Facebook Parent Meta, Google Quietly Cutting Staff

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Sep 21, 2022 - 05:15 PM

As growth stalls and competition intensifies, Facebook parent Meta has begun quietly cutting staff by reorganizing departments, while giving 'reorganized' employees a narrow window to apply for other roles within the company, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing current and former managers familiar with the matter.

By shuffling people around, the company achieves staffing cuts "while forestalling the mass issuance of pink slips."

The game of musical chairs is thought to be a prelude to deeper cuts, as Meta looks to trim costs by at least 10% over the next few months according to people familiar with the company's plans - which will also include savings from cuts to overhead and consulting budgets, but to a much lesser degree than reducing headcount.

"We’ve been public about the need for our teams to shift to meet these challenges," said Meta spokesman Tracy Clayton, adding that providing displaced employees with opportunities to apply for new jobs is a means of retaining talent that the company might otherwise lose.

Among some Meta employees, the process of reapplying for jobs within a limited window internally is known as a sort of human-resources purgatory they call the “30 Day List.”

Meta, as of last year the name of Facebook’s parent company, has long had a rule that employees whose roles are eliminated are subject to termination if they can’t find a new job internally within a month. Historically, it was usually only employees that were deemed undesirable who failed to land new positions. Now, affected employees and managers say, workers with good reputations and strong performance reviews are being pushed out on a regular basis. -WSJ

The company reported having 83,553 employees at the end of Q2, up 32% from a year earlier.  

"Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at a company town hall in June. Meanwhile, the company's head of engineering ordered managers to identified employees who were 'coasting' - and place them on remediation plans before they are terminated.

Google, meanwhile, has been requiring 'reorganized' employees to similarly apply for new jobs if they want to remain at the company - telling around half of the more than 100 employees at the company's startup incubator Area 120 that they have 90 days to find other roles within the company, according to people familiar with the decision.

Over 1,400 Google employees signed a March petition demanding that the company extend a 60-day period to 180 days to allow over 100 employees in the cloud computing division to find new roles, citing "barriers to transfer that many workers face."

According to a Google spokesman, almost 95% of employees who showed interest in staying with the company found new roles within the grace period. Alphabet, Google's parent company, reported having 174,014 employees at the end of Q2, up 20.8% from the previous year.

As the Journal notes, Silicon Valley staff reductions follow a 'breakneck' hiring spree last year, when engineers were in tight supply. But with the economic climate cooling 'and the digital-ad market in turmoil,' things have changed.

Just one question; will Facebook's impending layoffs be "anti-racist" like Twilio?