Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company was laying off 13% of its workforce, which amounts to more than 11,000 people from its 87,000-strong global workforce.
In a note to employees published today (Nov. 9) on Meta’s website, Zuckerberg apologized to the employees who will be losing their jobs.
“I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here,” he wrote. “I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry to those impacted.”
The layoffs will impact employees in “every organization” under Meta’s wings such as Instagram, Whatsapp, and Facebook as well as its virtual reality and augmented reality arm Reality Labs.
The reason for the cutback was the same as most tech companies—including, just this week, Salesforce—have been giving for cutting jobs: they grew too fast during the pandemic, and now a cocktail of macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and declining ads is wreaking havoc.
Twitter’s internal note warning tweeps of the layoffs was not signed by anyone in particular. And newly minted CEO Elon Musk and the powers that be at Twitter didn’t really put out a blog post explaining the details of the layoffs.
From what Musk revealed publicly, Twitter offered three months of severance pay to those who were laid off. Details on healthcare provisions are scant.
It looks like Meta did its employees one better on several accounts:
- Laid off employees are entitled to 16 weeks of base pay plus two additional weeks for every year of service, with no cap. So, say, you’ve been at Facebook for 7 years, you’ll be entitled to 30 weeks of pay.
- Meta will pay for remaining paid time off. PTO.
- Those with restricted stock unit (RSU) vesting will receive their share on Nov. 15, 2022.
- Meta will cover the cost of healthcare for people and their families for six months.
- The company is offering three months of career support with an external vendor, including early access to unpublished job leads
Twitter locked people out of their Slack accounts and emails even before they were fired. Employees, ironically, took to Twitter to say their goodbyes as the world watched on. They used the hashtags #LoveWhereYouWorked, a play on the internal hashtag #LoveWhereYouWork, and #OneTeam💙
Zuckerberg emphasized that Meta isn’t making a debacle like that:
“Everyone will get an email soon letting you know what this layoff means for you. After that, every affected employee will have the opportunity to speak with someone to get their questions answered and join information sessions.”
The Meta chief also noted that the company would provide “immigration support” to those on visas. Twitter, which had less than 700 people on the H-1B didn’t seem to pay much heed to their plight. However, with 34,600 of them on Meta’s payroll, it’s not something Zuckerberg could ignore.
Zuckerberg says layoffs are a “last resort.” Several other measures are also in the works including scaling back budgets, reducing perks, shrinking its real estate footprint, and making the AI infrastructure more efficient.
The Menlo Park company will slow down hiring and restructure teams going forward, too—starting with a hiring freeze in the first quarter of next year.