Mark Zuckerberg Prepares Meta Employees for a Tougher 2022

SAN FRANCISCO – Mark Zuckerberg has a message for Meta employees: buckle up for tough times.

In a face-to-face meeting Thursday, M. Zuckerberg, Meta’s chief executive, said the Silicon Valley company is facing one of the “worst recessions we’ve seen in recent history,” according to copies of his comments that were given to The New York Times. He told Meta’s 77,800 workers that they should be prepared to do more work with fewer resources and that their performance will be judged more intensively than before.

mr. Zuckerberg added that the company, which owns Facebook, Instagram and other apps, is lowering its hiring targets. Meta plans to bring on 6,000 to 7,000 new engineers this year, up from its previous goal of 10,000, he said. In some areas, hiring will stop completely, especially among junior engineers, he said, although other departments will increase the number of employees.

“I think some of you may decide that this place is not for you, and that I don’t mind choosing on my own,” Zuckerberg said during a telephone conversation. “In fact, there are probably a bunch of people in the company who don’t belong here.”

The CEO’s comments, which were some of the harshest to employees, reflect the degree of complexity Meta faces in its business. The company, which has grown stronger and stronger financially over the years, finds itself in an unfamiliar position this year as it fought. Although the country experienced strong growth at the beginning of the pandemic, it has recently faced shocks to the global economy, associated with rising inflation and interest rates.

This economic uncertainty hits like Meta rules the turmoil in its core business of social media and advertising. mr. Zuckerberg said last year that his company, which renamed to meta from Facebook, made a long-term bet on the creation of an immersive world of the so-called metaverse. He spent billions of dollars on efforts that hurt Meta’s profits.

The company also faced a blow to the advertising business after Apple has made privacy changes to its mobile operating system, which limits the amount of data Facebook and Instagram can collect about their users.

As a result, Meta has reported a consistent decline in earnings this year for the first time in more than a decade. In February after grim financial reportMeta’s shares fell 26 percent and their market value fell more than $230 billion, marking the company’s biggest single-day crash. In March, the company told employees that reduction or elimination of free services like laundry and dry cleaning.

In a memo to employees Thursday, Chris Cox, director of product at Meta, echoed Mr. Cox’s words. Zuckerberg said the company is going through “hard times” and that the economic “headwinds are brutal,” according to a copy of a memo that was read by The Times.

“We need to perform flawlessly in a slower growth environment where teams can’t expect a massive influx of new engineers and budgets,” Mr. Cox’s memo says. “We need to prioritize more ruthlessly, be thoughtful about measuring and understanding what impacts results, invest in developer efficiency and speed within the company, and manage leaner, more rigorous, and more efficient teams.”

mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Cox’s comments to staff were informed formerly Reuters. This was announced by the representative of Meta. Cox’s memo echoes what the company has publicly stated in its earnings report and that it has been candid about its “challenges” and “opportunities.”

In a face-to-face meeting on Thursday, which was held via videoconference, M. Zuckerberg’s comments appeared to be driven by a sense of frustration, according to one of the employees who watched the conversation. After someone asked if the company would continue to host “Meta Days” in 2022, the internal name for paid vacations, Mr. Zuckerberg paused and considered out loud how to properly answer the question, said an employee who spoke anonymously. because they were not authorized to speak.

The CEO then said the company needed to take tough action and work harder than before by “raising the temperature” on internal targets and metrics used to measure employee performance. He said he expects some turnover from employees who don’t reach those goals, and that some of them may leave due to the increased pace of work.

But Mr. Zuckerberg noted that he is not averse to investing heavily in projects that matter in the long term, and is not focused solely on profit. He mentioned efforts to create a metaverse with virtual and augmented reality products over the next 10 plus years.

mr. Cox also said in his memo that Meta continues to invest in Rules – TikTok-like video product has a strong presence on Instagram, and improved artificial intelligence to help find popular posts on Facebook and Instagram. Meta is also working on making money from its messaging apps and is looking for additional opportunities for e-commerce sales on the platform, he said.

Meta’s in-house recruiters said after a surge in new hires during the pandemic, the company’s recruitment has slowed this year. The company mainly recruited for vital positions, and many positions were filled in-house, said two recruiters who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to reporters.

There are currently no plans to lay off people, said two people with knowledge of the company’s plans, who spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to speak. In the chat channels that accompanied the live broadcast of the staff meeting, some workers said they were celebrating the reduction in “dead weight” after they felt “the bar has been lowered” for hiring during the pandemic, according to comments that were described in The Times by one from employees.