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Mark Zuckerberg told Meta staff he's "turning up the heat" on performance goals, Reuters reported.
Zuckerberg reportedly said he hoped this would cause some employees to leave.
The company has implemented hiring freezes and cutbacks in preparation for a slowdown.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told staff in a Q&A session on Thursday that he plans on "turning up the heat" on performance goals as the company's growth slows, Reuters reported on Friday, citing an audio recording of the meeting.
"If I had to bet, I'd say that this might be one of the worst downturns that we've seen in recent history," Zuckerberg told staff, according to Reuters.
Meta has already started tightening its purse strings. Facebook, a subsidiary of Meta, told employees in a memo in May that it was pausing hiring because of "slower revenue growth than anticipated."
Zuckerberg reportedly told staff on Thursday that the company would bring in more aggressive targets with the aim of losing employees who cannot meet them.
"Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn't be here," Zuckerberg said, according to Reuters.
"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," he continued.
The Reuters report said Zuckerberg also told Meta staffers the company had reduced its hiring target for engineers for this year to 6,000 or 7,000 from 10,000.
Reuters reported on Thursday that Chris Cox, Meta's chief product officer, said in a memo that the company would have to "prioritize more ruthlessly" and "operate leaner, meaner, better executing teams."
Meta isn't the only large company to brace itself for an economic downturn.
Amazon said in a leaked memo in May that it would cut hiring targets in its retail business.
Microsoft is also slashing hiring targets, according to an internal June email seen by Insider.
And Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in June that Tesla would cut about 3% of its total workforce over the next three months.
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