Meta’s ‘Year of Efficiency’ Starts With Some Staff Doing Zero Work: FT

  • Meta signaled in February it’s likely to cut more jobs this year after culling 11,000 jobs last year.
  • The company has delayed budget-setting for some teams as it gears up for the new round of layoffs, per the FT.
  • That has resulted in some staff doing “zero work” because managers have not been able to plan their schedules.

Meta’s “year of efficiency” may be starting on an inefficient note. 

The tech giant — which laid off 11,000 people in November and promised that 2023 is to be a “year of efficiency” — is gearing up for a new round of layoffs that might be wreaking havoc with some of the teams’ productivity, the Financial Times reported on Saturday, citing two employees familiar with the situation.

There’s been a lack of clarity about some budgets — which would typically get finalized by the end of the year — and future head count in recent weeks. Hence, projects and decisions that typically take days to sign off are taking up to a month, the Meta staffers told the FT.

That has caused some staff to do “zero work” because managers have not been able to plan their schedules.

“Honestly, it’s still a mess,” one employee told the FT, adding: “The year of efficiency is kicking off with a bunch of people getting paid to do nothing.” 

Meta did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent outside regular business hours.

Meta’s job cuts have led to major disruptions in employees’ lives 

Meta’s belt-tightening measures follow CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s acknowledgement that he overestimated the boom in e-commerce and had to cut jobs as a “last resort.”

He is not alone. The tech sector has been embroiled in sweeping layoffs that have so far impacted over 101,000 employees at 340 tech companies in 2023, according to the tracker.

And even news of further job cuts at the tech giant has not come as a surprise.

Meta signaled in its fourth-quarter earnings release on February 1 that it’s likely to conduct further lay-offs. And jittery Meta staff have been bracing for another round of job cuts even before the earnings call, Insider’s Kali Hays reported.

Meta’s drive for efficiency has even led the company to ask some managers and directors to transition to individual roles — or leave the company, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

“We’re working on flattening our org structure and removing some layers of middle management to make decisions faster, as well as deploying AI tools to help our engineers be more productive,” Zuckerberg had said in Meta’s fourth-quarter earnings call with analysts on February 1.

These sweeping job cuts and the ensuing uncertainty have led to major disruptions in the lives of affected employees, some of whom took to social media to chronicle the life-changing event.

Many of the staffers who were let go expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work at the company and were optimistic about the future, but they were also fearful and uncertain, Jyoti Mann and Grace Kay reported in November.

Despite the human toll, Meta’s cost-cutting measures seem to be working — its fourth-quarter sales of $32.2 billion beat analyst estimates. This boosted investor confidence, sending Meta’s share prices soaring nearly 45% so far this year  — adding about $19.1 billion to Zuckerberg’s net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Zuckerberg derives most of his wealth from a 13% stake in Meta, per Bloomberg.