Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has laid out his plan to adopt higher standards that Facebook employees need to meet following the company’s recent lacklustre market performance.
In a company-wide Q&A in June, the Meta chief revealed he would be implementing stricter guidelines to ensure employees perform better. He also hinted at the possibility of letting people go if they failed to meet the standards.
“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” Zuckerberg said in a recording obtained by The Verge.
“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.”
By adopting these higher standards, Zuckerberg hopes it will help turn Facebook’s recent fortunes, which he described as “one of the worst downturns that we’ve seen in recent history”.
Read more: Meta slashes hiring plans for 2022
2022 hasn’t been particularly stellar for Meta. Flagship social media platform Facebook has been experiencing a very slow growth in its user base since the start of the year.
Meta shares also dropped by almost 2% following Tuesday’s early trading. The development comes ahead of the company’s earnings report this week. Overall, Meta’s stock is down by as much as 50% this year.
Meta’s struggles have forced the company to freeze hiring and adopt other cost-cutting measures.
In the June meeting, Zuckerberg told his employees that they would be slowing down the recruitment of engineers by 30%. That cuts the company’s target of new hires from 10,000 to around 6,000 or 7,000. The company also doesn’t plan to fill any empty roles for the time being.
Employees on the chopping block
Zuckerberg’s announcement of the new standards has drawn varying opinions from Facebook staff. According to The Verge report, several workers were stunned by their boss’s declaration that some of them could be let go.
“Did Mark just say there are a bunch of people at this company that don’t belong here[?]” one Facebook staffer said.
“This is wartime, we need a wartime CEO,” another worker said in support of Zuckerberg.
In response, Meta spokesperson Joe Osborne chose to downplay the Meta boss’s statement.
“Any company that wants to have a lasting impact must practice disciplined prioritisation and work with a high level of intensity to reach goals,” Osborne said.
“The reports about these efforts are consistent with this focus and what we’ve already shared publicly about our operating style.”
In an internal survey of Meta employees, only 39% of workers said they were optimistic about the company’s future. Meanwhile, 42% of respondents said they have confidence in Meta’s leadership.