Musk may fire 75% of Twitter staff – media
Elon Musk may slash Twitter’s workforce by three-quarters if he becomes the owner of the social media company, The Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing interviews and documents it obtained.
Headcount cuts in Twitter have been expected regardless of a sale of the company. Twitter’s current management has reportedly planned to pare the company’s payroll by about $800 million by the end of 2023, a number that would be equal to a cut of about 25% of the workforce. Musk’s intentions, however, are reportedly far more extreme than Twitter had planned.
According to the Post, Musk told prospective investors in his deal to buy the company that he has planned to lay off nearly 75 % of Twitter’s 7,500 employees, “whittling the company down to a skeleton staff of just over 2,000.”
“A 75% headcount cut would indicate, at least out of the gates, stronger free cash flow and profitability, which would be attractive to investors looking to get in on the deal,” financial analyst at Wedbush Securities Dan Ives told AP on Friday, adding that “you can’t cut your way to growth.”
Such a program of massive layoffs is feared to have a major impact on the company’s ability to control harmful content and prevent data-security breaches, and would hurt Twitter’s more-than 200 million users that log on each day.
Edwin Chen, formerly in charge of Twitter’s spam and health metrics and now CEO of the content-moderation platform Surge AI, told the outlet that such layoffs would be “immediately felt by millions of users” and would threaten to expose them to hacks, and to offensive material.
Elon Musk initially bid $44 billion for the struggling company in April, but later pulled out of the deal, claiming that the number of “spam bot” accounts on the platform had been misrepresented. After months of legal battles, Twitter and Musk are expected to close the deal by October 28.
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