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Facebook Owner Meta Axes Another 10,000 Jobs



Facebook Owner Meta Axes Another 10,000 Jobs

On Tuesday, Facebook owner Meta announced a new round of layoffs as part of the company’s “year of efficiency,” as the US tech sector continues to contract due to Biden inflation.

In an email to employees, Mark Zuckerberg stated that Meta would cut 10,000 jobs over the next few months, focusing on middle management, with 5,000 other positions remaining unfilled. The layoffs follow an 11,000-job cut announced by the company in November.

“This will be difficult, and there is no way around it. It will imply saying farewell to talented and passionate colleagues who have contributed to our success, “According to Zuckerberg.

Meta’s recruitment department will be the first to suffer as the company officially ends the hiring spree that occurred when big tech ramped up operations to meet high demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

The tech and business departments will be affected, and “in a small number of cases, it may take until the end of the year to complete these changes,” according to Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg warned analysts in January that the company’s “management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency,'” and that he would focus on making the company “a stronger and more nimble organization.”

Meta had a difficult 2022 due to a deteriorating economic climate, which forced advertisers to cut back on marketing, and Apple’s data privacy changes limited ad personalization.

The company is also under fire for betting on the metaverse, a virtual reality world that Meta believes will be the next online frontier.

The company’s share price dropped by an astounding two-thirds in a year due to the problems last year, but the stock recovered in 2023, with investors satisfied by Zuckerberg’s pledge to run a leaner company.

Following the announcement of the latest job cuts, Meta’s stock price increased by 5%.

Meta’s CEO and founder stated that he “will flatten our organization by removing multiple layers of management,” implying that many managers will be ordered to become “individual contributors.”

Zuckerberg said he was pleasantly surprised by the advantages of running a more tightly organized operation where “many things have gone faster” due to eliminating lower priority projects.

“A leaner organization (sic) will complete its highest priorities more quickly. People will be more productive, and their jobs will be more enjoyable and rewarding, “He stated.

facebookFacebook, Meta Axing Middle Managers a Big Mistake

Few jobs in corporate America are more thankless — or more mocked — than middle management. They’ve long been derided as petty, powerless, thumb-twiddling bureaucrats who enforce the rules, crack the whip, and stamp out any vestige of creativity or self-initiative. Middle management, so the thinking goes, is for mediocre people.

However, as businesses prepare for tougher times, the assault on middle managers has gained momentum. Mark Zuckerberg is removing layers of management at Meta, demoting many supervisors to the ranks of the supervised. Shopify is also restructuring its corporate hierarchy, resulting in fewer managers. In addition to their supervisory duties, Elon Musk has directed Twitter’s engineering managers to begin writing “a meaningful amount” of code themselves.

CEOs claim they are laying off employees in the name of efficiency. Mark Zuckerberg explained his decision: “I don’t want managers managing managers, managing managers, managing managers, managing managers, managing the people who are doing the work.” His rhetoric is part of a decades-long effort to reduce the number of middlemen in corporate America’s sprawling bureaucracy. Reduce your overhead. Dismantle silos. Remove the red tape. Create a “more fun place to work,” in Zuckerberg’s words. Isn’t it all wonderful?

Except for one thing: Middle managers are the ones who make large organizations function. According to studies, they have a far greater impact on a company’s overall performance than senior executives and a greater impact on the bottom line than the teams they supervise. Businesses are cutting the people they need to weather the economic uncertainty by eliminating middle managers amid an unprecedented shift to hybrid work. They make it more difficult for the remaining managers to succeed. And they’re sending a strong message to talented would-be bosses: Don’t be one.

“You can have a great vision and a great strategy, but if you don’t have managers who create the culture you want to be, none of that stuff will get done,” says Jim Harter, Gallup’s chief scientist for workplace management. “It’ll be all uphill the whole way. Leaders’ jobs are made much easier by effective managers.”


The Big Flattening

There are two archetypes of management structures: hierarchical and flat. Tall organizational trees cascade down ever-descending layers of management in hierarchical organizations. Flat organizations have shorter organizational trees with fewer intermediaries.

Because they must establish a clear chain of command, large corporations tend to be more hierarchical. However, over the last few decades, large corporations have attempted to become flatter — and some, like Zappos, have attempted to do away with hierarchies entirely. According to a study of 300 large corporations, the number of managers layered between CEOs and division heads decreased by more than 25% between 1986 and 1998. Meanwhile, the average number of people reporting directly to the CEO has nearly doubled. The Great Flattening had begun.

