A video of a young Meta employee enjoying company perks and not appearing to do much work has gone viral and drawn online mockery just as company founder Mark Zuckerberg faces pressure from investors to cut headcount.
In the “day in the life” video, Riley Rojas described herself as a product manager at Meta, which changed its name from Facebook last year. The video, which has since garnered more than 1.5 million views on Twitter after its original posting on TikTok, is long on Meta’s benefits and short on staff meetings, reports, work calendars, laptops, or anything else related to shepherding a consumer product through its various stages of development.
According to her video, Rojas works out before fixing herself a large plate of freshly cooked breakfast food at the Meta office and making herself a coffee with a high-end machine. She says she “did some work on the roof,” a modern lounge with sofas and a fireplace, before grabbing lunch and returning home on a shuttle, after which she spent the evening with friends and her boyfriend.
— TTI (@TikTokInvestors) October 24, 2022
Social media users also noticed Rojas’ journal, which she filled out before her morning exercise routine. Rojas had written “affirmations” such as “I am beautiful, I am smart, I am amazing, I am capable, I love my life.” Under her “to do” list, she had written “work, workout, vibe.”
Rojas’ profile on LinkedIn is impressive: She attended the London School of Economics and the University of California Los Angeles. She has been working at Meta for nearly two years and is presently a product manager for advertising monetization.
The video happened to gain traction online as Altimeter Capital Management pressed Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to reform the company’s hiring practices and focus on core competencies amid the challenging macroeconomic environment. A letter written by Altimeter CEO Brad Gerstner said that the social media company has drifted into a “land of excess” and “lack of focus and fitness.”
Among other actions, Gerstner suggested a three-step plan centered upon investing no more than $5 billion into technologies related to the metaverse, an immersive virtual reality that the company forecasts will serve as the next phase of digital communication and reducing at least one-fifth of headcount expenses. The letter noted that Meta has more than tripled its workforce from 25,000 people to 85,000 people over the past four years.
“It is a poorly kept secret in Silicon Valley that companies ranging from Google to Meta to Twitter to Uber could achieve similar levels of revenue with far fewer people,” Gerstner contended. “I would take it a step further and argue that these incredible companies would run even better and more efficiently without the layers and lethargy that comes with this extreme rate of employee expansion.”
Share prices for Meta have plummeted 59.9% since the beginning of the year, significantly trailing the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the technology-heavy NASDAQ, which have fallen 13.4% and 29.7%, respectively.
Technology companies were among the first to lay off large numbers of employees when the stock market began its most recent decline. Elon Musk, slated to purchase Twitter, reportedly plans to cut headcount at the social media company from 7,500 to 2,000.
Reducing a large share of employee-related expenditures would bring Meta to human capital investment levels seen toward the middle of last year. “I don’t think anybody would argue that Meta wasn’t sufficiently staffed in 2021 to tackle a business that looks similar to how it looks today,” Gerstner continued.