Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a charitable organisation established by Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder, Meta, and his wife Priscilla Chan, has reportedly reduced headcount. Approximately 48 employees were let go this week. The impacted employees will be given 16 weeks of basic pay, along with health insurance cover and a stipend of $10,000 as severance.
According to the Washington Post, even though the headcount for 2023 is not available, CZI had a workforce strength of 450 in 2020.
Established in 2015, Zuckerberg and Chan had committed to contribute 99 per cent of their Facebook shares, which was valued at $45 billion at the time, to the charitable organisation. The primary spheres of activity for the CZI encompass science, education and justice and opportunity. The organisation aimed to construct a future characterised by inclusivity, justice and well-being for all.
The layoffs have not really come as a bolt out of the blue because they were being discussed in June itself, when a reduction of headcount was being talked about in August.
However, social-media posts indicate that people are wondering why a philanthropic organisation such as CZI would need to lay off people at all. After all, isn’t an organisation into philanthropy because it has lots of money at its disposal?
Some people have even posted on Blind that the move indicates that Zuckerberg is not keen about charity work now because he has probably become aware that it is not cool for billionaires to do so any more.