Meta sent layoff email to Facebook boss on maternity leave

  • A Facebook executive of more than two years said she was laid off while on maternity leave.
  • Anneka Patel, the ex-boss, was named one of the best PR professionals by Insider in 2020.
  • Meta laid off 11,000 employees, or 13% of the workforce.

A Meta employee has said she was laid off while on maternity leave.

Anneka Patel, head of communications at Facebook, wrote in a LinkedIn post on November 14 that she was one of the thousands of employees affected by Meta’s mass layoffs.

Patel said she received Meta’s layoff email at 5:35 a.m. after several of her co-workers texted her that they were being laid off.

“This morning I found out I was one of the 11,000 employees affected by the Meta #layoffs,” said Patel, who worked at Meta for two and a half years. “This hit me hard as I am currently on maternity leave.”

According to her LinkedIn profile, Patel managed communications for Meta’s community product groups, which included Facebook groups.

Patel’s post received over 11,500 reactions and 560 comments in a week. Patel was included in Insider’s May 2020 roundup of top PR industry professionals.

Patel, a former communications director at Eventbrite, said she would be on maternity leave until February next year.

“For those who know me, working at Facebook (now Meta) has been a dream of mine ever since I moved from London to the Bay Area nine years ago,” Patel said, adding that she plans to spend time with her three-month-old old baby before looking for a new job.

On November 9, Meta announced that it would cut more than 11,000 employees, or about 13% of its workforce.

“I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for it,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post. Zuckerberg added that he views layoffs “as a last resort” but expects “cost-cutting changes” to continue in the coming months.

Patel was one of the hundreds of former employees who took to LinkedIn to write about their experiences of being laid off by Meta.

Insider previously reported that several Meta software engineers said they were laid off just two or three days after moving from India to the company’s office in Canada.

Other Meta employees wrote “badge posts” — departure notices with a picture of their ID cards — after receiving the dreaded layoff email from the company, according to a recent Insider report.

Meta and Patel did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment. When Insider contacted Patel via her Meta email, we received an automated response saying “the mailbox is no longer active” and “contacting another person at the company.”

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