On Maternity Leave, Indian-Origin Woman Among Meta Employees Laid Off


Anneka Patel, in a LinkedIn post, said her heart sank when she found out that she has been fired.

New Delhi:

Among the 11,000 employees laid off by Facebook-owner Meta, is a communications manager who is on maternity leave. She said she’d woken up at 3 am to feed her three-month-old daughter, “At 5:35 am I got the email that I had been included in the layoffs. My heart sank,” the Indian-origin woman, Anneka Patel, said in  a LinkedIn post.

She said she’d heard that the company could be making significant cuts, thus had been checking her email.

“So, what’s next? That’s a tough one to answer. My maternity leave is due to end in February and while these first few months of motherhood have been some of the most challenging of my life, I wouldn’t have traded them for the world,” Ms Patel added.

Ms Patel’s is one of many human stories behind Meta’s job reductions, which follow cutbacks at other tech giants like Twitter and Microsoft.

Anneka Patel got the job in May 2020 as Meta hired aggressively throughout the Covid pandemic, assessing that the sudden online traffic uptick was a permanent change in people’s behaviour. The staff headcount doubled to nearly 90,000 in two years. 

The growth assessment was off the mark, admitted company boss Mark Zuckerberg in his announcement post yesterday.

Ms Patel said she’d shifted from home base London to the US with the desire to some day work for Meta. She posted, “I’m going to continue to dedicate my time to my daughter over the next few months, and will be open to work in the New Year.”

Another such employee, Himanshu V, said he’d just moved to Canada from India for a new Meta job. In a LinkedIn post, he wrote, “I relocated to Canada to join Meta and two days after joining, my journey came to an end as I am impacted by the massive layoff. My heart goes out to everyone facing a difficult situation right now.”

While Meta cut staff by 13 per cent, another social media giant Twitter, under new owner Elon Musk, cut its workforce by half. 

The Twitter layoffs were particularly chaotic. Many employees finding out when suddenly cut off from office chatrooms or email. Elon Musk said the move was necessary to stem losses. He later asked some fired workers to return — one of many back-and-forth decisions since he took over about two weeks ago. 

Byju’s and Snap have also announced massive layoffs in the last two months.

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