The war on middle managers appears to have yielded some of the desired results: According to one study, companies with fewer organizational layers delivered products to customers faster. However, the trend resulted in a culture that dismissed middle managers as useless, despite extensive research showing that the good ones make significant contributions to their organizations.

Consider a series of Gallup studies on employee engagement—a measure of how involved and enthusiastic employees are about their jobs, linked to higher profitability, lower turnover, and lower absenteeism. Across more than 50,000 teams, Gallup’s researchers honed in on a perplexing finding: Even within the same company, some teams performed significantly better in engagement than others. The findings suggested that team-specific dynamics, rather than organizational-wide ones, were key to how employees felt about their jobs.

So the researchers dug even deeper. They were surprised to discover that direct supervisors accounted for 76% of the variation in team engagement, while executives accounted for only 11%. “Your immediate manager has far more influence on your engagement than senior leadership,” Harter says. “It was astonishing how much variation there was across these manager-led teams and how much managers influenced organizational engagement.”

Top executives may be surprised to learn they are worth less than middle managers. However, if you consider your own experience as an employee, it probably makes sense. The person with the greatest impact on your day-to-day work life is not the CEO, who is unlikely to know your existence. Your immediate boss knows to be gentle with you right now because your marriage is crumbling, who tailors their feedback to you in a way that makes you open to change and reshapes assignments from higher-ups to match your strengths and ambitions.

Middle managers, however, underappreciated, frequently make or break how we see and do our jobs. That’s why, according to a recent survey conducted by UKG, a workforce-software provider, employees said their supervisor had just as much of an impact on their mental health as their spouse — and even more than their therapist.

Consider another study that examined middle managers’ impact on business performance. Wharton management professor Ethan Mollick examined two jobs in the gaming industry: designers and producers. Designers are the innovators who create, invent, and build games. Producers are the suits who ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.

Mollick expected to discover that the innovators’ creative output was more important than the managers’ bureaucratic work. However, the opposite was true: producers accounted for 22% of revenue differences across games, while designers accounted for only 7%. (According to another study, top executives were even less important, accounting for less than 5% of the total.) “High-performing innovators alone are insufficient to generate performance variation,” Mollick concluded. “Rather, individual managers must integrate and coordinate the innovative work of others.”

Managers overseeing managers

It’s a message worth remembering, especially in Silicon Valley, where brilliant coders are worshipped as gods. According to studies, a top programmer can produce as much work as 20 average ones — a statistic that is frequently used to justify paying exorbitant salaries to attract the best engineers. That’s why the tech industry established a separate advancement path for programmers: to provide a way for superstars to earn raises and promotions without becoming managers.

However, by idolizing top performers so much, Silicon Valley devalued the less glamorous role of managers — the people who get the genius coders’ work out into the world. When Elon Musk was asked to name the most “messed up” aspect of Twitter last October, he replied, “There appear to be ten people managing for every one person coding.” Similar disdain can be heard in Zuckerberg’s words. When he mentioned not wanting “managers managing managers,” he left out the most common middle-manager trope: that, unlike employees who are “doing the work,” middle managers aren’t doing anything.

It’s an assumption that an experienced management consultant I spoke with immediately recognized when she accepted a supervisory position at a tech firm. Even though she was in charge of a team, she was told almost immediately that she should spend most of her time working on her projects. Her performance reviews focused on her work rather than her accomplishments as a manager. When she was laid off a few months ago, she wondered if it was because she prioritized developing her team over grinding out her work.

“I believe that spending your time coaching, leading, and developing people is a worthwhile pursuit in and of itself,” she said. “If you want to do those things well, make time for them. People management is a job. But I don’t believe the company’s leadership recognized or valued that. That is not well received in the tech industry.”

People management takes far more time than corporate leaders realize. According to Gallup, the maximum number of direct reports most managers can effectively supervise is ten. Any more than that, according to Harter, it becomes difficult to have meaningful weekly conversations with employees. (At Tesla alone, Musk reportedly has 28 people reporting to him.) Companies like Meta risk burdening their remaining supervisors with teams too large to manage effectively as they shed middle managers. For the time being, the companies may save money on overhead. However, they will struggle with retention and lose revenue in the long run.

Burnout is beginning to show up in the ranks of middle managers. According to the UKG survey, 42% of middle managers are frequently or always stressed, a higher percentage than either frontline workers or C-suite executives. More than half of those polled said they wished they had been warned not to take their current job. That’s because they’re under increasing pressure from their bosses above, who want them to increase productivity while laying off employees, and from their employees below, who are irritated by having to return to work.

