Jul 1, 2022 - Economy

Meta's "self-selection" hint as layoffs ramp up

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Executives are calling out the bloat inside their companies, and challenging workers to evaluate themselves.

Why it matters: Workers have enjoyed almost two years of flexibility and having the upper hand. But they may find the tables are turning as the economy loses steam, and tech companies start handing out pink slips.

Driving the news: Leaked audio of a staff meeting yesterday inside Meta reveals the company has cut plans to hire engineers by at least 30% this year, while raising the bar for existing employees, according to Reuters.

  • "Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn't be here," CEO Mark Zuckerberg was also heard saying, Reuters reports.
  • “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,” he added. Axios has reached out to Meta for comment.
  • His comments echo those of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has been saying, reportedly, that the company was becoming "overstaffed in many areas" and that people who didn't want to come into work shouldn't work there at all.

The big picture: Meta and Tesla are among at least a dozen tech companies trimming, or cutting back on growing, their workforces amid a slowdown in the economy.

What to watch: Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas is getting ready to be busier.

  • “Labor’s always a kind of slow [and] lagging indicator of what’s happening in the overall economy,” Andrew Challenger, senior vice president at the firm, previously told Axios.
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