Mark Zuckerberg Says Decision to Lay Off 11,000 Meta Workers Was Made to Ensure Company's 'Future Is Strong'

Impacted workers at Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, learned Wednesday they would be laid off and have one more day's access to their work emails to say farewell to their colleagues.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has begun laying off more than 11,000 workers after losing billions on the “Metaverse,” a virtual reality world that is not taking off as its creators had hoped.  

Impacted workers are expressing heartbreak on social media. They got the bad news Wednesday by email at 6 a.m. 

“Today I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in his letter to employees. “I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13% and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go. We are also taking a number of additional steps to become a leaner and more efficient company by cutting discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through Q1. 

“I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here,” he continued.  

Those employees were given one more day's access to their work emails to say farewell to their colleagues. 

“This was literally my dream job. I was so proud of myself when I got it and I’m still proud of myself,” one former employee said in a video as she fought back tears.  

The "Metaverse" has been widely mocked, even, reportedly, by people working on the new technology at the company. Zuckerberg demonstrated the Metaverse on CBS last year, creating an avatar for Gayle King. 

In his letter to employees, Zuckerberg said, "This is a sad moment, and there’s no way around that. To those who are leaving, I want to thank you again for everything you’ve put into this place. We would not be where we are today without your hard work, and I’m grateful for your contributions. 

“To those who are staying, I know this is a difficult time for you too. Not only are we saying goodbye to people we’ve worked closely with, but many of you also feel uncertainty about the future,” he continued. “I want you to know that we’re making these decisions to make sure our future is strong.” 

Impacted employees in the U.S. will receive 16 weeks of pay plus two additional weeks for every year of service to the company, Zuckerberg said. Meta will also cover health insurance for laid off workers and their families for six months. 

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