The stock markets have dropped about 20% this year, but Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is down more than twice that amount at 50%.
The company is suffering as younger users are leaving Facebook and Instagram for TikTok. Apple's IOS privacy settings have also disrupted Meta's extremely lucrative ad business. Meanwhile, Meta has made a big bet on consumers taking to the metaverse, Virtual Reality.
Meta reports its second-quarter earnings Wednesday. CNBC expects Meta will post its first-ever quarterly decline in revenue.
In a company Q&A meeting June 30, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to cull underperforming workers.
"This might be one of the worst downturns that we've seen in recent history," he said, the New York Post reported.
Zuckerberg said Meta would be implementing higher standards for its employees and firing those who were unable to measure up.
"Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here," Zuckerberg said.
"Part of my hope by raising expectations and having more aggressive goals, and just kind of turning up the heat a little bit, is that I think some of you might decide that this place isn't for you, and that self-selection is OK with me," Zuckerberg added, The Verge reported.
"I think during a lot of the COVID period, I kind of bias[ed] toward more flexibility and convenience for people," he said. But some people were making personal appointments in the middle of the day, making it difficult to get everyone to attend a meeting, he said.
"Given the intensity of the environment that we’re in right now," Zuckerberg said, "I think now the right way to bias is more toward, 'Let's try to make the decision today, not wait until next week.'"
Employees who can work remotely were told to be available for meetings midday California time, The Verge reported.
The company has implemented a hiring freeze as it shifts toward the metaverse. Zuckerberg said Meta would slow its hiring plans for engineers by at least 30% this year. Some empty roles will remain unfilled.
"Any company that wants to have a lasting impact must practice disciplined prioritization and work with a high level of intensity to reach goals," Meta spokesperson Joe Osborne told The Verge. "The reports about these efforts are consistent with this focus and what we've already shared publicly about our operating style."
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