Things Are Getting Intense at Meta

Case in point, the memo titled 'Operating With Increased Intensity'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2022 2:52 PM CDT
Employee's Question Irks Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Paley Center in New York, Oct. 25, 2019.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

The Verge got its hands on a recording of an internal all-hands meeting at Meta, and the Verge's take is that it paints Mark Zuckerberg in three lights: as a general girding for battle, as a visionary who is unshakable in his belief that the money-sucking metaverse will propel the company to greater heights, and as, well, annoyed. In the Verge's telling, the annoyance emerged with the first employee question at the June 30 meeting. Gary from Chicago asked if Meta Days—extra days off instituted during the pandemic—would be offered in 2023. A "visibly frustrated" Zuckerberg, who had just touched on the dismal economy and what would be a long road to overtaking TikTok, started with an "um… all right."

"Given my tone in the rest of the Q&A, you can probably imagine what my reaction to this is." Meta Days will be no more, and Zuckerberg went on to express that he hoped the same for some of the people listening. "Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here," he says in the recording. "And part of my hope by raising expectations"—personal appointments during the middle of the day California-time are no longer OK—"and having more aggressive goals, and just kind of turning up the heat a little bit, is that I think some of you might just say that this place isn’t for you. And that self-selection is okay with me." (Read the full Verge piece for employee reaction to those comments.)

The New York Times is out with a similarly flavored report, which cites an internal memo that made the rounds this month and is titled "Operating With Increased Intensity." In it, a Meta VP advises that managers start to consider "every person on their team and the value they are adding. If a direct report is coasting or a low performer, they are not who we need; they are failing this company. As a manager, you cannot allow someone to be net neutral or negative for Meta."

The Verge separately notes that TikTok isn't the only competitor Zuckerberg voiced concerns about. At the all-hands, he also responded to one employee question about Apple's coming AR glasses by saying he sees Apple as a "very deep competitor. ... It’s not just [that] they have a device that has some more features than us. It’s a very deep, philosophical competition about what direction the internet should go in," with Meta opting for a more open approach, and Apple continuing to be a "closed provider." (Read more Mark Zuckerberg stories.)

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