Apr 13, 2023 - Economy

There's a "morale crisis" at Meta

Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

Laying off thousands of people, while announcing more job cuts to come, might make you friends on Wall Street — but inside your company...not so much.

What's happening: Workers at the company formerly known as Facebook are facing a morale crisis, per the New York Times.

Catch up fast: CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared 2023 the "year of efficiency." Last month, the company — now called Meta — said it would lay off 10,000 people and cut 5,000 open roles, in order to flatten the company's management structure, as Axios' Sara Fischer reported.

  • That was on top of a November chop that eliminated more than 11,000 people, or 13% of staff.
  • Wall Street cheered: The stock has gained 72% this year.

Meanwhile: Zuckerberg went all-in on remote work at the outset of the pandemic, and a lot of employees did, too.

  • The New York Times points out that some of the company's top executives are now remote; even as Zuckerberg — once a work-from-home booster — has been encouraging people to come back to the office.

Zoom in: This is all a pretty big bummer for the remaining folks at Meta who worry they're next to go — and who don't have the top brass around to help set a new tone.

  • “So many of the employees feel like they’re in limbo right now,” Erin Sumner, who was laid off from Facebook in November, told the NYT. “They’re saying it’s ‘Hunger Games’ meets ‘Lord of the Flies,’ where everyone is trying to prove their worth to management.”
  • Meta declined to comment to the NYT on "internal matters."

The bottom line: Facebook isn't really unusual; of course, layoffs are bad for morale. They're possibly bad for other reasons, too — like productivity.

  • And studies show that over the long term, job cuts might also impact the financial performance of a company, as Kevin Delaney explains in a recent column for Time.
  • "Even the stock bump can prove fleeting," he writes.

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