Elon Musk plans to cut about 3,700 jobs at Twitter Inc., or half of the social media company’s workforce, in a bid to cut costs following its $44 billion acquisition, according to those in the know.
Twitter’s new owner wants to notify affected staffers Friday, the people said, who asked for anonymity when discussing non-public plans. Musk also plans to roll back the company’s existing work-from-anywhere policy and ask remaining employees to report to offices — though some exceptions could be made, the people said.
Musk and a team of advisers weighed a range of job-loss scenarios and other policy changes on Twitter, in San Francisco, people said, adding that the terms of the cutbacks could still change. In one scenario being considered, laid-off workers will be offered 60 days of severance pay, two of the people said.
A Twitter spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Musk is under pressure to find ways to lower the costs of a company he claims has overpaid. The billionaire agreed to pay $54.20 a share in April, just as markets were plummeting. He then spent months trying to get out of the transaction, claiming that the company misled him about the prevalence of fake accounts. Twitter filed a lawsuit to force Musk to honor his agreement, and in recent weeks Musk has relented and resigned himself to closing the deal on the terms agreed to. The take-private deal closed on Thursday.
Twitter employees braced for layoffs since Musk took over and immediately ousted much of the top management team, including Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal, Finance Chief Ned Segal and senior legal staff Vijaya Gadde and Sean Edgett. The days that followed included Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Berland, Chief Customer Officer Sarah Personette and Jean-Philippe Maheu, who served as Vice President of Global Customer Solutions.
Musk anointed himself “Chief Twit” in his bio on the social network. Bloomberg previously reported that he would take on the role of interim CEO himself. He also dissolved the company’s board of directors and became its sole director, later saying it was “only temporary”.
Over the weekend, a few employees with director and vice president jobs were fired, people familiar with the matter said. Other leaders were asked to make lists of employees in their teams who could be fired, the people said.
Senior staff from the product teams were asked to reduce the workforce by 50%, a person familiar with the matter said this week. Engineers and director-level employees of Tesla Inc., the automaker also run by Musk, have reviewed the lists, the person said. Resignation lists were compiled and ranked based on individuals’ contributions to Twitter’s code during their time at the company, the people said. The review was made by both Tesla staff and Twitter executives.
Concerns about significant staff cuts began to swirl in the run-up to Musk’s acquisition, when potential investors were told he would eliminate 75% of the workforce, which stood at about 7,500 by the end of 2021. Musk later denied that the cuts would be that deep.
In recent weeks, Musk began hinting at his staffing priorities, saying he wanted to focus on the core product. “Software engineering, server operations and design will rule,” he tweeted in early October.
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