"Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn't be here."

Cut the Fat

In a further sign of tough times, Meta-formerly-Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is ready to root out the stragglers among his employees.

During a Q&A session with Meta staff, Zuckerberg announced that he's "turning up the heat" over performance goals, according to recordings obtained by Reuters.

He's hoping the pressure will make them leave, rather than having Meta's managers fire them. Instead of conducting mass layoffs, Zuckerberg appears to be coaxing them into leaving on their own behalf, telling staff that "some of you might decide that this place isn't for you, and that self-selection is OK with me."

"Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn't be here," he added.

Financial Headwinds

The timing of Zuckerberg's comments is striking, given the massive economic slowdown and Meta's own preexisting woes — a reality that's certainly on the CEO's radar.

"If I had to bet, I'd say that this might be one of the worst downturns that we've seen in recent history," he told staff, as quoted by Reuters.

The news comes after Meta's chief product officer Chris Cox warned in a memo on Thursday that the company will need to "prioritize more ruthlessly" and "operate leaner, meaner, and better executing teams."

Other companies like Tesla, Amazon, and Microsoft are also bracing for tough times ahead, cutting hiring targets, and laying off employees by the hundreds.

Just Leave

Meta has already had to cut back significantly as of late. Meta has met financial headwinds, especially in its efforts to establish the metaverse, a controversial gamble that hasn't exactly paid off for Zuckerberg so far.

That said, trying to freeze out those who aren't meeting performance targets seems like an iffy solution. We'll see.

READ MORE: Exclusive: Meta slashes hiring plans, girds for 'fierce' headwinds [Reuters]

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