Meta layoffs: Indian H-1B visa workers scrabble for jobs amid fresh round of job cuts

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

Livemint, Edited By Karishma Pranav Bhavsar
First Published26 May 2023
FILE PHOTO: Meta Platforms Inc
FILE PHOTO: Meta Platforms Inc(REUTERS)

Meta Platforms Inc, owner of Facebook carried out its last batch of a three-part round of layoffs, part of a plan announced in March to eliminate 10,000 roles. With massive layoffs, large number of Indian IT professionals, who are on non-immigrant work H-1B visas scramble for options to stay back in the country.

One such person H-1B visa worker is former Meta employee who was recently laid off by the tech giant. Kushal Naidu worked as Program Manager, Trust & Safety at Meta in Texas. Naidu, who pursued his Bachelor of Engineering from Sardar Patel College and later pursued Masters of Science from Mays Business School in 2010.

In his LinkedIn post, he added that he has been employed in the country since the last 13 years, however, is on a work visa (H1B) and is therefore looking for a new opportunity soon. Naidu added that he is currently looking for opportunities in Program Management, Data Engineering and Data Analytics.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

In his post, he wrote, “After an incredible 20 month journey as a Trust & Safety, Program Manager at Meta, I have been impacted by the most recent round of layoffs."

“During my tenure at Meta, I had the opportunity to lead programs aimed at ensuring user safety, preventing harm, and maintaining integrity of Facebook/Instagram platforms.”

He added, “I am grateful for the invaluable experience gained and the relationships formed along the way. Although I have been a Program Manager for the last 3 years of my career at Meta and Optum, majority of my past experience is in Data Engineering in the Healthcare Tech industry. I have successfully built and maintained scalable data infrastructure, enabling healthcare systems across US to derive meaningful insights and make data-driven decisions.”

“This is a bittersweet moment for me. I will sincerely miss collaborating with extremely talented colleagues at Meta. At the same time, I’m excited about new beginnings for my career. I have been continuously employed for the last 13 years and I wish I could use this opportunity to recharge. However, I am in the US on a work visa(H1B) and therefore, I need to find a job soon,” he wrote.

Another former Meta employee who was recently affected by layoffs is Sneha Agarwal who worked in the company as Analytics Program Manager since over 3 years. In her post, she mentioned that she is looking for new opportunity into data science and analytics/Analytics Program Manager roles with a company which is willing to sponsor work visa.  

In her post on LinkedIn, she wrote, “Today I join the pool of many thousands of talented people laid-off by Meta. Pushing through the past year of uncertainty and waiting was brutal, but there were so many great moments with great people at Meta that outweighs it. I am grateful for the people that I had the honor and privilege to work alongside the past 3 years."

"I am looking for new data science & analytics/Analytics Program Manager roles with a company that is willing to sponsor work visa (H1b). I am officially open to work. Please feel free to pop up sometime on my calendar, if you'd like to have a chat, or have interesting opportunity in your organization,” she concluded.

Earlier in 2023, Meta became the first major technology company to initiate a second round of mass layoffs. This came after the company had previously let go of over 11,000 employees. Despite the downsizing, Meta's share value has more than doubled this year, thanks to cost-cutting measures and the company's focus on artificial intelligence. Meta's decision to downsize follows a period of declining revenue growth, driven by inflation and a reduction in digital advertising due to the slowdown in e-commerce during the pandemic.

In India, the tech giant has reportedly sacked Avinash Pant, the director of marketing for India, and Saket Jha Saurabh, the director and head of media partnerships, as per Reuters report. Numerous employees in teams such as marketing, site security, enterprise engineering, program management, content strategy, and corporate communications have taken to LinkedIn to share news of their layoffs. Additionally, Meta has reduced staff in units dedicated to privacy and integrity.

(With inputs from agencies)

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