After two series of layoffs four months apart, the tech giant Meta and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg had to wipe the plaster during a meeting with all the staff on Thursday March 16. His employees notably expressed their lack of confidence in the manager and their difficulty in being productive for fear of being made redundant.
Meta Group CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing fierce internal criticism after two rounds of layoffs. // Source: Meta
Mark Zuckerberg and his group Meta are facing internal criticism. Thursday March 16, the American giant owner of Facebook or Instagram organized a meeting of all its staff in order to make a general point on the state of the company. A practice called “all-hands meeting”, very popular in Silicon Valley companies.
A real crisis of confidence in the management of the company emerges, according to the American daily Washington Post, which was able to listen to an audio recording of the meeting. This event took place two days after the announcement of 10,000 layoffs to come, in the face of the multinational’s poor economic health.
Zuckerberg facing his contradictions
For an hour, Meta employees notably questioned their boss about his contradictory statements. Four months earlier, in November 2022, the billionaire had already announced 11,000 layoffs, citing “a miscalculation” of the growth of the post-Covid company… while affirming that he did not plan to lay off employees again “in a near future “.
Believing that it was “a good question”, Mark Zuckerberg then explained that this change of position was linked to a realization that “the global economic pressures that the company will face will last for some time” and that the layoffs of November would have improved its effectiveness, summarizes the Washington Post.
Employees in fear of being fired
Therefore, another question expressed doubt about the ability of employees “to trust the management of the company after two series of layoffs”, according to the American daily.
Mark Zuckerberg reportedly said he expected to be evaluated based on “the performance of the company and the transparency of its objectives, but that leaders should be allowed to change their way of thinking”, specifies the Washington Post.
Although announced, the dismissals will not be effective until April, and Meta does not yet seem to have designated all the people concerned. Another employee also pointed out the difficulty of remaining productive with this sword of Damocles above the head. CEO Response: “It’s not like we can just stop working while we think about this.”
The failure of the Silicon Valley model?
The liberal model of Silicon Valley companies seems to be turning against their leaders. Two weeks earlier, it was Google’s turn to organize its own all-hands meeting… and to see its management criticized head-on by employees after the record loss of stock market value linked to the failed announcement of its AI Google Bard . The company also announced at the end of January its intention to lay off 12,000 people.
The professional El Dorado represented by these companies now seems far away, and those who remain could see their comfort at work called into question: during the meeting on March 16, Mark Zuckerberg also mentioned the possibility of reducing the right to telework for employees, arguing that employees in the office “perform better on average than people who have joined the company remotely”.