Facebook Employee Dies of Apparent Suicide at Company’s Headquarters

A Facebook employee jumped off the building of the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California in an apparent suicide last Thursday.

The employee who committed suicide was identified as 38-year-old Qin Chen, a resident of San Mateo, according to the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office, CNET reported.

Authorities responded to a call around 11:30 a.m. on Friday about a man who jumped off a building on 100 block of Jefferson Drive. Upon arriving, police found an unresponsive man. Police and the Menlo Park Fire Protection District tried to revive Chen, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the police, there was no foul play involved in their preliminary investigation.

“We’re cooperating with police in their investigation and providing support to employees,” a spokesperson from Facebook said in a statement. “While the family is being notified, we have no information to share.”

Shyu, a former software employee for Facebook who now runs the YouTube channel TechLead, allegedly caught wind of the incident from Facebook Blind, an internal anonymous chat app. Shyu revealed in a recent vlog that many on the internal chat app suspect the suicide was a “cover-up.”

 

In a video posted on Monday, Shyu revealed many details about Chen leading up to his suicide that he pulled from the internal chat but maintains they are unverified allegations. Shyu says Chen used to work for Facebook’s advertising group, which the YouTuber describes as “a very high-stress group,” and where a small technical issue can cause millions of dollars in revenue loss, Shyu said.

Chen’s performance rating allegedly started to suffer which resulted in him being put on the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). Shyu explains in the video that the PIP is “essentially the path to you getting fired.”

Chen then allegedly requested to be transferred to a different team before he was put on PIP.

He was allegedly successful in finding another team, but Chen was put on hold for his transfer when his manager “convinced him to stay on his team until the end of the quarter,” promising a good performance rating.

However, after the rating season ended, his manager allegedly gave him a rating that blocked his opportunity to move to another team.

Shyu says the final straw was when Chen was assigned to do a Severe Site Event (SEV) review. The employee tried to push the review back and delay the process, but an internal script prevented him from doing so.

The employee allegedly committed suicide an hour before the review.

In the video, Shyu shared a screenshot of a Blind app poll where 61.8% answered they feel stressed out. Some employees said they “never had depression before, but here they did have it,” Shyu said.

Screenshot via YouTube / TechLead

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has thoughts of harming themselves, you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Featured Image via YouTube

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