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What did Meta Zuckerberg's internal letter to lay off say?

The news of Meta layoffs finally boots landed. Meta confirmed that it will lay off 13% of its 87,000 employees, which means more than 11,000 people will be laid off. It's the first major layoff in Meta's 18-year history, and it could be the tech industry's biggest this year. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg released an internal letter to the company announcing the layoffs. In this internal letter, Zuckerberg analyzed how it came to this point. How do layoffs work? How will employees be compensated? And how the company will develop in the future.

The following is the full text of Zuckerberg's internal letter:

Today, I'll share some of the toughest decisions we've made in Meta's history. I've decided to downsize the team by 13% and lay off more than 11,000 good people. To make the company leaner and more efficient, we also took some additional steps by cutting discretionary spending and extending the hiring freeze into the first quarter.

I want to take responsibility for these decisions and how we got here. I know this is going to be tough for everyone and I'm so sorry for those affected.

How did we get to this point?

At the start of Covid-19, the world quickly turned to the internet, and the surge in e-commerce brought huge revenue growth. Many predict this will be a permanent acceleration that will continue even after the pandemic is over. I think so too, so I decided to significantly increase our investment. Unfortunately, things didn't go the way I expected. Not only has e-commerce resumed its previous trend, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and loss of advertising signals caused our revenue to be much lower than I expected. I was wrong and I am responsible for it.

In this new environment, we need to improve capital efficiency. We've shifted more resources to a handful of high-priority growth areas like our AI engine, advertising and commerce platforms, and our long-term vision for the Metaverse. We've cut costs across the business, including budget cuts, reduced allowances, and downsizing our real estate footprint. We are restructuring the team to improve efficiency. But these measures alone didn't bring our spending in line with revenue growth, so I made the tough decision to cut jobs.

How will the layoffs work?

There's no good way to make layoffs, but we hope to get all the relevant information out there as soon as possible, and then do what we can to help you through this difficult time.

Everyone will soon receive an email with the news of your layoff. Afterward, each affected employee has the opportunity to speak with others about participating in an information session and answering questions.

Compensation to be received by laid-off employees:

  • Severance pay:- We will pay 16 weeks (four months) of base salary plus two additional weeks per year of service, with no cap

  • Paid Time Off (PTO):- We will reimburse all remaining paid vacation time

  • Restricted Shares (RSU):- Everyone affected will receive an equity award on November 15, 2022

  • Health insurance. We will pay the medical expenses of affected employees and their families for six months

  • Medical insurance:- We will pay six months of medical expenses for affected employees and their families

  • Career counseling:- We will provide three-month career support to external suppliers, including early access to unpublished job leads

  • Immigration support:- I know that if you are a visa holder, you will face a more difficult situation. There is a notice period and visa grace period before the employment contract is terminated, which means everyone has time to make a plan and deal with their immigration status. We have dedicated immigration experts to assist you and your family according to your needs.

We will provide similar support outside the U.S., and we will soon adopt a separate process that considers local employment laws.

Given the amount of access to sensitive information, we have decided to remove access to most Meta systems for those leaving today. But we make sure the email address is valid so that everyone can say goodbye.

While we're laying off staff at every organization in the Family of Apps and Metaverse (Reality Labs), some teams will be affected more than others. Hiring will be impacted disproportionately as we plan to hire fewer people next year. We are also restructuring business teams on a larger scale. It's not that these teams aren't doing enough good work, it's the price we have to pay to keep going. Over the next few days, executives from each team will schedule a time to discuss the impact of the layoffs.

The teammates who are leaving us are talented, passionate, and have made a significant impact on the company. Each of you helped make Meta a success, and I thank you for that. I am sure you will do well elsewhere.

What other changes have we made?

I thought layoffs were a last resort, so we decided to rein in other costs before firing teammates. Overall, this will lead to a meaningful shift in the way we operate. For example, as we shrink our office space, we're making adjustments for people who aren't in the office most of the time to share desks. We will be rolling out more similar cost-cutting reforms in the coming months.

With few exceptions, we are also extending our hiring freeze into the first quarter. Determine if and to what extent we should resume hiring by looking at our business performance, operational efficiency, and other macroeconomic factors. This will give us the ability to control our cost structure in the event of a prolonged economic downturn. It will also put us on a path to a more efficient cost structure than we have recently spoken to investors.

I'm currently doing a comprehensive review of our infrastructure spending. As we build our AI infrastructure, we focus on improving the efficiency of our capabilities. Our infrastructure will continue to be an important strength for Meta, and I believe we can do this for less.

Fundamentally, we're making these changes for two reasons: one is that our revenue forecast is lower than we expected at the beginning of the year, and two is that we want to ensure that both the app family and the Metaverse can operate efficiently.

How do we move forward?

This is a sad time and there is no other way. For those of you who are leaving, I want to thank you again for all you have done to be here. Without your hard work, we would not be where we are today, and I thank you for your contributions.

For those of you who stayed, I know this is a difficult time for you as well. Not only are we saying goodbye to those we have worked closely with, but many of you are also uncertain about the future. I want you to know that we are making these decisions to ensure a great future for us.

I believe we are grossly undervalued today as a company. Billions of people use our services to connect, and our community continues to expand. Our core business is the most profitable ever and has huge potential. We are leading the way in developing the technologies that define the future of social connectivity and the next computing platform. We do historic work. I am confident that if we work effectively, we will emerge from this recession stronger and more resilient than ever.

We will share more details in the coming days, including how we will achieve our priorities as a lean organization. Now, once again, I thank those who are leaving for all you have done to advance our mission.

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