scorecardThis is what one of Facebook's first employees says he learned working for Mark Zuckerberg before getting fired 9 months in
  1. Home
  2. tech
  3. news
  4. This is what one of Facebook's first employees says he learned working for Mark Zuckerberg before getting fired 9 months in

This is what one of Facebook's first employees says he learned working for Mark Zuckerberg before getting fired 9 months in

Kwan Wei Kevin Tan   

This is what one of Facebook's first employees says he learned working for Mark Zuckerberg before getting fired 9 months in
Tech2 min read
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.    Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images
  • Noah Kagan joined Facebook as a product manager in 2005. He says he was fired nine months later.
  • But Kagan says the brief stint taught him a lot about Mark Zuckerberg's management style.

Noah Kagan, an early Facebook employee, may have worked for Mark Zuckerberg for only nine months, but he says the brief stint taught him a lot about Zuckerberg's management style.

"I was employee #30 at Facebook. Then I got fired," Kagan wrote in an X post on Tuesday before launching into what he said were the "10 non-obvious lessons" he picked up from Zuckerberg.

Kagan joined Facebook as a product manager in 2005, the same year Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard University to run the company full time. Since then, Zuckerberg has established himself as one of the most successful tech executives in the world.

But if Kagan's account is anything to go by, Zuckerberg already had a pretty solid idea of what his management style needed to be.

The Facebook cofounder, Kagan said, was highly fixated on recruiting "A players" to work for him at Facebook even from the early days.

"Mark would only hire people he would be happy to work for," Kagan wrote. "Even our customer support team was filled with Harvard Ph.D.s."

In fact, Zuckerberg's fixation on maintaining a strong talent pool meant he was just as quick to jettison those who fell below his expectations.

"Hire faster, fire faster," Kagan said of Zuckerberg's approach toward talent management.

"My boss was fired the day I started. My next boss was fired a month later. I got fired in 9 months," Kagan continued. "Mark was intense about keeping A players only."

A Facebook stint from November 2005 to June 2006 is listed on Kagan's LinkedIn profile, and he's also written about his firing on his blog and in an e-book.

In his e-book, Kagan said he was let go after making several mistakes — including leaking Facebook's expansion plans to a TechCrunch journalist and handing in subpar work.

Representatives for Kagan and Zuckerberg didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular business hours.

Kagan's experience shows how remarkably consistent Zuckerberg has been when it comes to running the social-media giant.

For starters, Zuckerberg is still pulling out all the stops when it comes to bringing in top talent for Meta.

Back in March, The Information reported that Zuckerberg was recruiting artificial-intelligence researchers to Meta with personally written emails.

And it's not just about recruitment. Zuckerberg is still just as ready to slash Meta's head count to try to make it a leaner, more nimble organization.

In November 2022, Meta laid off more than 11,000 staff, with Zuckerberg saying just months later that 2023 would be a "year of efficiency" for the company.

Zuckerberg told employees in January 2023: "I don't think you want a management structure that's just managers managing managers, managing managers, managing managers, managing the people who are doing the work."




Advertisement