According to the Washington Post, Elon Musk informed prospective investors that as part of his attempt to acquire Twitter, he expected to lay off more than 75% of the company’s workers.
According to the piece, which cited interviews and files, layoffs are scheduled for the coming months regardless of who is in charge of the corporation. On a computer monitor plastered with Twitter logos, an image of Elon Musk is shown on mobile.
Musk’s statement, should he finally take over the firm, comes at a difficult moment for Twitter. In July, the company said that it had “significantly suspended hiring” due to a broader economic slowdown in the tech industry, which has seen multiple hiring freezes and layoffs.
According to Bloomberg, Twitter published an employee email Thursday night stating that there were “no plans for any company-wide layoffs.”
Meanwhile, the acquisition saga with Musk has harmed morale, leading to mass resignations. For months, Twitter has been involved in a legal battle with Musk after Musk attempted to walk away from the $44 billion buyout deal, only to reverse course earlier this month and indicate he would go ahead with it after all.
“Twitter appears to be rudderless and on a downhill spiral, which Musk has exacerbated,” said Carl Tobias, the Williams chair in law at the University of Richmond. “It appears that it will be rough sailing for a while.”
According to the Washington Post, human resources workers at the social network business told employees that no mass layoffs were planned, but documents revealed that significant preparations to force out staff and reduce infrastructure costs were already in place before Musk attempted to buy the company.
More about layoffs
Despite the fact that Twitter’s current management anticipated laying off 25% of its workforce by the end of next year, the new report suggests Musk aims to cut Twitter’s 7,500 employees to a “skeleton staff” of around 2,000 people.
Tobias believes the layoffs will have an impact on Twitter’s day-to-day operations, notably its ability to censor harmful content and address security issues. This comes on the heels of a damning whistleblower report in September, which accused Twitter of failing on both criteria, citing “egregious” faults within the company.
Twitter, according to the Washington Post, had already intended to reduce funding for infrastructure facilities such as data centers. Musk has suggested that if he were the owner of Twitter, he would loosen content filtering methods and possibly transform the company into a subscription-based business model. The Guardian’s request for comment was not immediately answered by Twitter.
Musk’s current spat with Twitter started in May when the businessman tried to back out of a deal to buy the company, arguing that Twitter undervalued the amount of bot and spam accounts on its network. He was accused on Twitter of “creating” a reason to withdraw.
The tense dispute was about to go to court when Musk abruptly altered his mind in early October, saying that he would complete the sale on the original terms. The billionaire is now gathering funding in order to complete the purchase by next Friday when a judge has ordered that it be finished.
Twitter, Inc. operates a microblogging and social networking website in which users submit and interact with messages known as “tweets.” Unregistered users can only watch public tweets, while registered users can post, like, and retweet them.
Twitter can be accessed via browser or mobile frontend applications, as well as programmatically via its APIs. Prior to April 2020, only SMS could be used to access services. Tweets were initially limited to 140 characters, but in November 2017, the limit for non-CJK languages was expanded to 280. The majority of accounts still limit audio and video tweets to 140 seconds.
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