Companies would do better by giving middle managers the recognition they deserve and assisting them in becoming more effective in the emerging post-pandemic workplace rather than eliminating them or burdening them with additional work. According to Harter, businesses that unlock the hidden value of middle managers are more likely to weather the current economic turmoil. “It’s something businesses can use, especially in these more difficult times,” he says. “A lot of it will depend on how they upskill managers.”


Tommy Prine, 27, Doesn’t Dodge His Father’s Legacy But Makes His Own Way




NASHVILLE, Tenn. Tommy Prine spoke about his father’s passing in front of a crowded audience in The Basement, one of Nashville’s most intimate music venues.

During a recent sold-out performance, he observed, “It stinks to lose a parent at any age — in my case, when he was the world’s greatest songwriter.”

Singer-songwriter John Prine, Prine’s father, passed away in April 2020 at 73 due to coronavirus complications. Even for a period when grieving had grown commonplace, his death sparked a flood of global mourning.

In the music industry, the heartbreak was especially severe. The bonds John Prine formed with his music were only strengthened by his generosity to budding musicians. Many others tried to digest the unthinkable by expressing their sadness through memorial songs.

It turns out that Prine’s own family was experiencing a similar situation.

Last year, Tommy Prine published “Ships in the Harbour,” a song about his father that is as heartfelt and open-hearted as ever. It resists the urge to curl up in the fetal position rather than flee from what he lost. It gets the closest of any song to properly expressing the immense weight of grief brought on by the pandemic.

Tommy Prine, now 27 years old, is set to release a whole album of songs that deal with growing up, love, and grief. The film “This Far South,” which will be released on June 23, is daring in how it faces his father’s passing head-on and how the son of a legend handles the inevitable concerns that arise from working in the same field.


Tommy Prine keeps going and works hard on a risky project. He created a unique album, and it is captivating.

According to Prine, “honestly, even if my Dad wasn’t who he was, I feel like I would’ve made the same record,” he stated in an interview with The Associated Press. Because of who he is, “I didn’t include these songs, but I also didn’t shy away from them.”

Writing songs enabled Prine to process everything he had lost. His father’s legendary position feels almost incidental to the intimacy of that journey.

“I’m Tommy Prine, and I lost my Dad in the pandemic, and that’s going to be the focal point of what I’m trying to get across,” he said. And while I am aware that it was a fairly public event and that most people will be aware of the background, I believe that they are optional.

I believe people may just listen to it from the viewpoint of a young man who lost his father unexpectedly.

The few allusions, such as the card games and talks they avoid, are vivid without ever becoming cloying. In a lovely song called “By the Way,” he discusses the singular sensation of occasionally hearing his father’s voice.

Prine sings, “I don’t want to talk about the day you slipped away.” The tunes we used to sing still make it difficult to hear your voice.

But Tommy also has other weaknesses and is more or less influenced by those who aren’t his biological father. For instance, the anthemic flourishes and introspective lyrics on the album show co-producer Ruston Kelly’s influence. The song “Reach the Sun” begins with a manic episode in the middle of the night but eventually soars to resemble Kelly’s best work, including the excellent album he recently published.

In an interview conducted after Kelly’s performance with Prine at The Basement, Sufjan Stevens was named another artist who influenced both. Prine heard a sound that matched the wistful desperation he wanted to express while listening to Stevens’ “Carrie & Lowell” album, which Kelly had directed him towards.


Tommy spoke about his father’s passing in front of a crowded audience in The Basement, one of Nashville’s most intimate music venues.

It was “probably the last thing I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” according to Prine, but it ended up being a “saving grace” for him as he dealt with the hardship of losing his father.

Listeners would do well to consider how they would react if they weren’t aware that this album was produced by the legendary John Prine’s son, given the darkness that hangs over anyone named Prine who dares to try his hand at making original music. Social media and other modern methods of music distribution make it plausible, if not probable, that Prine’s music will reach a brand-new audience. His father may not be well-known to some listeners his age or younger, but these songs will draw comparisons on their own.

But everyone who pays attention will hear the promise of a creative person who bravely followed his heart. Fans of John Prine may recognize elements of the album’s disarming honesty, but they will also hear a new voice presenting intense music that crackles.

Tommy claims that although having considered it, he rarely worries about the legacy issue. But that’s simply another thing he has arranged in its appropriate position.

“I’m just making the music I want to make, and music that is a representation of who I am as a person,” he stated. I have my tale to share because I had quite different childhood experiences than my father.



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Regulators Take Aim At AI To Protect Consumers And Workers




NEW YORK — The nation’s finance authority has pledged to ensure that businesses comply with the Regulators law when utilizing artificial intelligence in light of rising concerns over increasingly capable AI systems like ChatGPT.

