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Will Meta engineers be crushed at banks?

Compounding the already extensive tech layoffs and the 11,000 layoffs made by Meta in November, Mark Zuckerberg today announced another 10,000 cuts at  "announce restructurings and layoffs in our tech groups in late April" as part of a whole new "Year of Efficiency" initiative.

In a message to staff, Zuckerberg said the intention of the efficient year is "flattening our orgs, canceling lower priority projects, and reducing our hiring rates." 5,000 open jobs are being cancelled.

Meta isn't just eschewing its least productive engineers and reconsidering anyone who does nothing but manage fewer than 10 direct reports. It's also pruning high value engineers working on projects it can't afford to keep running. 

The implication is that - once again - highly capable Meta engineers will be on the market. And, once again, banks may be willing to hire them. Although Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have both been cutting technology professionals, both are also increasing their investment in technology this year. 

But would Meta developers survive in investment banks? By all accounts, the company became pretty bloated in recent years. Thomas Siebel, the billionaire head of enterprise AI company C3.ai, is in Business Insider today claiming that because Meta over-hired, people there simply didn't have enough to do. "They really were doing nothing working from home," he insists.

Meta employees might take exception to this, but Zuckerberg has clearly decided there's fat to be cut and reviews on sites like Blind praise Meta's "free amenities" "great culture" "autonomy" and "top tier" perks. Banks on the other hand are known for paying far less generous perks and for liking long hours. Last year, the average Goldman Sachs banker worked over 87 hours a week. Admittedly this is in the front office rather than engineering, where the hours are closer to 48 a week, but even in engineering bank employees are expected to jump on late night calls.

There's also pressure to return to the office in banking - although this may be spreading to FAANG, where Zuckerberg said today that they will be "refining" the hybrid work arrangement.

Meta's unwanted staff are already said to be hesitant about banking jobs. Ex-Meta engineer Alex Chiou says they're seen as poor payers who are bureaucratic and lack compassion. Most people want to stay in tech instead. 

This is a shame because one anonymous finance recruiter tells us "anyone will want to interview them" if they have top grades and a FAANG CV.

The other alternative is fintech, which the recruiter says pays on a par big banks, is less bureaucratic, has shorter hours and better systems. As we noted yesterday, Silicon Valley Bank rival Mercury is offering $400k; one engineer there says he's never worked more than 40 hours in one week.

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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