Mark Zuckerberg’s ‘year of efficiency’ at Meta has spread to the company’s upper ranks and incompetent VPs are next to be culled


Zuckerberg proclaimed 2023 the ‘year of efficiency’. — AFP/Getty Images/The New York Times

Nobody is safe from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s now permanent efficiency measures, not even the company’s upper echelons.

As of last year, Meta employed an army of 300 vice presidents staggered into five levels of seniority that are now the prime targets of Zuck’s efficiency cuts, Business Insider reported, citing three people with knowledge of the company. In previous years, there were half as many VPs at Meta, Business Insider noted, and Zuckerberg reportedly wants to slice the roster down to 250.

The VP massacre comes after Zuckerberg first declared 2023 the “year of efficiency” last February, which resulted in more than 20,000 layoffs that year, according to BI. Zuckerberg later made the changes permanent after witnessing employees “execute better and faster,” and promised a “leaner” operating structure that included a flatter hierarchy.

To help cull supposedly lagging VPs, Meta is leaning on midyear performance reviews and formal annual performance reviews usually conducted in the first quarter. VPs who don’t measure up to their peers through a process called “stack ranking” are likely to get the axe.

The VPs are also under the microscope of their superiors, who under company rules are required to label 10% to 12.5% of their reports as underperforming. The tactic could lead to these employees being put on a performance improvement plan and then being laid off.

A spokesperson for Meta declined to comment and referred Fortune to a February Facebook post by Zuckerberg where he went into detail on Meta’s earnings and added that his “year of efficiency” changes would become “a permanent part of how we operate.”

Zuckerberg’s productivity measures stand in stark contrast with Meta’s growth of between 20% and 30% every year prior. But since Meta started its layoffs last year, it hasn’t stopped, and other big companies including Google, Microsoft, and Tesla also joined in. Overall more than 250,000 tech employees were laid off last year, according to Layoffs.fyi.

Zuckerberg’s risk in making the major job cuts has been rewarded by investors over the past year. Some analysts have lauded the CEO’s efforts, including those at MoffettNathanson, who in a research note candidly wrote: “Mr Zuckerberg is a capitalist after all.” – Fortune.com/The New York Times

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