Automated systems and algorithms already heavily influence credit scores, loan conditions, bank account fees, and other monetary factors. Human resources, real estate, and working conditions are all impacted by AI.

According to Electronic Privacy Information Centre Senior Counsel Ben Winters Regulators, the federal agencies’ joint statement on enforcement released last month was a good starting step.

However, “there’s this narrative that AI is entirely unregulated, which is not really true,” he argued. “What they’re arguing is, ‘Just because you utilise AI to make a judgement, it doesn’t mean you’re exempt from responsibility for the repercussions of that decision. This is how we feel about it. “We are watching.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued fines to financial institutions in the past year for using new technology and flawed algorithms, leading to improper foreclosures, repossessions, and lost payments of homes, cars, and government benefits payments.


These enforcement proceedings are used as instances of how there will be no “AI exemptions” to consumer protection, according to regulators.

Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Rohit Chopra stated that the organization is “continuing to identify potentially illegal activity” and has “already started some work to continue to muscle up internally when it comes to bringing on board data scientists, technologists, and others to make sure we can confront these challenges.”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) joins the Federal Trade Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Justice, and others in claiming they are allocating resources and personnel to target emerging technologies and expose their potentially detrimental effects on consumers.

Chopra emphasized the importance of organizations understanding the decision-making process of their AI systems before implementing them. “In other cases, we are looking at how the use of all this data complies with our fair lending laws and Regulators.”

Financial institutions are required to report reasons for negative credit decisions by law, per the Fair Credit Regulators Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, for instance. Decisions about housing and work are also subject to these rules. Regulators have warned against using AI systems whose decision-making processes are too complex to explain.

Chopra speculated, “I think there was a sense that, ‘Oh, let’s just give it to the robots and there will be no more discrimination,'” I think what we’ve learned is that that’s not the case. The data itself may contain inherent biases.


Regulators have warned against using AI systems whose decision-making processes are too complex to explain.

Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Charlotte Burrows has pledged enforcement action against artificial intelligence (AI) Regulators recruiting technology that discriminates against people with disabilities and so-called “bossware” that illegally monitors employees.

Burrows also discussed the potential for algorithms to dictate illegal working conditions and hours to people.

She then added, “You need a break if you have a disability or perhaps you’re pregnant.” The algorithm only sometimes accounts for that kind of modification. Those are the sorts of things we’re taking a careful look at… The underlying message here is that laws still apply, and we have resources to enforce them; I don’t want anyone to misunderstand that just because technology is changing.

At a conference earlier this month, OpenAI’s top lawyer advocated for an industry-led approach to regulation.

OpenAI’s general counsel, Jason Kwon, recently spoke at a technology summit in Washington, DC, held by software industry group BSA. Industry standards and a consensus on them would be a good place to start. More debate is warranted about whether these should be mandated and how often they should be revised.


At a conference earlier this month, OpenAI’s top lawyer advocated for an industry-led approach to regulation.

The CEO of OpenAI, the company responsible for creating ChatGPT, Sam Altman, recently stated that government action “will be critical to mitigate the risks of increasingly powerful” AI systems and advocated for establishing a U.S. or global body to license and regulate the technology.

Altman and other tech CEOs were invited to the White House this month to confront tough questions about the consequences of these tools, even though there is no indication that Congress would draught sweeping new AI legislation like European politicians are doing.

As they have in the past with new consumer financial products and technologies, the agencies could do more to study and publish information on the relevant AI markets, how the industry is working, who the biggest players are, and how the information collected is being used, according to Winters of the Electronic Privacy Information Centre.

He said that “Buy Now, Pay Later” businesses had been dealt with effectively by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “The AI ecosystem has a great deal of undiscovered territory. Putting that knowledge out there would help.


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As Elizabeth Holmes Heads To Prison For Fraud, Many Puzzle Over Her Motives




SAN JOSE, Calif. The criminal prosecution that exposed the blood-testing scam at the heart of Elizabeth Holmes’ Theranos firm is entering its final phase as Holmes prepares to report to prison next week.

The 11-year sentence is just dessert for the starry-eyed lady who rose to the top of Silicon Valley’s business world despite the “tech bro” culture’s bias towards women, only to be revealed as a phony. Along the process, Holmes became symbolic of the obnoxious boasting that permeates the startup community.

The federal judge who oversaw her trial seems perplexed by the numerous unanswered issues regarding her motivations. And Holmes’ supporters keep asking if the sentence is proportional to the crime.

She was convicted of fraud and conspiracy at the young age of 39, and it seems likely that she will be known as Silicon Valley’s Icarus.

