he would expect to be judged based on the company’s performance and transparency about its mission, but that leaders should be able to change their mind, according to a City Hall audio live stream obtained by The Washington Post.

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“I suspect that the way people would judge whether you trust me and want to work at this company will determine whether we succeed in making progress towards the overall goals,” Zuckerberg said at city hall. “I think a lot of this is about the results we can deliver.”

Zuckerberg also explained during the hour-long meeting why the company announced an organization-wide restructuring and layoff plan, four months after the CEO told staff at a company-wide meeting in November that he didn’t expect to have to make those kinds of cuts again for the ” near future”.

The CEO said what ultimately changed was that he thinks the overall economic pressures the company faces will continue for a while and that he saw that November’s cuts seemed to increase the company’s efficiency.

“But I think it’s a fair question,” he said.

Meta declined to comment.

Zuckerberg’s comments come two days after he announced that the company would lay off more employees and close 5,000 positions in the coming months as part of a larger effort to cut costs and flatten the company’s hierarchy in light of the increasing business pressure. The latest layoffs build on November’s workforce cuts that saw 11,000 jobs, or about 13 percent of Meta’s workforce, cut in the first large-scale layoffs in the company’s history.

Zuckerberg proclaimed earlier this year that 2023 would be the “year of efficiency” after months of declining revenues. The social media giant, which makes most of its money from digital advertising, faces increasing competition for advertising dollars and users from newer social media entrants, such as the short video network TikTok. The company has also acknowledged that it overestimated how much the e-commerce market would grow after pandemic-era restrictions were rolled back.

During the town hall Thursday, Zuckerberg was also asked about the future prospects of remote working.

The company noted Tuesday that an early analysis showed that engineers who joined the company as a personal employee and then transferred to a remote position or who stayed in the office outperformed, on average, those who joined the company remotely.

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Zuckerberg didn’t rule out new rules requiring people to return to the office before a certain amount of time, but said it would be an “ongoing conversation”.

He added that the company has made the decision to pause most remote recruiting for the time being.

Another employee’s question was about how Meta’s employees could be productive while the threat of layoffs and project cuts loomed over them.

Zuckerberg acknowledged that announcing the layoff plans ahead of time introduces a period of uncertainty, but said that “it’s not like we can just stop working while we figure this out.”

Ultimately, he said, he thought it was better for employees to hear about the plans ahead of time.






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