Thomas Siebel, CEO of C3.ai said Google and Meta over-hired and didn’t have enough work to assign to the staff.
“This whole thing just has to clear itself out,” Siebel told Insider, saying that it’s “weird” that Google and Meta hired employees when they “didn’t have jobs for these people.”
“They really were doing nothing working from home,” said Siebel, who runs the enterprise AI company C3.ai and has a net worth of $3.5 billion, according to Forbes.
Both Meta and Google dialed their hiring process up to 11 during the pandemic, but in recent months the companies have laid off thousands of workers.
Siebel’s company has around 1,000 employees, he claimed that they like to take a more cautious approach to hire new employees.
Thomas also said that C3.ai subjects candidates to a highly competitive interview process, filtering hires on whether they would fit the company’s hard-working environment or not.
Out of 4,000 interview candidates, the company hired just 300 employees last year.
“I’m not suggesting that we’re in any way superior in our work ethic, but there are people who like to work together in teams, and have a book in their hand, and like to work on really hard problems,” Siebel said.
“That’s who we are and if that’s the kind of person you are, you’ll like it at C3,” he added. “If you want to work from home, like four days of work in your pajamas, go to work for Facebook.”
The billionaire jokes about his company’s “Voluntary” work from office culture.
“You’re either voluntarily at your desk or you voluntarily went to work someplace else,” Siebel said, doing a word play on “Voluntary” work-from-office.
On Saturday, Britney Levy, a former worker at Meta shared on TikTok that she was “put into a group of individuals that was not working” before she was laid off earlier this year.
“You had to fight to find work,” Levy said. “It was a very strange environment and it kind of seemed like Meta was hiring us so other companies couldn’t have us and then they were just kind of hoarding us like Pokémon cards.”
Amid news of layoffs among top tech companies, Siebel is not the only tech executive to express concern that employees aren’t working enough.
Just earlier this month, Keith Rabois, a member of the PayPal Mafia, said that Google and Meta hired thousands of employees who were doing “fake work”.
This opinion has stuck with Silicon Valley investors and founders about the amount of work employees are doing.
Last year, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said he thought that remote work has spurred “productivity paranoia” among managers.
“Leaders think their employees are not productive, whereas employees think they are being productive and in many cases even feel burnt out,” Nadella said.
The New York Times put out a report in August that companies are increasing surveillance measures on employees amid the increasing hybrid work environments.
The report included multiple methods companies are following to measure employee productivity. Some methods include measuring employees’ mouse clicks and keystrokes. Some companies even have employees click random photographs to show they’re at their computers, working.