Some of her supporters believe federal prosecutors unfairly singled her out in their pursuit of bringing down a prominent practitioner of fake-it-til-you-make-it, the tech industry’s brand of self-promotion that sometimes veers into exaggeration and blatant lies to raise money.

On May 30, Holmes will begin serving the sentence that will force her to spend time away from her two children, a son whose birth in July 2021 delayed the start of her trial and a 3-month-old girl conceived after her conviction.

Bryan, Texas, is around 100 miles (160 km) northwest of her hometown of Houston and is where she is slated to serve her time. The judge who condemned Holmes suggested the prison, but the location where she would be housed has yet to be made public.

Many people think she is dishonest and should go to jail for selling a device that, she said, could detect hundreds of diseases and other health problems with just a few drops of blood collected from a finger prick.


The criminal prosecution that exposed the blood-testing scam at the heart of Elizabeth Holmes’ Theranos firm is entering its final phase.

The technique was less effective than advertised. Instead, the results of Theranos’s tests were extremely unreliable, potentially jeopardizing patients’ lives, which is why she should be charged.

Holmes had secured over $1 billion from several sophisticated investors, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and media magnate Rupert Murdoch before those lies were exposed in a series of blockbuster articles in The Wall Street Journal beginning in October 2015. She was convicted of fraud and had to pay $452 million in compensation because of the victims she defrauded.

At one time, Holmes’ Theranos investment made her a paper billionaire worth $4.5 billion. She never sold any of her shares in the company, but the trial evidence showed that she enjoyed the perks that came with her newfound celebrity and money. She and her children’s father, William “Billy” Evans, even resided in a mansion in Silicon Valley while the trial was going on.

Trial evidence recording Holmes’ efforts to prevent the Journal’s research from being published lent credence to the allegation that she was running an extensive fraud. John Carreyrou, the reporter who broke the blockbuster story, attended the trial because of the pressure from the campaign. He sat directly in front of Holmes as she testified.

Holmes approved surveillance aimed at intimidating employees who uncovered the vulnerabilities in Theranos’ blood testing system. Tyler Shultz, the grandson of former Secretary of State George Shultz, was one of the whistleblowers Holmes met and persuaded to join the Theranos board.

Alex Shultz revealed at his daughter’s sentencing that Tyler Shultz slept with a knife beneath his pillow because he was terrified of Holmes’ attempts to silence him.

Holmes’ defenders insist she never intended any harm and was made a scapegoat by the FBI and DOJ. They claim she is just as guilty of using hyperbolic advertising as Elon Musk, another prominent tech entrepreneur who has constantly exaggerated the capabilities of Tesla’s self-driving cars.

Some have argued that Holmes was treated unfairly because she was a woman and because her trial transformed her into a modern-day Hester Prynne, the protagonist of the 1850 classic “The Scarlet Letter.”

Throughout seven days of often compelling testimony in her defense, Holmes doggedly maintained her innocence, causing thousands to queue shortly after midnight to acquire one of the few dozen seats in the San Jose courtroom.


The criminal prosecution that exposed the blood-testing scam at the heart of Elizabeth Holmes’ Theranos firm is entering its final phase.

While attending Stanford University, Holmes was the victim of sexual assault, an experience she had never fully recovered. She said that her former lover and Theranos conspirator, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, had subjected her to a cycle of emotional and sexual abuse and that his oppressive control had clouded her judgment.

Jeffrey Coopersmith, Balwani’s attorney, refuted the claims during the trial. Coopersmith attempted, but failed, to portray his client, Balwani, as Holmes’ pawn in the later trial.

Balwani, 57, was found guilty of fraud and conspiracy and is currently serving nearly 13 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila seemed as perplexed as the rest of us when it came time to sentence the pregnant Holmes in November.

“This is a fraud case where an exciting venture went forward with great expectations and hope, only to have them dashed by untruth, misrepresentations, hubris, and plain lies,” Davila bemoaned as Holmes stood before him. “I suppose we step back and look at this, and we think, what is the pathology of fraud?”

The judge also recalled when Silicon Valley was primarily orchards planted by immigrants. That was before Palo Alto, where Theranos is headquartered, gave way to the tech boom in the late 1930s, when William Hewlett and David Packard launched the corporation that would bear their names in a one-car garage.

You’ll remember the incredible innovation of those two men in that modest garage,” Davila told the attentive courtroom. “No flashy cars or opulent lifestyle, just a commitment to doing good, honest work for the benefit of others. And that, I can only hope, will be Silicon Valley’s lasting legacy and standard operating procedure.


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