After years of struggling to get people to leave Facebook, tech recruiters say there's an exodus building at the company

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After years of struggling to get people to leave Facebook, tech recruiters say there's an exodus building at the company
Two big exposés by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times show Facebook is willing to pull any levers to ensure its survival Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Welcome back to Insider Weekly! I'm Matt Turner, the editor-in-chief of business at Insider.

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The company formerly known as Facebook has had a tough few years. Yet through most of that time, recruiters hoping to poach employees faced rejection.

"For years, the emails, calls, and messages you'd send to someone at Facebook were just ignored," one recruiter told Insider's Kali Hays. That might be changing.

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Kali's story, and another this week from Insider's Rob Price describing burnout and frustration at the tech giant, hint at a shift in how staffers at what's now known as Meta look at the company. Yes, they're still well paid, and yes, lots of people still want to work there. The company is still hiring, planning to bring on 10,000 people to build its metaverse.

But there's a feeling among some employees that there's more interesting work to be done elsewhere. That poses a risk for any company that depends on having the best talent.

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"You make a little more money at Facebook, sure, but the people we're interacting with, engineering leaders, they want to build interesting companies," another recruiter told Kali. "They say, 'I was doing interesting things at Facebook, but now it's all about serving the ad business. Yawn.'"

Read on for more from Kali.


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Inside the growing employee exodus at Facebook

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Senior tech reporter Kali Hays takes us behind the scenes of the growing employee discontent at Facebook - and what tech recruiters are saying about it:

How has Facebook, aka Meta, shifted in the eyes of tech recruiters?

Some felt more strongly than others, but overall they just no longer see it as a place for people who want to do industry-defining work. It's a lot of meetings and tweaking algorithms. It's more a place where people go to get paid and can "disappear," as one recruiter put it. It used to be the place everyone in tech wanted to work - getting in was hard, but if you did you got paid and some bragging rights, too. "I work at Facebook" isn't the brag it used to be.

What was one of the most surprising things you uncovered during your reporting?

I went into this story expecting to hear mostly what I assumed was the case: Employees are tired of working for such a crisis-prone company with years of bad PR. That is part of it, as is the frustration they feel with executive level decisions, but only for some people. Plenty of others actually do not care about any of that, particularly on the engineering side. They're just bored with the work and with social media in general.

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What should readers take away from your report?

Facebook just changed its corporate name to Meta, and I think a story like this shows, even if only a little, that the name doesn't matter too much if the problems inside a company are exactly the same.

Are you a Facebook employee with insight to share? Contact Kali Hays at khays@insider.com or through secure messaging app Signal at 949-280-0267. Reach out using a non-work device. Twitter DM at HaysKali.

Read the full report on the state of recruiting at Facebook, aka Meta, here:

Also read correspondent Rob Price's deep dive into frustrations at Facebook here:

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Teladoc's healthcare gamble

Teladoc acquired the chronic-care company Livongo with the goal of building a comprehensive app that covers all aspects of healthcare. The two healthcare giants intended to overhaul digital treatment and build new types of advanced care.

But as Blake Dodge and Mohana Ravindranath report, the $13.9 billion deal - a record in digital health - is now facing mounting pressures. A culture clash between the two dominated last year, and more than 110 Livongo employees have left since the deal closed.

Get the inside scoop into the healthcare megamerger.


Leaked audio at Peloton

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In leaked audio of a recent all-hands meeting, Peloton execs addressed the fitness brand's stock dip and pandemic business boom. CEO John Foley said the sales surge made it "undisciplined" and it needs to go "back to the basics."

The mood at the company has "been pretty gloomy," an employee told Insider. But execs noted in the meeting that the situation is just as frustrating for them, too.

Here's what else Peloton insiders shared.


Staffers blame Project Ketchup for Zillow strategy shift

When Zillow shut down its home-flipping business, the company pointed to labor and supply shortages and problems predicting housing prices. But current and former employees instead blame an internal initiative called Project Ketchup.

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The company's desire to "catch up" (hence "ketchup") to its chief rival Opendoor led to overpaying for homes, among other problems, according to employees. They say the plan had less to do with its computer-driven, algorithmic approach to homebuying and more to do with managerial failures.

This is why Project Ketchup didn't work.


More of this week's top reads:


Compiled with help from Phil Rosen.

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