The morale of Meta’s employees is on the floor. Not for nothing: Almost 21,000 co-workers have already been fired since November of last year. It is a reduction of about 24% of the global workforce of the company, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. That is why it is not surprising that the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the company, is in doubt.
An internal employee survey found that only 26% of employees trust the company’s leadership. The survey was conducted before the latest round of layoffs in May, which affected nearly 6,000 people, reported The Washington Post. Only 43% of employees said they felt valueda drop of 15 percentage points compared to another report from October 2022.
Employees have spent weeks dividing up the responsibilities of their laid-off colleagues, in some cases learning entirely new roles, he said. The Post citing internal sources. They have also had to get used to new managers.
“You have shattered the morale and confidence in the leadership of many hard-working, high-performing employees,” read a message on an internal company forum that he accessed. Reuters last April. “Why should we stay in Meta?”
So goes the «year of efficiency», as Mark Zuckerberg himself called him. Through a statement published in March, he explained that in 2023 he was going to “flatten” the structures, cancel lower-priority projects and reduce hiring rates.
The “Year of Efficiency” comes after the year in which Meta recorded operating losses of 13.7 billion dollars in Reality Labs, the development department of your metaverse. In October 2022, a company shareholder investment firm had already asked it, in a public letter, to cut investment in this project. “Meta needs to get in shape and focus,” the letter said.
“The metaverse is dead” published in early May by Ed Zitron, executive director of EZP, a national business and technology public relations agency. Zitro said then that the exaggeration and the lack of a coherent vision of the product led to its decline. And the arrival of a more promising and attractive trend: Generative artificial intelligence.
So Mark Zuckerberg had to turn the wheel, in the year that Microsoft married OpenAI and its ChatGPT and Google rushed to perfect Bard and other of its tools with artificial intelligence. Zuckerberg says no, he’s not forgetting about the Metaverse, but he’s definitely out of character.
The creator of Facebook held a meeting last Thursday where he promoted Meta’s upcoming product roadmap. He and other executives spoke precisely about the company’s innovations in artificial intelligence. “We are going to play an important and unique role in the industry”promised Mark Zuckerberg, according to a copy of his comments that he accessed The Washington Post.
Zuckerberg sent a letter to his investors at the end of April, on the occasion of the presentation of his company’s quarterly results. In it he mentions “Artificial Intelligence” or “AI” a total of 26 times. And to the “Metaverse”?: only eight. So yes, the shots go this way.
But Meta is not just arriving at the race. Facebook has had its own artificial intelligence department since 2013. Although with less noise than the competition, the company has already presented LLaMa, its language model, and SAM, capable of recognizing elements and meanings within an image. These releases have been focused on the research community and not on users in general.
The next step seems to be towards a model focused on the Generation of texts and creatives for ad campaigns. It’s just that advertising is Meta’s main business. It is expected that there will be news in this regard at the end of this year.
Changes—including layoffs—have already worked in Meta’s favor. The company’s shares on Wall Street are up more than 100% since the start of the year. Some employees have also been enthusiastic about the shift in focus towards artificial intelligence, he says. The Washington Post.
Zuckerberg will let his workers begin testing conversational agents powered by LLaMA. And he promised them that they will do better. He told them, for example, that Apple’s Vision Pro glasses, which caused a sensation this week, will not compete with his vision.