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Millionaire and billionaire CEOs say thousands of laid-off tech staff just did ‘fake work’

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If you’re not building or coding what, exactly, are you doing?

That’s the question posed by certain members of the Silicon Valley elite who are attributing layoffs to a boom-time phenomenon: over-hiring and “fake” work.

A tirade on fake work came last week from Keith Rabois, the PayPal Mafia member, technology investor, the current chief executive of e-commerce firm OpenDoor.

Speaking from Miami at an event hosted by banking firm Evercore, Rabois said big tech firms had hired too many people in pursuit of the “vanity metric” of headcount. They brought on so-so, spoiled workers in order to look bigger than rivals, and to stop those workers from achieving anything useful at a competitor.

“All these people were extraneous,” Rabois said. “This has been true for a long time. The vanity metric of hiring employees was this false god in some ways.”

He charged that thousands of employees at Google and Meta were essentially kept around to do nothing.

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