Zuckerberg praises Meta executives day after laying off 4,000 workers

Meta Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday defended the job performance of senior leaders at the social media company, a day after laying off some 4,000 workers.

Zuckerberg told employees during a companywide meeting that while in general the Facebook parent company met “most” of its expectations last year, many top leaders also took on new and expanded roles, according to a recording of the call obtained by The Washington Post.

“I think it’s somewhat difficult to kind of pin the … company’s performance on people who weren’t necessarily in those roles before,” said Zuckerberg, adding that when people take on new roles it’s important to “acknowledge” their performance.

“I think they’re doing quite well,” Zuckerberg added.

Zuckerberg was responding to a question from employees about how top executives’ compensation was affected by the company’s recent sluggish financial performance and whether senior leaders would be held accountable. Meta employees’ bonuses are affected by a mixture of individual performance ratings and company ratings, which were lower in the most recent cycle, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal matters.

Zuckerberg said top executives go through the same performance system that rank and file employees experience.

Meta begins fresh round of job cuts among highly skilled staff

Meta declined to comment.

Among the executives that have been elevated over the last year include Susan Li, who became chief financial officer and Javier Olivan who assumed the role of chief operating officer, replacing Sheryl Sandberg.

On Wednesday, Meta laid off around 4,000 workers mostly concentrated in the company’s technical teams, Zuckerberg said. The restructuring is part of a months-long downsizing push that will cut 10,000 jobs in total. The latest layoffs add to the 11,000 jobs Meta cut in November.

“Those were my decisions,” Zuckerberg said. “I just want to make clear that I take responsibility.”

The company is facing intensifying competition for advertising dollars and users from the short-form video network TikTok. New privacy rules adopted by Apple hurt Meta’s ability to offer targeted advertising. Meanwhile, some digital advertisers have reduced their spending amid rising inflation and the slowing demand in the e-commerce market.

Zuckerberg has said that the company grew too fast during the pandemic, prompting the cuts. At the town hall Thursday, he said that going forward the company may only grow about one percent to two percent a year.

He also said that the company removed around 20 percent of managers in tech divisions Wednesday.

Meta’s workforce has been anxious about the cuts, and many have questioned the leadership and direction of the company in recent months, The Post previously reported. Some of those remaining are now searching for new jobs, they say, while others are concerned about an uncertain future.

Meta reports quarterly earnings next week.

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