Berkeley universities

Business Briefs – Lake County Record-Bee

Facebook parent company Meta announces plans to slow down hiring

Meta said Thursday it was cutting back on hiring. The move is one of many changes Facebook’s parent company is making after a period of slower-than-usual growth.

“We regularly reassess our talent pool based on our business needs and in light of the spending guidance given for this earnings period, we are slowing its growth accordingly,” said a statement provided by Meta’s spokeswoman, Andrea Beasley. The company still plans to “grow our workforce to ensure we are focused on long-term impact,” the statement said.

The company currently has no plans for layoffs, but the slowdown in hiring marks a reversal from aggressive workforce growth in the first three months of 2022. As of March 31, the workforce of the company was 77,805, up 28% year-over-year with 5,800 net new employee additions in the first quarter. Meta plans to slow or stop hiring for most mid-to-senior level positions, and recently suspended hiring of early-career engineers as well. Business Insider first reported Meta’s plan to slow hiring.

Meta shares fell nearly 7% on Thursday.

The announcement comes a week after Meta posted its weakest revenue growth in years in the first three months of 2022, and profits down 21% from the same period a year earlier. It expects current-quarter revenue to be between $28 billion and $30 billion, which would be nearly flat from the $29 billion it reported in the year-ago quarter.

Meta is trying to shift its strategy to focus on its plans for an augmented and VR-enabled future. The company also faces fierce competition from rivals such as TikTok, business losses in Russia, difficulties monetizing crucial video content and challenges to its advertising business due to privacy changes. from Apple. Meta announced last week that its average price per ad fell 8% year-over-year in the first quarter.

Although the company last week lowered its full-year spending estimate by about $3 billion, Zuckerberg warned investors that Meta plans to slow the pace of some investments due to its tough growth outlook. current.

“After the onset of Covid, the acceleration of e-commerce led to outsized revenue growth, but now we see that trend receding,” Zuckerberg said on a conference call with analysts. “Based on the strong revenue growth we have seen in 2021, we have launched a number of multi-year projects to accelerate some of our longer-term investments…but with our current growth levels, we now expect to slow down. the pace of some of our investments.

On the call, Zuckerberg explained how the company would focus on several key investment areas, such as short-form video and the immersive future form of the internet that the company calls the “metaverse.”

“We’re shifting most of the energy inside the company to those high priority areas,” he said. “We have a lot of great people here and a lot of the decisions we have to make on a day-to-day basis are how to lead the really talented people who are already in the business…rather than always relying just on attracting more and more new people. people from outside.

Zuckerberg also said Meta hopes in the coming years to generate enough operating revenue growth from its app family to fund its investments in Reality Labs while increasing the company’s overall profitability, but cautioned against short-term challenges.

“Of course, our priority remains long-term construction, so while we are currently developing our plans to achieve this, it is possible that prolonged macroeconomic or commercial uncertainty will force us to compromise against longer-term financial targets. short term,” says Zuckerberg. “But we remain confident in our long-term opportunities.”

—Duffy, Bay Area News Group


Boccabella resigns as president of the Lakeport Main Street Association

Robert Boccabella, Business Design Services, announces his resignation as President and Board Member of Lakeport Main Street Association, effective May 3, 2022, due to complex circumstances.

Robert wishes LMSA continued growth and value for Lakeport and Lake County with his many projects and events.



John Doerr gives Stanford $1.1 billion for new climate school; the greatest gift in the history of Stanford

In the largest donation ever to Stanford University, Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr and his wife, Ann, have agreed to donate $1.1 billion to create a new school on the campus devoted to the study of climate change and its solutions.

The donation, announced Wednesday, ranks as the second-largest donation to a university in American history, behind $1.8 billion that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave to his alma mater, the Johns Hopkins University, in 2018.

The school is expected to propel Stanford, which already has considerable energy and environmental research facilities, to the forefront of climate research among universities worldwide. It will be called the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.

“Stanford is making a bold, achievable and enduring commitment to tackle humanity’s greatest challenge, and we are deeply convinced of its ambition and capability,” John and Ann Doerr said in a statement.

Doerr, 70, from Woodside, was listed as the 146th richest person in the world in the 2022 Forbes list of the richest people, with a net worth of $12.7 billion. A native of St. Louis, he earned degrees in electrical engineering from Rice University and then an MBA from Harvard in the 1970s. He came to the Bay Area jobless, then was hired by Intel in 1974, working as a selling and obtaining several patents for memory devices.

He left in 1980 to join Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital firm on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park. Since then, he’s become chairman, helping lead early investments in companies including Google, Amazon, Sun Microsystems, Compaq, Netscape, DoorDash, and Slack.

Ann Doerr is president of Khan Academy, a Mountain View-based nonprofit educational organization that offers free online video lessons in math and other subjects. She is also a former board member and current advisory board member of the Environmental Defense Fund and a former trustee of Rice University.

In addition to Doerr’s donation, Stanford also received $590 million for the new climate school from other donors, many of whom are tech titans. Among them is billionaire Jerry Yang, the former CEO of Yahoo! and his wife, Akiko Yamazaki; David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo! and his wife, Angela Filo; the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; and Susan Orr, daughter of Hewlett Packard co-founder David Packard and her husband, Lynn Orr, professor emeritus of engineering at Stanford.

The new school’s academic departments will launch next year with about 90 existing Stanford faculty members. The university will add 60 faculty over the next 10 years, hiring experts in energy, climate science, sustainability and environmental justice.

Due to the burning of fossil fuels, which trap heat in the atmosphere, the Earth’s climate is steadily warming. The 10 hottest years since 1880, when modern temperature records began, have all occurred since 2005, according to NASA and NOAA, the agency that operates the National Weather Service.

Warmer temperatures have led to more wildfires, more severe droughts, rising sea levels and other growing problems. California has led efforts to reduce fossil fuel consumption, passing laws that mandate renewable energy such as solar and wind power and offering tax breaks and other incentives for electric vehicles. State emissions peaked in 2004 and have fallen 14% since then.

But other state and federal leaders have made little or no effort to cut coal, oil and other fossil fuels — mostly Republicans like former President Trump, who has denied science and said climate change was a Chinese hoax to hurt the US economy.

In the latest Gallup poll on environmental issues in March, public concern about the quality of the environment was near its highest level in two decades, with 44% of Americans worrying about it “a lot”. The rest said they worried “quite a bit” (27%) or “only a little” or “not at all” (28%). Democrats and independents said they were more worried than Republicans.

Asked which environmental issues matter most to them, Americans ranked water pollution, air pollution and the extinction of plant and animal species higher than climate change.

As a result, some skeptics said huge donations to universities weren’t enough.

“I don’t see how giving a billion dollars to a wealthy university is going to make a difference in the short term,” David Callahan, author of “The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age,” said. said The New York Times on Monday when asked about Doerr’s gift. “It’s good that he’s parting with his money, but that billion dollars could be better spent trying to get this up on the table. scale of public opinion. Until the public sees this as a major issue, politicians will not act.

The dean of the new school will be Arun Majumdar, who currently works at Stanford as a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science. Majumdar is a former vice president for energy at Google, has a doctorate in engineering from UC Berkeley, and served as undersecretary for energy in the Obama administration.

“The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability will not only harness the intellectual power of our students, faculty and staff on our campus,” Majumdar said, “but will also partner with external organizations around the world to co-develop innovative solutions and identify new ideas. through research and teaching. As it is often said, we do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. We must create a future in which humans and nature thrive together.

—Rogers, Bay Area News Group