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Former Meta employees have slammed Mark Zuckerberg after the billionaire CEO laid off more than 11,000 employees via email.

Staffers received confirmation about the cuts in a company-wide email sent around 6am EST, in which Zuckerberg admitted he ‘got it wrong’ and ‘takes responsibility’ for the problems which forced him to cull 13 percent of Meta’s workforce.

Zuckerberg follows in the footsteps of new Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who abruptly told half of the social media giant’s workforce last week that they were let go in an email to their personal accounts — and locked them out of their business accounts.

‘It’s like they don’t know what they’re doing,’ one former Meta employee told DailyMail.com on the condition of anonymity.

He told DailyMail.com how he has been working as a staff software engineer at the company for years, eventually becoming a team leader.

In general, he said, working for the company was a positive experience.

‘Teammates and lower level management are great and supportive, but higher leadership is terrible,’ the former staffer said, detailing how they focus on a new priority each year and just recently reorganized the staff before announcing the layoffs. ‘I think they just don’t have a good plan,’ he said. 

Mark Zuckerberg announced on Wednesday that Meta was laying off more than 11,000 employees — amounting to about 13 percent of the workforce

Mark Zuckerberg announced on Wednesday that Meta was laying off more than 11,000 employees — amounting to about 13 percent of the workforce

The engineer also told DailyMail.com how devastated he was when he received the email saying he was laid off on Wednesday morning, saying the decision was made by executives at the company and not the managers who actually oversee their staff.

Meta’s severance policy to the 11,000 people laid off

Meta is offering a severance package to the 11,000 employees it laid off on Wednesday.

That includes:

  • 16 weeks of base pay plus two additional weeks for every year of service, with no cap
  • Payment for all remaining PTO time
  • Vesting through November 15
  • The cost of healthcare for people and their families for six months
  • Three months of career support with an external vendor, including early access to unpublished job leads
  • A dedicated immigration specialists to help workers on visas to the United States

‘My wife and I read in the leaks that at 3am we’d receive a memo from Mark Z,’ he said. 

‘So we just woke at that time and discovered that I didn’t have access to the internal network. That’s how we learned that I got fired. At 5am I received the official letter.

‘It was sad, but not that much,’ he admitted. ‘They are giving us an amazing severance package, like seven months of severance with insurance and everything.

‘My wife was feeling worse that [I was] because we just had a baby two months ago, and I’m the one providing income to the family, but I think we’ll get through this.’

He noted he does not have a grudge against the company, but said: ‘I just wish leadership didn’t have to fire people through email. That’s so inhumane.

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‘Something I loved about Facebook was the personal treatment of every person,’ he added. ‘It seems they are losing that.’

The father’s remarks echo some of those made by other former employees, who lamented the abrupt layoffs online.

‘It just feels like I’m in an episode of Severance,’ lamented Eric Triebe, a former software engineer at the company.

‘Despite knowing layoffs were coming, waking up to your work phone not working and saying your account has been deactivated is beyond a shock,’ he posted on LinkedIn as he made recruiters aware he is now looking for another job.

‘No meeting with HR. No good byes to co-workers. Seemingly no contact was made or discussion from leadership with my manager … in terms of justification.

‘Just a cold, impersonal email and then the plug is pulled before you wake up. ‘

Former employees lamented the way the company announced the mass layoffs on Wednesday

Former employees lamented the way the company announced the mass layoffs on Wednesday

Carlos Griffoni, who worked as a product manager, also tweeted that he, too, woke up Wednesday morning to find out he had been laid off.

‘No warning,’ he said, adding that he was ‘told recently by a lead, the team I worked on was high-priority and wouldn’t be affected.

‘Companywide layoffs via email. Classy,’ he continued, noting to his more than 2,000 followers that at least he now has more time to work on his graphic novel.

Nathan Magner, a technical recruiter for design talent, also decried how the company broke the news.

‘#Layoffs suck,’ he wrote on LinkedIn. ‘Finding out you got laid off via email sucks.

And Brianna Sgro, another ousted recruiter, said she was ‘hurt’ by the company’s decision, but would miss working at Meta.

‘I’m sad, hurt, uncertain, disappointed and now jobless,’ she said, noting that she had long dreamed of working for Facebook.

‘When I joined a year ago I had full faith and excitement to work at a company I dreamed of working at my whole life,’ she said. ‘I used to think about on my commute to work ‘Wow, what if I ever got the chance to work at Facebook or Google!’ It felt like a dream that was unreachable.

‘Although all of these things come to an end today, I am so thankful to experience them.’

Others, meanwhile, told how the layoffs will affect their personal lives, with Madison Strickland, a recruiter for Meta’s machine learning team, revealing she was set to take her maternity leave in just two weeks.

‘Unfortunately, I am part of the 11,000 employees at Meta that were laid off this morning,’ she wrote on LinkedIn. ‘I never thought I’d find myself in this position, especially two weeks before my maternity leave.’

And Jess White posted on LinkedIn that both she and her husband, Anthony, were among those who lost their jobs.

She had been working as a technical sourcer in the AI department since November of last year, while Anthony joined the company one month later.

