In Facebook’s infancy, CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it a habit to have upfront Q&As with employees to discuss nearly all business-related topics.
However, as the social media platform grew, these weekly sessions became less frequent and were often replaced by other executives at the company. But last month, Zuckerberg returned and brought along with him his feisty personality.
The first question an employee asked was whether Meta Days would continue into the new year, just after Zuckerberg expressed that the economy was on its way to one of the “worst downturns that we’ve seen in recent history.”
Meta Days for next year were predictably canceled.
The company, which owns both Facebook and Instagram, has been working tenfold to compete with the world’s largest social media competitor TikTok. However, challenges with stricter Apple privacy policies and dwindling usership has caused the company to report disappointing figures and freeze hiring processes.
In short, Meta is in survivor mode.
“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” said Zuckerberg. “And 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 just say that this place isn’t for you. And that self-selection is okay with me.”
The response from employees following these comments came quickly and harshly.
“Did Mark just say there are a bunch of people at this company that don’t belong here[?]” one staffer wrote on the firm’s Comments on Workplace forum.
Just months ago, Zuckerberg suggested that layoffs were going to be a last resort in preparation for an economic downturn. But it seems he has changed his tune and is even eager for employees to flee the nest.
“We can either reduce funding for future stuff, or we can take more pain in terms of a little bit less profitability,” said Zuckerberg. “Constitutionally, it’s more painful for me to slow down the progress that we’re making towards the long term than it is to have a short-term difficult period.”