Meta is delaying setting team budgets as a new round of downsizing is planned

Meta has delayed the finalization of several teams’ budgets as it prepares a new round of job cuts as Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to contain costs in its “year of efficiency” is causing disruption at the social media company.

Two Meta employees familiar with the situation told the Financial Times there had been ambiguity over budgets or future headcount for the past few weeks. As a result, employees have complained of “zero work” being done as managers failed to plan their upcoming workload, employees said.

Projects and decisions that typically take days to complete are now taking about a month in some cases, even in priority areas like metaverse and advertising, these people said.

Certain budgets would normally be finalized by the end of the year, one of the people added.

“Honestly, it’s still a mess,” said one employee. “The year of efficiency starts with a bunch of people getting paid to do nothing.”

It comes as Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, is planning further rounds of job cuts after laying off 11,000 employees – about 13 percent of its workforce – in November. Three employees said staff were demotivated and demoralized by the cuts and the uncertainty.

Zuckerberg announced earlier this month that the social media company would continue to get its costs under control under its new mantra, “The Year of Efficiency.” Meta’s improved fourth-quarter earnings outlook pushed shares up 18 percent, adding $88 billion to its market value.

Over the past year, big tech stocks, particularly those that rely on advertising dollars, suffered a dramatic sell-off amid tough macroeconomic conditions and marketers tightening their budgets. This has prompted industry-wide job cuts as tech chiefs admit they overextended themselves during the coronavirus pandemic’s digital boom.

Wall Street investors have expressed frustration with Meta’s finances over the past year, including its $10 billion annual investment.

Despite November’s job cuts, which were the most dramatic in Meta’s history, further cuts are expected in March as the company is currently undergoing employee performance reviews, three current and former employees said.

These are expected around March as the company is currently undergoing employee performance reviews, one of the people said.

In an earnings call with analysts last week, Zuckerberg said, “Next, we’re working on flattening our organizational structure and removing some layers of middle management to be able to make decisions more quickly.” He also said the company will be “more proactive” when it comes to cutting low-performing or low-priority projects.

In some cases, managers are being asked to either move into roles where they don’t manage anyone, known as individual contributor roles, or leave the company, according to a person first reported by Bloomberg.

Some employees, known internally as “the flattening,” are concerned those who switch roles will essentially be demoted, the person said. Another employee said it was called “calibration” internally, where middle and senior managers would rank and merge jobs.

Meta declined to comment. Meta is delaying setting team budgets as a new round of downsizing is planned

Adam Bradshaw

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