Here’s how Elon Musk intends to cut half of Twitter’s workforce to save money
Elon Musk intends to cut about 3,700 jobs at Twitter Inc., or half of the social media company’s workforce, to cut costs following his $44 billion acquisition. People who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing non-public plans, Twitter’s new owner plans to notify affected employees. Musk also plans to reverse the company’s current work-from-anywhere policy, requiring remaining employees to report to offices through some exceptions. Musk and a team of advisers have been weighing a variety of scenarios for job cuts and other policy changes at San Francisco-based Twitter, adding that the terms of the headcount reduction could still change. Two of the people said that in one scenario being considered, laid-off workers will be offered 60 days of severance pay.
A Twitter spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Musk is under pressure to find ways to cut costs in a business that he claims he overpaid for. In April, the billionaire agreed to pay $54.20 per share, just as markets were collapsing. He then attempted to back out of the transaction for months, claiming that the company misled him about the prevalence of fake accounts. Twitter filed a lawsuit to compel Musk to honor his agreement, and in recent weeks, Musk caved, agreeing to close the deal on the agreed-upon terms. Since Musk took over and immediately fired much of the top executive team, including Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal, finance chief Ned Segal, and senior legal staffers Vijaya Gadde and Sean Edgett, Twitter employees have been bracing for layoffs. Other departures in the days since include Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Berland, Chief Customer Officer Sarah Personette, and Jean-Philippe Maheu, vice president of global client solutions.
Musk dubbed himself “Chief Twit” in his social media bio. Bloomberg previously reported that he would serve as interim CEO himself. He also dissolved the company’s board of directors and became sole director, later claiming that it was “only temporary.” a few employees with director and vice president jobs were let go over the weekend. According to the sources, other leaders were asked to create lists of employees on their teams who could be let go. A person familiar with the situation said this week that senior personnel on the product teams were asked to aim for a 50% reduction in headcount. The lists were reviewed by engineers and director-level staff from Tesla Inc., which Musk also runs.
Layoff lists were created and ranked based on individuals’ contributions to Twitter’s code during their time at the company. Tesla employees and Twitter executives both made assessments. Concerns about steep staff cuts arose in the run-up to Musk’s buyout when potential investors were told that he planned to cut 75% of the workforce, which stood at around 7,500 at the end of 2021. Musk later denied that the layoffs would be so severe. Musk has been hinting at his staffing priorities in recent weeks, saying he wants to focus on the core product. Software engineering, server operations, and design will rule the roost.