‘This morning, both Anthony White and I woke to emails that we were both art of Meta’s 13% layoffs,’ Jess wrote. ‘I have loved my time at Meta and really respect and appreciate everyone who I have worked with/for.’

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The post came just eight weeks after she posted that she was ‘excited’ to return from parental leave after six months and praised Meta’s ‘progressive’ parental leave policy. 

Madison Strickland, a recruiter for Meta's machine learning team, revealed she was set to take her maternity leave in just two weeks

Madison Strickland, a recruiter for Meta’s machine learning team, revealed she was set to take her maternity leave in just two weeks

Former employees shared how the layoffs would affect them on LinkedIn Wednesday

Former employees shared how the layoffs would affect them on LinkedIn Wednesday

 In his email to employees on Wednesday, Zuckerberg told employees that the layoffs were necessary after the company lost two-thirds of its value.

He said: ‘Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected.

‘I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.’

He also said the company was overstaffed because he was overly optimistic about the its growth. 

Zuckerberg stressed the company would shift resources to ‘high priority growth areas’ such as its AI discovery engine, ads and business platforms, as well as its metaverse project.

The pandemic boom that boosted tech companies and their valuations has turned into a bust this year in the face of decades-high inflation and rapidly rising interest rates.

As of the market opening on Wednesday the share price has risen five per cent today, with a bigger increase expected. 

Meta said it would pay 16 weeks of base pay plus two additional weeks for every year of service as a part of the severance package and all remaining paid time off.

The company will also cut discretionary spending and extend its hiring freeze through the first quarter. 

Employees will get cost of healthcare for six months and those impacted will receive their Nov. 15 vesting, according to the company.

In his email to employees on Wednesday, Zuckerberg took the blame for the failures at Meta

In his email to employees on Wednesday, Zuckerberg took the blame for the failures at Meta

Meta's share price has tumbled 71.5 percent since the beginning of the year and the company has also lost billions through its 'Metaverse' project, which includes virtual worlds for users

Meta’s share price has tumbled 71.5 percent since the beginning of the year and the company has also lost billions through its ‘Metaverse’ project, which includes virtual worlds for users

Meta recently forecast a weak holiday quarter and significantly more costs next year wiping about $67 billion from stock market value, adding to the more than half a trillion dollars in value already lost this year.

The disappointing outlook comes as Meta is contending with slowing global economic growth, competition from TikTok, privacy changes from Apple, concerns about massive spending on the metaverse and the ever-present threat of regulation.

Meta has placed a big bet on its Metaverse being the next big frontier of the technology industry, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg funneling more than $36 billion into the project that many consider – so far at least – to be failing.

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The CEO has subsequently seen more than $30 billion of those funds evaporate in a matter of months, while his net worth – which is largely tied up to his company’s valuation – was reported to have lost $88 billion.

The layoffs affect 11,000 employees — or about 13 percent of Meta's workforce

The layoffs affect 11,000 employees — or about 13 percent of Meta’s workforce

According to documents obtained by the WSJ, the company planned to hit 500,000 users of its virtual reality platform, Horizon Worlds, by the end of 2022.

The number at the time of writing is less than 200,000, still well below a revised goal of 280,000 by the end of 2022. 

The documents also revealed that the majority of those 200,000 users, don’t come back after entering the system once with many complaining most of the areas are bereft of other users.

Meanwhile, Meta’s Reality Labs business unit, which oversees its VR and AR activities, has already lost $9.4 billion so far in 2022, according to CNBC.

Those losses, Meta has said, will ‘grow significantly year-over-year’.

‘Beyond 2023, we expect to pace Reality Labs investments such that we can achieve our goal of growing overall company operating income in the long run,’ Meta said last month.

Details of Meta’s plans come after Twitter’s new chief, Elon Musk, brutally released half of its staff, about 3,750 employees, last week – becoming the latest tech firm to wield the axe.

Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has around 87,000 employees – so cuts of 13 percent will more than double the headcount lost by Twitter. 

Many Twitter employees learned their positions had been terminated after their access to company systems, like Slack and email, were abruptly cut off.

Twitter's new chief, Elon Musk, released half of its staff, about 3,750 employees, last week

Twitter’s new chief, Elon Musk, released half of its staff, about 3,750 employees, last week

The controversial move from Twitter was followed by a sudden U-turn after management came to understand that dozens of the fired employees might be necessary to build the new features for the short form online platform that Musk wants.

The company still has about 3,700 employees. Those remaining are being pushed by Musk to work quickly to develop and implement new features. 

But Twitter and Meta are just the most recent tech giants to announce job cuts or hiring freezes as the sector braces for a recession.

Over the past few weeks, a slew of tech companies have announced cost-cutting measures, with Amazon, Apple and Google-parent Alphabet all announcing hiring slowdowns or freezes.

For the tech sector, the pandemic boom has turned to a post-pandemic bust, as rising interest rates batter share prices and inflation cuts into profits.

The sector shed 9,587 jobs in October, the highest monthly total since November 2020, according to data from consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas cited by Bloomberg

Total job cuts announced by US-based employers jumped 13 percent to 33,843 in October, the highest since February 2021, a report said. 

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